I’m not really sure where I first saw these, but as soon as I laid eyes on them, I knew I had to have one, okay, maybe two, but that would be enough. For now.
After frantically searching Google, I finally found what I was lusting after looking for at fastmac.com. It’s called the U-Socket, a wall outlet with built in USB ports to power and/or charge your USB devices.
I started the install by cutting power to the outlets (always a smart move when dealing with power). I decided to start with the outlet closest to my computer desk. I removed the plate and the old outlet and connected the wires to the new U-Socket. Unfortunately, the U-Socket was too big to fit in the pre-World War II electrical box. Apparently electricians back then did not have the foresight to know that we would need to install bigger power outlets that allowed us to conveniently charge our USB devices. So, after deciding not to put another hole in our wall (for the time-being) I put the old outlet back in it’s place and moved on to the second outlet I wanted to replace.
Lucky for me, this was an outlet that we had either added or replaced (I really can’t remember) when we were re-wiring our house, so the box was newer and roomier. The U-Socket fit in perfectly. Once everything was in place I turned the breakers back on and presto! – I had power to charge my iPhone, iPod, or other USB device without a power adapter.
I do have one complaint, and that’s the placement of the USB ports. If you have a power adapter for another device plugged in that’s bigger than a normal power cord, it’s probably going to block access to one of the ports. Moving the ports up or down slightly would make them more accessible when you have large power adapters plugged in.
I know it’s geeky, and probably not necessary, but when you have three iPod Touches, two iPhones, and iPad, bluetooth headsets, a Flip video camera and a handful of other devices that utilize a USB connection to charge their batteries, you’re going to look for a more convenient way to charge them. fastmac.com has provided us with a pretty good option in the U-Socket.