Portable USB Wall Charger Roundup

by - 7 years ago

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Introduction


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Quite often you’ll find yourself traveling to another city, state or country and be met with the all-too-common sinking feeling when presented with your hotel room power point options – only one or two annoyingly placed ports. If you’re like me, not only have you forgotten a power board, but you’ve got multiple devices to charge via USB ports. Furthermore, if you’re heading on a holiday or business trip – it’s likely that you’re carrying a myriad of battery-powered devices: a smartphone, tablet, smartwatch and GoPro being just the beginning of a very long list.

Being left with your standard issue 1-port USB smartphone charger won’t do you much justice, pulling out your bulky laptop isn’t always the best solution due to them being heavy and slow to charge – this is where USB power hubs come into their element. They’re also suitable for a home environment, offering between two and five handy USB ports to charge your devices overnight or while you’re sitting on the couch.

Thankfully for us, we’ve had a couple of wall USB chargers provided to us for testing. Read on for a quick round-up on these life-saving devices and what conditions we think they suit best.

The full list of products in this roundup and their pricing is as follows:

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Patriot Fuel Station Mini


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Providing you with four total charging ports, Patriot’s Fuel Mini claims it can “charge virtually any USB device”, further stating that all of these ports will work simultaneously to charge your devices by providing you with 2x 1A and 2x 2.1A connectors. This is a major advancement when compared to normal USB computer ports, which usually transmit power at 0.5A, meaning you can charge your device up to 2-4 times faster than usual.

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Coming in at $19.99 US from Amazon, the Fuel Station Mini is the middle-priced product in this round-up. In terms of safety, this device comes with a claimed built-in protection against surges, or as they call on the box –  “over voltage” and “over current”. Alongside providing protection against any leakage and short circuiting that may take place, this product will help ensure your devices aren’t tampered with by any ‘dirty power’ or nasty storms that may happen.

A great inclusion with this product is the anti-slip rubber strips running along the bottom side of the device. This is overlooked with other hub products and means you can unplug and plug in your devices without any major slippage.

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Complete with a two-year limited warranty, the Fuel Station Mini is a sturdy looking device that consumes a total space of 30mm (H) x 90mm (W) x 90mm (L). Although it’s much larger than other offerings in this mix like the Arctic Home Charger 4500, you can be certain that your cables can be plugged and unplugged easier (due to the larger surface area between ports), alongside the total package of this device giving you a study and plush feel.

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Taking a quick look outer shell of the Fuel Station Mini, it seems that the 2.1A ports are listed as “PHONE/TABLET” whereas the 1A ports will be “PHONE” only. This labeling is due to Tablets generally taking more power to get going when compared to a much smaller and lower power smartphone.

This Patriot product takes the cake in this roundup in the category of ‘share it with friends’. If you’re wanting to either have a long-standing home charger in a commonly shared place, or take the device with you on backpacking journeys and weekends away with friends, you can ensure that everyone has adequate charging ports with enough oomph to get you through many late nights and big sleep-ins. It also comes with a handy power cable, meaning that you don’t need to sit right next to a power point to provide charging access for your mates.

To help you judge the size of each model, we will be comparing them next to a standard Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone with a thin silicone case.

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Arctic Home Charger 4500


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Also providing four charging ports to the consumer, the Arctic Home Charger 4500 is named so due to its claimed offering of 4500 mA (4.5A) total output. Two of the ports are labeled as “fast charge ports for all USB devices”, whereas two others are named “Fast Charge Ports for Tablets, iPhones, iPads and most Smartphones”. It seems that the smartphone and tablet offerings will give you a 2A output, whereas the first two we mentioned are most likely going to be 1A or similar – as seen similarly though the Patriot offering.

Rated at 86% efficiency, the Arctic Home Charger 4500 comes in at an extremely cheap $14.99 USD when purchased through Amazon’s online portal and mirrors that of an 80 PLUS Silver rated power supply.

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As with almost all wall-chargers, all four ports can be used at the same time simultaneously – even though it’s a much smaller offering than Patriot’s Fuel Station Mini. Coming in at 48mm (H) x 53mm (W), 75mm (L), Arctic’s offering is the smallest we’ll cover today and our choice if you’re tight on space.

Given all the information above, we’d rate the Arctic Home Charger 4500 as the premium option when it comes to a personal-charging device. Due to the ports being squished within a confined space, you might have some issues plugging and unplugging singular devices, however, if you’re looking for advanced portability – this device wins hands-down either way.

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Even the box is tiny – taking a look at the image above, there would be not much of an issue transporting the charger located within its original box – this is due to the total package not including any kind of carry-case for use.

