Well this week I FINALLY got my FastMAC U-Socket power outlet – keep in mind I ordered it back in March of 2011 – only took about 3 months to get it. I knew it was back ordered when I ordered it, but I honestly never expected it to take 3 months. The company did nothing to my awareness to notify me of the status during those three months. I finally had to call and ask for a status when I noticed the website was showing in-stock – but when I did call they did move me ahead in the queue for shipment and I got them about a week later. Now that they are in-stock there, that fiasco should not happen to anyone else (chalk it up to wanting to be one of the first). The only thing I am a little sore on is the shipping – even after all that time I was still had to pay to have them shipped. I would have been happy with a coupon equal to the shipping charge, oh-well – no big deal to be honest – the wait was worth it!
Now that the negative part is out – these things are WONDERFUL! Took about 10 – 15 minutes to install as they install like any normal outlet. If you have ever installed or replaced an outlet, you know what I am referring to. Another cool thing about these outlets is that if you miswire them (polarity mismatch), there is an LED indicator light to let you know. This will help protect your devices from any ill harm that could be caused by reversing the wiring. I did not test this feature, but wanted to let you know that they did think of just about everything!
I will not tell you how to install them as I am not a licensed electrician. But, if you would like to see the installation manual, you can click here to see the PDF. One thing I will advise is that with any work on or around electrical, the breaker in the panel should be turned OFF and the outlet tested to make sure there is no power.
These outlets are available in different colors as well as faces (round and square). So they should pretty much fit any existing decor without an issue. They also have the tamper resistant ones that are required by many codes, so if you are going to upgrade to a new outlet, I would suggest one of them. Below you can see the two different version – Tamper Resistant and Standard. The tamper resistant has plastic connectors in the outlet to prevent items from being jammed in there (think kids).
I tested these USB outlets and they charged my iPod touch, iPhone, as well as my iPad v2 with no problem. These are so much nicer then having a power brick laying around for your devices. They should charge ANY USB device out there, so BlackBerry, USB Flashlight, etc. Another interesting thought – these remove a potential phantom power device – the charger 🙂 So, I guess you can say they are green as well!
One last word of caution before I show you what is in the box, these outlets are deep! They are about 2x as deep as a normal outlet, so make sure your electrical box will support them. Below are two pictures so you can see a comparison of a normal outlet next to the U-Socket outlet. The rough dimensions of the U-Socket outlet is 2″ deep and 1.5″ wide and the height is the same as a normal outlet
So, what is in the box? Below are some of the images of what you get:
A nice installation guide that covers the majority of ways to install the outlet. Easy to read and use.
White outlet cover for the new outlet with matching screw
The outlet itself (Front view)
One side of the outlet
USB Side of the outlet
Extra pigtail wire in case your installation requires it.
So what does it all look like installed and working? Here we go!
The outlet installed in my kitchen (common charging area already)
Here is the cable plugged in to change my iPod/iPad/iPhone
…and here you can see my iPod touch charging. This has been in my desk drawer for probably about a year now. You can tell that it was completely dead as the date on it is 12/31!
1/15/2012 — Quick update – I have used this outlet for many many months now with no problems. We have been able to charge iPads, iPhones, iPods, Amazon Kindle, Blackberries, anything that is USB. Per FastMac, this outlet USB output is 2400mA, so plenty of power!
To purchase these devices, just go to Amazon via the link below:
FastMac ACE-7949 U-Socket Standard Duplex Dual Outlet Dual USB, 110V, 15AMP TruePower, Almond