Sponsor shout-out: NewerTech Power2U

One of the nice things about our other gig, Icrontic, is that it puts us in touch with a lot of high-tech companies. I usually go to the Consumer Electronics Show every January to cover it for the community as a member of the press.

This year, I got to take a good look at a very intriguing product called the Power2U by Newer Technology. The Power2U immediately struck my eye as something intensely useful for the modern homeowner: It’s a standard 15amp UL Listed power outlet, but it also has two 5V USB charging ports built in. That means you don’t need to take up outlets with wall-warts to charge your USB-based devices.

Now, being that we often host large Icrontic gatherings in our house, power outlets are prime real estate. At any given Icrontic gathering, you’ll find people circling like vultures over any available place to charge their devices. The Power2U would alleviate a LOT of that pressure. With two USB ports in each outlet, that means a potential FOUR devices charging at once.

I contacted Newer Technology and to my delight they agreed to send us six of the units for our renovation project.

When I showed the Power2U to our electrician, he said “Oh WOW, that is so cool!”. I told him where to install them in our retrofit project.

Newer Technology Power2U USB charging outlet

One of the Power2U units

The USB ports are covered by spring-loaded doors that shut off power to the USB ports when the cable is removed. They are also the only UL Listed certified outlets that contain USB ports.

We’ll have these units on both the first and second floors of the house for guests and visitors. If you stop by to visit us at IcronticHQ, you can plug your device in to charge via USB while you’re hanging out with us.

Power2U units are available from Other World Computing. They sell for $27.99 each individually, but they also come discounted in ten, twenty, and hundred-pack bulk orders for larger installs or contractors.

The Power2U cannot be used in places where GFCI outlets are mandated by electrical code (such as in bathrooms), and it requires 16 cubic inches of space in the electrical box (modern electrical boxes are generally this size). If you meet these requirements, you should check these things out. Every modern household should have a couple!

Full disclosure: Newer Technology gave us six outlets for use in this renovation project. In exchange, we are writing about their products on our site and taking photographs of the installed outlets.

9 thoughts on “Sponsor shout-out: NewerTech Power2U

  1. Glad we impressed the electrican! However, Brian, your info about the GFCI may not be completely accurate. IF a person is doing a home rehab and codes need to be followed due to a building permit or code restrictions, then GFCI code mandates would apply. HOWEVER, if a homeowner is just replacing their outlet (which would be majority of Power2U installs) then the Power2U CAN be installed in a GFCI location provided the installer follows the info related to such on the Power2U's FAQ tab on the product page:

    Q: Which GFCI can I replace?
    A: If you are installing the Power2U into a circuit that is protected by a GFCI, you can replace any standard outlet that is already protected by that GFCI circuit with the Power2U. You cannot replace the GFCI outlet that protects the circuit with the Power2U. If you wish to replace a GFCI outlet with the Power2U, you would need to change the circuit breaker powering the circuit with a GFCI circuit breaker.

    Q: What's the difference between the main GFCI and others in a series?
    A: A GFCI outlet (the kind that has a TEST and a RESET button on it) is the device that protects the entire electrical circuit from severe or fatal electrical shocks. There is no difference between the main GFCI outlet and an outlet wired in series after the GFCI outlet, both are equally protected. However, you cannot replace the main GFCI outlet with a Power2U outlet and still have the same shock protection, the Power2U is not a GFCI outlet.

    Q: What if my GFCI is located in a circuit breaker panel?
    A: No problem! You can replace any outlet protected by a GFCI circuit breaker with a Power2U as long as the outlet box is large enough per NEC regulations (www.necplus.org) to accommodate the Power2U.
  2. In for 2. Thanks OP!

    Also: small shelves on the wall nearby would enhance usefulness.

    Also Also: Some little universal mobile device easels would be swank. :)

    Also Also Also: They need to be offered in other colors. Black with brushed nickel or steel plates, please. ;)
  3. Wow, I was actually looking at units like this recently. They would be perfect for the outlets near the nightstand, to plug in phones and iPads.
  4. Would be extremely useful for those of us with old-ass apartments, too, with scarce outlets for charging/plugging in things. Hmm... I'm way too scared to change my outlets, though, and maintenance hates dealing with the electrical here... I think I need to get them more beer.
  5. One thing to make sure of before you buy is, in an older apartment, open the outlet and measure the box. The Power2U requires a modern large box.
  6. Brian, thanks for the heads up. I'll have to look at it. I think only the kitchen and bathroom actually have updated boxes. The rest are all VERY old, covered in several layers of paint.
  7. Thanks for sharing the info! Boyfriend and I are going to have to invest in these nifty lil things so that we don't have to keep criss crossing our cords to plug into the "correct" outlet.

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