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Another point to make is that the Arctic Home Charger 4500 doesn’t come with any external extended cable – the wall-socket plug is located within the device. This is a major plus for portability and compact design, however if you’re at a hotel with the all-too-common issue of hard-to-reach power points, you’re likely to have a bad time. Even more annoying is the fact that the charging port on this cable is complete static. This means that it won’t fold or hide out of the way when not in use, plus it’s completely non-adjustable when your devices are charging. This means that tight spaces are going to certainly be your worst nightmare.

To help you judge the size of each model, we will be comparing them next to a standard Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone with a thin silicone case.

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Limefuel Dual Port USB Wall Charger


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Also including an in-built wall-socket plug and in a similar bracket to the previously mentioned Arctic Home Charger 4500, this offering from Limefuel features two USB ports in a tiny design, meaning it’s designed to take traveling and when on the go. However issues may arise once again with hard-to-reach power points that are sometimes located within hotel rooms.

This product is hard to claim as better or worse than Arctic’s offering and this is due to two main points. It has a retractable power plug, which is great in some circumstances, however with one two ports it’s hard to recommend. There’s also the issue of the ‘static’ design – meaning that when it’s plugged in, you can’t adjust it at all, once again giving you similar issues as seen with Arctic’s device.

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Competitively priced at $16.99 USD when seen on Amazon, this unit sets out to quickly charge your devices – offering 4.8A total power spread over the two offered USB ports, meaning each device will charge at a large 2.4A, much higher than your standard wall chargers, USB ports and factory wall charging units.

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Although competitively priced and with a nice looking overall design, this charger only incorporates two total USB ports into the design due to it’s extremely small nature. As we’ve previously said – it’s great for travel and it’s also nicely priced at $16.99 USD – however for $2 USD less you can grab yourself a 4-port Arctic Home Charger 4500 which does essentially the same thing.

To help you judge the size of each model, we will be comparing them next to a standard Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone with a thin silicone case.

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Noontec Powa HUB


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You could call this the ‘big daddy’ of the roundup – providing users with five total USB ports rated at a simultaneous output of 10A combined. Doing the math, this means a full setup with ensure each unit will charges at a speedy 2A each, giving you around double the speed of most factory charging units and four times the offering of your standard computer USB port.

Integrated with their self-designed ‘Smart Charge’ technology, this product is said to identify which units require more power output to be supplied, prioritizing power-hungry devices (such as tablets) to help charge them quickly and efficiently – even if all five ports are being used.  If you’ve got one device plugged in, their official website claims a maximum of 3.0A charging output – meaning you’re going to be able to watch your battery percentage rise at a rapid rate.

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Priced at $23.99 when seen on Amazon.com, we pick Noontec’s Powa hub to be the best of the bunch – as long as you’ve got the space to accommodate the slightly larger design of 26.5mm x 94.5mm x 60mm, we think it’s worth the extra investment.

Complete with an extended power cable, the Noontec Powa Hub certainly isn’t the product for you if you’re after something extremely cheap with extra portability – however you can’t go past this offering when looking at a great all-round product. Not only does this device give you the largest amount of USB ports, it’s able to prioritize though Smart Charge and looks great too.

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To help you judge the size of each model, we will be comparing them next to a standard Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone with a thin silicone case.

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Conclusion


Price

Once again,the full list of products reviewed here and their pricing is as follows:

Overview

It’s certainly hard to pick a total winner here as wall chargers are often hard to place in the same basket. As a consumer you have to take into account different issues with portability, wall connection, output rating, number of ports and more.

This means that we’ve recommended most of these products for alternative ideals, helping you see which product suits what purpose. There are a few different categories that we’ve put together to help ease your purchase decisions:

  • Ultimate portability: Arctic’s Home Charger provides a smaller solution which will be much more handy for travel
  • Share with friends: The Patriot Fuel Station Mini allows extra space and a 4-port design
  • Best home charger: The Noontec Powa Hub offers you 5 total charging ports and has the ability to prioritize needy devices
  • Just missed out: If Limefuel could just put two more ports into their Dual Port USB charger, it would edge out the to recommend the Arctic offering due to the retractable power point plug

There’s some other slight issues like the Arctic’s plug being completely static and located within the device, along with the Limefuel offering having similar issues, meaning travelers experiencing tricky hotel power point issues may render your device completely useless.

In the end, we’ve provided you with the facts and our thoughts – it’s up to you to decide what features suit you the best and what circumstances you’ll be under. For now we’ll be taking away the Noontec Powa hub for our own use at home in the kitchen and the Arctic Home Charger 4500 will be following me on the road.

Article Index

  1. Introduction
  2. Patriot Fuel Station Mini
  3. Arctic Home Charger 4500
  4. Limefuel Dual Port USB Wall Charger
  5. Noontec Powa HUB
  6. Conclusion
  7. View All

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