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NewerTech Power 2U AC/USB Wall Outlet Review
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NewerTech Power 2U AC/USB Wall Outlet Review

Sam ChenApril 6, 2012

Upgrade Your House

Normally, we review computer hardware here at Custom PC Review, but sometimes we find a piece of tech that’s so innovative and so possibly useful that we really have to check it out.

That piece of tech we’re taking a look at today is the NewerTech Power 2U AC/USB Wall Outlet. Ever had the problem where you wanted to charge your iPhone and all you’ve got is the USB cable? What about that new tablet that only shipped with the USB cable? Well, NewerTech has just the house upgrade for you.

Breaking another tradition here, normally we’d talk features, specifications, and all that other stuff, but honestly if you take a look to the here, you can pretty much tell exactly what this thing does. So what will you need? Just a 15A circuit and a 16 cu in. electrical box, which is pretty standard for most American homes these days. So, full steam ahead to the next section of the review!

A Closer Look

Included in the packaging is just a quick installation guide along with the Power 2U unit itself. For those not familiar working with your house’s electricals, you might want to find someone who is, but honestly it’s not too bad (Yes, this is coming from someone who has never taken apart a power outlet prior to this).  NewerTech even has a video installation guide to help you through.

A closer look at the front reveals the Power 2U’s standard faceplate along with the USB charging ports behind them. Overall build quality is very good, and the entire unit feels quite solid.

Taking a look at the side of the Power 2U, we notice that everything is pretty standard here. Two power cables connect to the right side and two to the left. At the bottom you’ve also got a connection for the ground wire as well. For those living in North America, you’d probably be fine; however, your building may be outfitted with 20A circuits though so that might be something to watch out for. Again, if you’re not sure, consult a professional.

Additionally, notice how big the Power 2U is. If you’ve got a small electrical box (<16 cu in), you may have fitment issues. More on that in the next image.

In addition to the depth of the Power 2U, notice how thick it is as well. Again, if you’ve got a more shallow or skinny electrical box, the Power 2U might have fitment issues, so make sure to measure if you plan on purchasing the Power 2U. According to the users manual, you’ll need a wall outlet that’s 54.5mm wide x 62.3mm deep x 90.5mm tall, so if you’ve got less than that, it’ll be a no go for sure.

Installation & Testing

Installation was a fairly simple process, but I did have some issues with fitment at the original location I wanted to install it at, so I did end up installing it somewhere other than originally planned. Otherwise, the entire installation of the Power 2U consists of five steps – shutting off the breaker, opening up and disconnecting the wires to the power outlet, reconnecting the wires onto the Power 2U, closing the outlet back up, and flipping the breaker back on. It’s that simple. Obviously if you aren’t comfortable with working around your house’s electrical system, make sure to find a professional as you could definitely hurt yourself doing this. 120v and 15A is not something to be taken lightly!

Once installed, the Power 2U is pretty awesome. It looks cool and is extremely useful especially if you own a lot of devices that require USB charging. These days, everyone probably has one such device… or two… or three, so I think it’s pretty safe to say that everyone could use one of these.

As you can see here, clearance isn’t too bad either. Smaller power bricks can actually fit on here without any issue and you do get two USB charging ports, so you can charge multiple devices at once or just leave maybe an iPhone cable as well as a micro USB cable plugged in 24/7 so you can easily charge your device at any time.

As you can expect, one of the limitations I ran into was with larger power bricks. You can see here that with these larger bricks, you’ll have issues plugging both the USB cable and the power brick in. If you’re planning to replace a power outlet that has a large power brick plugged in 24/7, you might want to reconsider replacing that outlet.

Conclusion

Overall, the NewerTech Power 2U is just one of those innovative little devices that helps make charging your USB devices a whole lot easier. Is the Power 2U a necessity for every house? Probably not, but it sure is convenient to have one. It’s kinda like how you don’t really think you need something until you have it. Then you wonder why you haven’t gotten it sooner. With smartphones and tablets these days lasting less than 24 hours on a good day, it’s pretty obvious why this would be an excellent device to install in any room in the house.

As far as negatives go, I’d have to say the size of the device can be a problem. With the Power 2U as big as it is, a lot of homes (such as the first location I attempted to install the device in), will not able to accommodate the Power 2U. Since replacing electrical boxes is going to be quite complex and possibly expensive for most people, I would hope the Power 2U design can be shrunk in future revisions.

Special thanks to NewerTech for making this review possible.

The NewerTech Power 2U USB/AC Wall Outlet is currently available on Amazon.

About The Author
Sam Chen
Hardware and Technology Enthusiast. SSD Evangelist. Editor-in-Chief.