Power2U Power Outlet with USB Ports by Newer Tech – Review

Power2U Power Outlet with USB Ports by Newer Tech 

Our homes are constantly being filled with more and more devices that need charging via a USB port. Digital cameras, Smart Phones, iPads and other Tablets, back up batteries, keyboards and more; all charge via a USB. Often these need more power than a computer USB port provides, so you end up with a lot of different chargers all over the house. One solution to this issue is to use multi-port chargers, but another is to replace some of your household electrical sockets with ones with built-in USB chargers. The Power2U Power Outlet with USB Ports by Newer Tech is designed as a DIY solution to adding electrical outlets with built-in USB chargers to your home. They are available in 15 and 20A versions, so you need to check which is compatible with your home wiring system.

I tackle most DIY projects around the home, but I typically leave electrical projects to my husband as he is an Electrical Engineer by training. With any electrical project safety is very important, so only do this installation if you are comfortable safely doing basic home electrical work, such as installing or replacing electrical sockets, otherwise have an electrician do it for you.

I watched my husband do this project so my review is based on his comments, plus my observations. I initially asked him to install the Power2U on our kitchen island as I often charge my phone there. The first issue we ran into was that the installation box is on the large side, and it wouldn’t fit in the hole in the island where our current outlet is and as we didn’t want to cut a bigger hole that location was out.

 

Power2U on left, too big for box in island

Power2U on left, too big for box in island

We also tried several other locations around the house where we encountered the same issue. We did eventually find a location which had a large enough hole. My husband said that if you have installed electrical outlets in the past that this shouldn’t be too big a challenge but that it is a little bit fiddlier than installing a regular outlet. It took him about 15-20 minutes to install, so it was pretty quick.

power2uinstalled

Once the Power2U was installed the hard part was over, it works really well. I love the convenience of having USB outlets right in my outlet without needing any extra charger. The USB ports have sliding flaps which automatically close to over the port when it is not in use. You can charge 2 devices at once and still use the regular electrical sockets at the same time (though not with any bulky plugs as they can cover up the USB ports). If you have certain rooms in your house where you routinely charge your devices it is worth considering replacing some of the outlets in the room with the Power2U outlets, but I would recommend first checking to see what size box you currently have housing your outlet – it requires a 16 Cubic Inch or larger single gang electrical box. You can find more information on requirements on the Newertech website.

Available online from Newer Tech,  Amazon and other retailers , 2-pack from $45.98

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

Space Bar Monitor stand + 6-port USB hub by Quirky – Review

Quirky - Space Bar 6-Port USB Hub - Back

What we love…

easy to set up out of the box, reduces clutter on your desk and maximizes charging space for a variety of devices which use USB charging

What we’d love to see…

a better place to store your cords when not in use as well as a better description of which ports you can use for what, I found some ports worked for synching my iPhone while others did not

Summary

Overall, a fun easy to use accessory which will minimize clutter on your desk and allow you to charge multiple devices as well as providing additional storage space

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

The Quirky Space Bar Monitor stand is much more than your basic monitor stand – it’s also a six port USB hub that also holds your monitor.  The dimensions of the product are 21.88 x 6.63 x 1.88 inches and on each end it includes four USB hubs along with power on the back and two additional plugs for USB products.  I placed a standard 27″ monitor along with the various devices I was charging including my camera, two iPads, an iPhone on the stand.  The stand is rated to hold 25 lbs and I think mine was holding about that with all the items I was charging.  The device does take up quite a bit of space, especially on smaller desks, but it makes up for the lost space in being multifunctional.  In addition, when not in use, a standard Apple keyboard (and some PC keyboards) will fit in underneath the stand allowing you to have more space at your workstation.  Quirky is a company that works with inventors who submit their ideas for a product.  Once the product is submitted to Quirky, the power of social media takes over and a variety of people help the inventor with their idea and  decide if the product should be built out further and then voted on to see if production should move forward.  After that, if the product is selected to be manufactured then people can purchase it via a variety of methods including Quirky’s site, Amazon and other sites.  Typically once the first run of a product runs out, Quirky will incorporate feedback in the product before making another batch of them.  The inventor of this product is Michael Cavada who is a teacher at a school in Pennsylvania who teaches photography and runs a Mac® computer lab who was trying to come up with a solution for keeping the room neat and tidy.

More space, more portsThe Space Bar is a sleek addition to my desk which allows me to seamlessly charge my gadgets.  I liked that you could charge any device that used USB which meant you could charge phones, tablets, speakers, frankly anything that used USB.  I frequently have more things to plug in than space on my desktop and laptop so this seemed like a nice solution that was very quick to set up out of the box and start using.  I liked that it helped to minimize the clutter on my desk by providing one spot for me to charge everything and the black surface made it easy to clean and didn’t collect dust on my computer parts.  Another solution could be that instead of using the space underneath for your keyboard that you could slide your gadgets underneath and put them out of sight.  I also slid an external backup drive as well as a few other things underneath the device instead of putting my keyboard under there which meant they were quick at hand when I needed them.

One of my wishes for the Space Bar was a place to store the cords when I wasn’t charging things.  When I finished charging things I was left with the cables which were just hanging out on my desk.  It would have been nice to have something to coil them up on so I could leave them plugged in but not have the clutter on my desk.  I also wish there was a way to have the USB ports sync your Apple devices with your iTunes account, currently the front four ports will allow you to sync but the back two do not.  I also wish that there was an option to remove the backlight from the ports when not in use – it’s a neat feature during the day, but if you have your computer set up in your bedroom it can be a bit of a deterrent to sleep.

