Let's face it, regardless of whether or not you're a gadget freak or someone that works with multiple devices, the majority of us have more than one device to charge over USB these days. Whether that's you and your partner's smartphones, a Kindle, a Fitness Tracker, Smartwatch or something else. Two-port USB wall chargers have been around for some time now, but it's still not easy to charge more than one item in one place neatly, and safely. Multi-port solutions aren't anything new, but they're often bulky and unsightly affairs, so when Inateck bought their UC5001 5-port charger to my attention, I was intrigued. It's small, compact and has an on/off switch. It doesn't kick out much heat and would be a great little charger for a project box or for a bedside table.
By The Numbers
Okay, let's get the boring things out of the way first. The Inateck UC5001 outputs 35W over five USB ports. There are two "Super Charger" ports and three "universal" ports. These Super Charger ports aren't Qualcomm QuickCharge ports, but they both output 5V at 2.1A, which is pretty decent, and it charged my Moto X (2014) nice and quickly from flat on a number of occasions. Those "universal" ports are more pedestrian and give out 5V at 1A, which is nothing to write home about. However, these ports are perfect for smaller devices or those with smaller batteries. So for instance, I use these to charge my Kindle, Fitbit and Moto 360 while the other two ports are for mine and my partner's smartphones.
There's an IC chip inside of this guy, which essentially means that it should intelligently adjust the amount of power to each port to maintain an even distribution across all ports without overheating. Inateck does a better job of explaining this on their product page than I can, but it's a nice feature to have, and along with the easy-to-use on/off switch, this is one of the safer chargers I've used. It also doesn't give out too much heat, another plus.
It's Just a Charger...
Yes, this is just another charger. However, it's nice and compact, and nowhere near as in-your-face as other chargers out there. It's quite conservative and it's so compact you could mount it to the back of a bedside cabinet, place it neatly on a desk or even use it in your own sort of charging cubby-hole build. For me, the fact that this has an on/off switch is invaluable. Have you ever thought about all of the USB chargers we leave plugged in because the outlets are hidden by a cabinet or too far away? Well, with this all you do is push a button and you've safely turned off all five ports. It's a small, yet significant feature I think is worth considering, especially if you're the safety-conscious type.
There's nothing sexy about having to organize all of your cables and charging adapters, but it is something that we have to deal with. At least until we discover a battery that never needs to be recharged, anyway. So, the UC5001 from Inateck is a conservative and sensible option for charging multiple device sin one place. It's small and compact, and the power switch makes this a little safer than most of the options out there. If nothing else, replacing two or three wall adapters with this one five-port option will definitely neaten things up.