Review: Aluratek Mini Surge Dual USB Charging Station - Macenstein

Review: Aluratek Mini Surge Dual USB Charging Station

Aluratek mini surge dual charger

And speaking of powering your iDevices, here’s a great little gadget for when you’re NOT out and about. The Mini Surge Dual USB Charging Station by Aluratek. This $19.99 space saver is designed to help you manage the charging chaos that so often happens in houses like mine with about 700 USB powered devices. Basically it is an external AC outlet that gives you three 3-prong outlets, and TWO USB ports, meaning you no longer have to monopolize all your AC outlets just for charging. It’s a good choice for a kitchen counter, where outlets might be at a premium, and charging your iPhone or powering an iPad while watching the ol’ Slingbox would be convenient. [UPDATE: I just discovered that the USB ports do not seem to be powerful to charge the iPad. The iPad gives the “Not Charging” sign when plugged in. However, in talking with Aluratek they claim the iPad IS charging, only at 1 amp, so charging will take quite a bit longer than normal. Therefore, while it technically works, I cannot recommend this device for iPad users.]

not charging ipad

Design-wise the unit is reasonably slim and compact, and the AC prongs fold up for travel. As you might assume from the name, there’s also a built-in surge protector (612 joules) which is great, as it never hurts to give your $600 iPad or iPhone a little extra protection. Of course, charging is not relegated only to Apple gear, you can charge anything with a USB port (assuming you have a cable – Aluratek does not include any).

Pretty much my only issue with the Mini Surge is that it could be a little cheaper, as I have seen similar devices for around $10-$12 from companies like Belkin , although I like the look of the Alartec slightly more, and its AC outlet arrangement makes it easier to plug in multiple devices that have large plugs without obscuring the other outlets.

Aluratek mini surge dual charger

There’s not all that much else to say about this, other than it works as advertised. I’ve found it is great for taking down the shore for the kids’ room to help keep them from unplugging each other’s iPod touch’s when the other one isn’t looking. You can buy it from Aluratek’s site for $19.99.

Price: $19.99
Pros: Turns 1 outlet into 3, plus two USB ports for charging any USB device, Surge protection
Cons: USB ports don’t seem to charge the iPad (although it may slowly trickle charge)

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