How To Turn Wall Sockets Into USB Ports
Now you can ditch the AC adaptor plug and use a USB cord to plug your smartphone, tablet, and other electronics directly into the wall.
By Jon Luman
Practically all portable electronic devices are charged via USB. Chances are your home or car isn’t equipped with any USB outlets to accommodate. You’re probably still plugging into your computer or using plug-in adapters that came with the device. Nothing wrong with that, but lugging around your laptop and keeping tabs on where you last left your tiny adapter gets old quick.
A solution: Upgrade to outlets with USB ports built into them. They’re inexpensive, installation isn’t hard, and they won’t look ugly or out of place in your house or vehicle.
XTG Technology Slim Wall Plate with USB ($15 @ Amazon.com)
Thanks to its slender profile, you’ll never be inspired to hurl a string of expletives at the XTG out after ramming your shin into it as you walk by. Plus, it’s simple; all you have to do is plug it into an existing outlet, and it’ll juice up an iPad, Kindle Fire, or whatever else you throw at it while also providing outlets for three standard AC plugs. Oh, and it serves as a surge protector too.
Newer Technology Power2U AC Wall Outlet With USB Charging Ports ($22 @ Amazon.com)
Swapping this USB wall socket for your existing 15 amp circuit outlet shouldn’t pose too much of a problem. But if you’re not as skilled with a screwdriver, New Technology provides a video demonstration to guide you through the process. All in all, you should be done in about 20 minutes. Choose from black, ivory, beige, or white.
Scosche reVIVE II Dual USB Car Charger for iPad ($18 @ Amazon.com)
We haven’t forgotten your car. When you use your smartphone or tablet as a GPS, the battery takes a huge hit. While you can find cheaper USB car adapters — some for as little as $3 or $4 — many of them lack the power or versatility to charge larger devices like an iPad. The reVIVE II wisely reserved the 2.1 amp top slot for big boys like tablets, and the bottom 1 amp port for smaller electronics like phones and MP3 players.