Sometimes you come across a nifty little gadget so perfectly suited to your needs that you can’t imagine why you never bought one before. I feel just that way about this Liger 34-watt quadruple-USB charger adapter I just got from Amazon for $15.
It’s a perfect pocket-sized device, just right for your backpack or briefcase. It has a wall plug that handily flips up to lie flush with the case, plus four 5-volt USB sockets—two at 2.4 amps, suitable for iPads or other tablets, and two at 1.0 amps, suitable for smartphones, WiFi hotspots, or other gizmos. There is one slight fly in the ointment, though—the back of the device lists, in very tiny print, that its max output at any one time is only 4,900 mA, which means you can use both 2.4-amp sockets and nothing else, or two 1.0 amp sockets and one 2.4-amp. (Assuming, of course, you have 2.4-amp devices to charge; both the 2.4 amp sockets can handle 1.0 amp draws, too, so you should be able to charge four non-tablet devices from it at once.)
Throw in some USB cables (of which there are plenty available on Amazon) and you’ve got the means to charge four devices at once from just one power socket without even blocking off the other as some wall warts will. I’ve paid $10 and up for plugs that just had two USB adapters built in. $15 for four is a great bargain—even if you can only use three of them at once.
It’s especially nice for use as a travel charger. You can leave the regular chargers for all your gadgets at home, where you won’t have to worry about leaving them in a hotel, and just pack one $15 adapter (or two, if you have a lot of gadgets) and some cables. Even for day-to-day tasks, if you’re already in the habit of carrying a spare USB battery pack, you might as well carry this, too, and extend the life of both your spare battery and your phone at the same time.
Now, granted, this isn’t some six-foot-long power strip with twelve outlets in it, but sometimes your needs are just a little more modest.