Notes From The Road: FastMac U-Socket Finally Shipping

It’s somehow fitting that I find myself this week in a hotel in Berkeley, California…and missing the charger for my cell phone. While I’ve been tasked with a project here in the Golden State said device seems to prefer taking a breather, recharging if you will, in my now quiet and comfortable home office. That shirker.

So, lacking a charger, I find it curious that FastMac has finally started shipping their U-Socket, an electrical outlet with built-in charger. U-Socket provides a pair of powered USB ports, which is great since so many devices have now settled on some variation of USB bus power as a charging scheme.

Claiming to provide a whopping 2.4 Amps (!) in total U-Socket has enough juice to charge four devices, supporting even heavy loads like smart phones, iPads and Mifi devices. Remember that some of these device require >700 mA to charge & operate while many USB ports are current limited to 500 mA. I wonder if FastMac has addressed the issue of parasitic power? That is, continuing to draw a meaningful amount of line power even when there is no device connected.

At $19.95 each they don’t seem too costly. Given how fond Stella has become of her Nook Color and G2 I could see these as practical for outlets near bedside nightstands in our home.

Hotels and motels the world over should take note of this device. It’s an obvious choice for such establishments…assuming that the prior safety concerns have been completely addressed.

  • Hello Michael!
    Thanks for posting about the U-Socket 🙂

    I wanted to let you know that the U-Socket’s 2 USB 3.0 ports are capable of charging a combination of iPads, iPhones or iPods at their full charge rate but only when there is a device charging at the other end (meaning you can leave the cord plugged in and it won’t consume additional power). Compared to the cheap Chinese wall adapters that most electronic gadgets ship with nowadays, U-Socket can help a typical household save upto $20 per year in reduced energy costs!

    As for safety, this product was designed in conjunction with the safety agencies, commonly known as UL, CSA, TUV, etc. One of the reasons for the delay in shipping this item is due to the extensive testing (not to mention the several re-designs) that it had to endure before it was accepted by the safety agencies (it was initially rejected as a concept due to the unusual nature of mixing AC and DC behind the wall- it only received a go ahead after we pointed out the environmental benefits of installing U-Sockets in millions of homes).

    I hope that answers your question about parasitic power (aka vampire power) & also the safety issues. We look fwd to you trying one in your home and perhaps your wife will approve too and you’ll end up buying several 🙂

    Best wishes,

    – Abbi

    • That is excellent on both fronts. I will likely order a couple (perhaps several) as soon as I assess where they would be most beneficial in my home & office.

  • Andre

    These are great, thanks for making me aware. Definitely have a few locations where they are much needed.

  • Great find! Can’t wait to try them out.