Aukey 5 Port Multi USB Charger PA-U33
I can’t pinpoint when exactly USB power ports started to become an essential part of home essential items. We have grown familiar and accustomed to it for years. But it started off as just a port to connect our thumb drives, mouse, adapters, etc.
Now, not just mobile devices are sucking on USB ports as their main source of power. Countless lifestyle accessories are being powered by USB ports instead of conventional power plugs.
Diffusers, LED lamps, fans, etc. You name it!
And you don’t need to be a genius to suspect that somewhere in the world right now, someone is designing another miniature product that will be powered by USB.
And now that I have my own little collection of devices that require power from USB ports, my power outlets have become a huge mess of clutter and cables.
One day, that eye-sore triggered something in me that made me decide to do something about the orgy of chargers, adapters, and wires. And they are growing at a rate that I believe they would come alive pretty soon if I continue to let them be.
So being the average consumer that I am, ever so eager to spend money on things I do not need, I started looking for a solution to this aesthetic problem.
There are 3 basic gadgets that will provide a simple solutions to this:
- Multi outlet extension
- Cables with both Android and Apple friendly charging heads
- Multi port USB charger
I figured that adding a multi outlet power station to the area I’m trying to clean up defeats the whole purpose of this exercise. It would only create more clutter in the existing space.
Using cables with both micro USB and lighting sockets will mean less power when charging multiple devices at the same time.
This makes solution #3 to make the most sense.
After conducting a lot of interviews with friends who already own such a device and doing the customary research online, I’ve narrowed down my options to 2.
- AUKEY 5-Port USB Charger with 50W/10A (PA-U33)
- Anker PowerPort 5 USB Charger 40W/8A
I considered getting one with the capacity to do Quick Charge (QC) but decided that it’s not that important.
Usually when I do my charging at home, I have all the time in the world. QC on a power bank would make more sense as a shorter charging time when outdoors will be absolutely more convenient. Slower normal charging at home is perfectly acceptable to me.
And for some reason, I settled for 5 ports. 6 ports somehow feels too many and 4 makes it look too lightweight.
Key things to look for in a multi port USB charger
The first concern that popped into my mind naturally is how powerful are these chargers really?
I’m not suspicious of whether are really that powerful at all. My worry was whether too much power will damage of the batteries of my smart devices or the devices themselves.
Digging into this issue, I’ve learned that most reputable companies who have made a name for themselves in this space use smart chips that are able to “identify” devices pulling power from it and discharge the “correct” amount of power accordingly.
Thus, not overfeeding it with juice.
Aukey calls this technology of theirs AiPower while Anker label theirs PowerIQ. I’m not sure whether these are proprietary technology backed by their own patents. Somehow I suspect that these are more or less made the same way and a manufacturer is offering them with private label.
If you don’t know, most stock chargers that come with smart phones deliver an output of 1A.
This would be revolutionary in the 1990s for a cellphone. But these days… that is like feeding your dogs with treats instead of the main course. Yes, your pets will fill their stomach eventually. It just takes more time and more treats.
In layman’s language, it means that your iPhone could possibly take on more juice… but the rate it is gulping down the voltage is limited by the amount the charger delivers.
The industry standard for more resource hungry mobile devices these days is 2.1A. I’m pretty sure this will go up in years to come, if it has not already done so.
So get a USB charging station with the capacity to do 2.1A. You might not need all ports to have the ability to do 2.1A. But at least have a couple that does. This is so that you will be able to use them when you have devices that charge more efficiently with 2.1A.
And don’t worry about your tablet breaking down because it is not meant to take in 2.1A. Because remember the previous point? Yup. Smart charging will kick in and go gentle on your device.
Actually, Aukey’s USB charger can do up to 2.4A. However, I’m not sure what devices will require that kind of power. Maybe cameras and mini-computers.
With 50W, Aukey edges this factor by being a beast. This means that It can still discharge a lot power when all USB ports are in use.
For this Aukey USB charger, do note that you can still obtain 2.1A for each port when up to 4 ports are in use. However when you use all 5 ports, the amount of electricity each port can deliver will decrease marginally.
How big are these monsters?
Ideally, you’d not want them to take up too much space as saving space could very well be one of the criteria in the first place when you initially started your search for such a product.
And if you intend to bring them along for your travels, you’d of course would prefer them as small as possible.
This depends on your personal preference. Both the USB chargers I’ve listed are pretty compact in size.
Why I decided on Aukey
One word: Value
Both are reputable brands in this industry. And both products have very similar specifications. But Aukey has a retail price of about HALF that of Anker. And it delivers 50W/10A against 40W/8A.
It’s an easy choice to make.
Here are the specs:
- 3.7 x 2.4 x 1 inches
- Input: AC 100-240V
- Output: 50W/10A
- 5.92 ounces
How does it perform?
I’ve been using this Aukey USB charger for a month now. And I must say that the practicality makes me happy the most.
I’ve freed up a couple of power outlets just by consolidating all my charging to this one charger. This was the number 1 reason why I wanted to buy something like this.
The unit is very light. In fact, it is so lightweight that you could easily drag it accidentally off the table top because you could not feel it. This could be an advantage or disadvantage depending on how you intend to use this.
But this problem can be easily solved by securing the charger to furniture or fixtures with tape, bands, or suction mats. Just be mindful when doing this as it’s corners are not rounded.
Finally, since my stock device chargers deliver 1A of power, I was really expecting charging time to reduce considerably since these charging ports can deliver up to 2.1A.
So I was a little disappointed when most of my devices experienced a lesser charging time… but not significant enough to brag about over dinner.