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Power2U Tops The Competition

If you’re a reader of the OWC Blog, then you probably already know about the Power2U – the first UL listed AC/USB wall outlet on the market that charges four devices simultaneously. And since its inception in December 2011, the Power2U has seen its share of imitators. And although they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, we wanted to show that while there are copycats, there simply is no substitute for the Power2U when it comes to overall performance combined with efficiency, design and convenience.

In fact, we did some competitive analysis at OWC headquarters to see how the Power2U stacks up to three competitors and the included Apple factory adapters when charging an iPad 2 and an iPhone 4.

Overall, the charging time results among wall outlets and adapters were similar, with each taking longer to charge based on power draw of the specific device. But when judged by combining charging performance with other factors such as “vampire draw”, the Power2U topped the competition. Because while there are outlets that edge the Power2U when measuring by simply speed, they do so at a cost.

With nothing plugged in, the Power2U’s Safety Shutters completely turn off power to the USB ports to eliminate “vampire” energy draw when connecting cables are removed. Other brands, however, still draw power when not in use. Two brands drew 2.4mA and 2.0mA respectively with nothing plugged in, while another drew a whopping 10.3mA – about five times more than the next closest outlet we compared. That means you would pay for that extra charging power – even if you weren’t charging anything at all!

Another particularly interesting discovery that our testing showed was that when it’s charging just one device, the Power2U fully charges an iPad 2 via a USB port seven minutes faster than the included Apple 10W power adapter! It even beats the new Apple 12W power adapter by 14 minutes thanks to its Smart/Adaptive Intelligent power management. How does that sound for speed?

But these numbers don’t tell the whole story. Beyond its impressive speed and versatility, the Power2U proves even more valuable than the competition in its quality of build. One “leading brand” unit began emitting a “hissing” noise during testing…and even a replacement  unit hissed as well. We shouldn’t have to point out that outlets are NOT supposed to hiss. When also factoring in the efficiency of the Power2U’s Smart Power design that only outputs the power needed for a device, and its elimination of “vampire draw”, you’ll save not just money, but also energy.

So with its stylish design that matches any decor at a great price, Power2U is simply the best value on the market. And with Mother’s Day right around the corner, it makes the perfect gift that modernizes walls for today’s digital lifestyles while eliminating cable/adapter clutter! Best of all, you can watch our instructional videos and impress Mom with your DIY skills (it is National Home Improvement Month, after all.)

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  • Does one need to use the Safety Shutters to control “vampire” power drain? I regularly leave the USB cables plugged in the wall chargers in my traditional AC outlets because I’ve got spares wherever I am. So, do I have to actually unplug the cable and let the shutters close in order to shut off drain, or is the USB outlet only powered on when a device is plugged into the cable to charge?



    • The shutters themselves are the switch. When a USB plug is inserted, it turns on the power to the USB port – when removed, the power is cut off.
      Power2U with faceplate removed.

      • Gotcha, thanks. That is, in my opinion, the only blocker for me on the Power2U. I’ve seen a couple like products that claim they only activate the port when a device is plugged into the cable, i.e. it “senses” that a device needs power draw and turns on the port then and only then. This would allow me to keep the cables plugged in and still not draw power. However, these other outlets are not UL listed, and who knows if the claim is true — though I have seen reviews that monitored the power draw and this seems to be accurate.

        I guess everything’s a trade-off: UL listed, or better power management? Wish they could update the Power2U to do the latter, and I’d probably update my whole home with these. Yes, unplugging cables from the wall behind my bed is that much of a consideration for the devices I plug in at night…

        Thanks again, Michael.

  • I ordered a couple of these a few days ago. I’m probably just lazy and not doing my due diligence in research and shopping around, but I ordered them without even looking anywhere else. I did that because I know two things: If it’s OWC, it will be 1) a great product, and 2) they will stand by their products. Like the article says, there are other options out there, and they may indeed be more affordable. However, I don’t have enough money to buy things more than once, so I buy from OWC because I know that it is most likely going to be the best thing I can get. Thanks.