Product Review: Anker 2-port USB wall charger


A few months ago, I purchased the Anker 2-port USB wall charger from Amazon. I picked it because it’s sister-charger with 4 ports was picked by The Wirecutter as the best multi-port USB wall charger. Unfortunately, I was not impressed.

Out of the box, it is a bit larger than I was hoping, but overall not too large. I was hoping for something closer in size to my beloved Motorola USB charger, which is perfect in every way except it was designed for the phones of 5 years ago and has a max output of 750mA (as opposed to the standard but slow-by-current-standards 1A). Also, it’s white, which as Apple can tell you, makes your products all look like they are coming from somewhere in the future.



And that is where it’s positive attributes end. Sure, it charged my phone, and at a reasonable clip. However, it also has some sort of issue, possibly with it’s ‘iQ technology’, whereby it will just… stop… charging. The only solution is to unplug everything, wait 15 minutes, and then plug it all back in. As one might imagine, this is Less Than Optimal for what should be a basic and uninteresting piece of technology. I don’t think it’s too much to ask to have my USB charger Just Work. Lots of people seem to manage it. This is not one of them.

I’ve sent their support an email asking for a refund. Here’s hoping!

[UPDATE] SEPT 11: Refund received!

Review: REI Compact Travel Adaptors

REI Travel Adaptor

I got this great little travel adaptor set for a recent trip to New Zealand and Australia. Since I love small things, small boxes, and things that fit nicely into small boxes, it is basically designed for me to love it! Also, it worked really well. The plugs in Australia and New Zealand are basically the same as in the US, except instead of being parallel, the two prongs are angled in toward each other. In many sets, the prongs just rotate.

One note is that you do have to push a little hard to get the plug into the back of the adaptor. It was a little startling how hard I had to push the first time I used it.

The one downside to this adorable little set is that it is a little bulky. Depending on the socket arrangement, it is entirely possible that it would block access to other nearby sockets, but since I only had the one adaptor, that was never really an issue for me.

You can buy it at REI.



In their travel recommendations, The Wirecutter recommends the Ceptics Travel Adaptor Set. I am more dubious about this set since it seems like you are carrying around a giant jumble of stuff, or you have to carefully pick out only the ones you need (which, if you are like me, and like to be prepared for EVERYTHING and also unsure of how some of this international travel stuff works, seems stressful). But, in general, I think the Wirecutter has good recommendations, so you can check that out too.