If you buy new devices often, you’ll probably find yourself with a ton of chargers and cables. However, each charger can only charge one device at a time (two, if you own a Motorola charger). That’s a grossly inefficient use of precious outlets, which are a very limited commodity. That’s why USB hubs are fantastic for those with many devices to charge.
Ports: 5 USB
Power output: 3 1A ports, 2 2.1A ports
Dimensions: 102 x 57 x 21 millimeters
Where to buy: Inateck, Amazon
The Inateck UC5001 5 port USB charger is a very simple device. It’s a USB hub that plugs into the wall instead of another USB port (like on a computer), with five USB ports on its face. On the back is the port for the AC cable, along with an on/off button. The top has labels for the USB ports and a small blue LED to indicate when it’s on.
The advantage of having such an accessory is that you can free up as many as four outlets and charge your devices all through one hub. It also solves the issue of short USB cables by placing the ports in a convenient location. And of course it helps with organization.
On the front are five USB ports, but they’re not all the same. Three are standard ports outputting one amp, like most smartphone chargers. But if you need more juice, there are two ports that output 2.1 amps. This will be plenty for charging both large devices like the Galaxy Note series and tablets of any size.
If you have devices that constantly stay plugged in (I have a device acting as an alarm clock on my desk that’s more often than not plugged in), the power button on the back will be very useful. Constantly charging a battery is bad for it, so having the ability to switch the whole hub on and off instead of unplugging the device is a nice touch. And as for the power LED, it’s easily seen but very dim and won’t light your room up at night.
Charging is exactly as you suspect; it’s fast and without issues. I use it to charge both smartphones and my various Bluetooth speakers when they happen to run out of juice. It’s tucked away at the side of my cabinet with wires neatly routed to my desk.
A small detail to note is the power cable that this USB hub comes with. It has a fairly big power brick in the center, which is not ideal, but the plug at the end is two prong and as thin as can be. No bulky plug that only fits at the end of the power strip here, which I thought to be a great decision on Inateck’s part.
The best part about this accessory is probably the price. Most USB hubs are unpowered and just plug into a computer’s USB port, effectively splitting its limited power output. Powered USB chargers are more pricey, which makes this hub’s $17 price point so enticing. It’s definitely worth the money.
If you’ve been looking for a single charger for all of your devices, this may be your best bet.