Overall, this is a space saving solution that provides six USB ports in either white, aluminum or black to match your choice of colors for your desk.  The model I tested had USB 2.0 ports, although I’ve been told they have upgraded to USB 3.0 now.  The price point for the product seems to be on target given that you get additional desk space, the ability to charge multiple devices as well as a cleaner look for your desk.

This product can be purchased in black or white for $99.00 or for $129 in brushed aluminum and is available from Quirky here .

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.


Review of the iDL46 Dual Charging Stereo FM Clock Radio with Lightning Dock from iHome



iDL46G-iPhone_HR

What we love…

Dual charging ability, lots of options for wake up music, can set  different music for bedtime vs waking, nap option

What we’d love to see…

Ability to set up the app when it is not connected to the iDL46, ability to store more than 2 alarm presets.

Summary

The iDL46 Dual Charging Stereo FM Clock Radio with Lightning Dock from iHome is a modern twist on the classic clock radio, it includes a lightning dock and a USB port so he can charge 2 devices at once and wake up and go to sleep to your favorite music tracks or radio station.

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

The iDL46 Dual Charging Stereo FM Clock Radio with Lightning Dock from iHome is a modern twist on the classic clock radio, it includes a lightning dock and a USB port so you can charge 2 devices at once and wake up and go to sleep to your favorite music tracks or radio station.

The Lightning dock works with  Lightning compatible iOS devices including the most recent iPod Touch, iPhone 5/5s/5c, the iPad Air and iPad Mini. I’ve tested it with the iPhone 5 and iPad mini. It works well with devices not in a case or in a slim case, bulky protective cases will prevent the dock from working. I Like the fact that as well as the lightning dock there is also a USB port so you have the option to also charge non-Lightning compatible devices and ones in bulky cases.

The iDL is an oval shape – approx 9″ long, 6″ high and 6 ” deep at it’s thickest part. It looks stylish, with a black cloth grille cover and fits nicely on a bedside table.The  iDL46 is designed to work with the free iHome Set app. The iHome Set app will only work when connected to a compatible iHome product so you can only set up the alarms when connected to the iDL46. I tried doing this with my iPhone in the dock and it was painful- the iPhone touchscreen really didn’t respond well when docked and it was slow and awkward to set up. I did discover however that it worked much, much better when I connected by iPhone via its charging cable to the USB port. I could set everything up easily this way and then put the iPhone back on the dock once it was set up if I wanted to. I would love to see the app allow you to set up without being connected, but for now I’d definitely recommend connecting via USB when setting up.

The clock allows you to have 2 alarms set up, for each of them you can set them up for everyday, weekdays or weekends.  The clock will auto sync to your iPhone./ iPad clock time. You can adjust the volume you will wake up to, wake up music duration, snooze duration and the music source. You can also set a nap time where it will wake you up x amount of time from now, and you can set music playing at bedtime that will switch off after a set amount of time. For the music source for each alarm there are several options- you can choose the radio, device connected via USB or docked device. For each device you can set it to continue playing from where you last played (either from your music library or iTunes radio) or to a custom playlist.  The radio is an FM radio and has 6 station preset options. If you choose the playlist you need to create a new playlist in your device named “iHome”. There are lots of other settings in the app such as adjusting the brightness of the clock display, there is currently no option to have an alarm tone instead of music to wake up to.

The sound quality is a far cry from the crackly old clock radios of my youth – it’s nice to wake up to clear, nice sounding music. It is both much louder and better sound quality than listening directly from your phone. It doesn’t have the same depth and sound quality as a  dedicated speaker system like the Kicker Amphitheater but for a clock radio at this price point it is good. It is pretty powerful for a small speaker unit, there is some distortion at higher volumes- however this is not an issue at the volumes I would normally be listening at in the bedroom.

Overall, if you have a hard time waking up in the morning the iDL46  provides a nice alternative to a traditional clock radio and will charge 2 devices whilst you sleep!
RRP $99.99 from iHomeaudio.com and many other retailers.

iHome Set – iHome


iHome Set iHome Set by iHome

Price: $FREE

iHome Set is for use with all app-enhanced iHome models. iHome Set requires iOS 4.3 thru iOS 7 on iPhone, iPod touch & iPad.

iHome Set provides a convenient interface to set clock, alarms, radio.

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

12 Great Gifts for Dads and Grads – and win $150 gift card and more!

With Father’s Day rapidly approaching and graduation right around the corner you may be on the look out for the perfect gift for the man in your life. The iMums have brought together 12 gift ideas to suit a range of tastes and budgets. Is your man a music fan ? Does he love to take pictures with his iPhone ? Is grilling his passion? Maybe he needs a stylish new timepiece or needs help getting up in the morning or finding his car keys. We have ideas for all of these and more. We even have a chance to win some of these fabulous gifts – enter via the rafflecopters and be sure to check our list of open giveaways too !

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Giveaways and Special Offers

Toffee Cases have kindly given us a $150 Voucher for their website, this can be redeemed in Australia, NZ, USA, UK and Canada.

They are also having  a Father’s Day sale- for 20% off site wide use the code EOFY20 – Enter to win the $150 Voucher here

Jord Wood watches have given us a FieldCrest Maple Wood Watch Valued at $120 to giveaway  Enter to win the wood watch here

Grip & Shoot– have given us a complete Grip & Shoot package in white valued at $100 to giveaway – Enter here to win the Grip & Shoot

Griffin Technology are having a 20% off sale use the coupon code DADNGRAD for 20% off sitewide

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

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