These days, a lot of the devices that we have and use everyday, are charged via a USB cable. Whether that be USB Type-C, MicroUSB, Mini USB or another type of USB. So often times we have a bunch of chargers plugged into the wall that are all the same. Recently, we've started seeing a bunch of desktop charging hubs with about 5 or more USB ports, allowing you to charge your smartphone, tablet, smartwatch, and even your Chromebook Pixel, all from one outlet. Making it a huge convenience and freeing up other outlets. We've reviewed a few USB desktop hubs from Anker, Aukey and a few others. But now we have something slightly different from Ankway. This is a desktop charger which has 5 USB ports, along with two AC outlets. Great for charging your laptop, even if it isn't a new Macbook or Chromebook Pixel.
So we've spent a little over a week with the Ankway Surge Protector and USB Charger, and we're actually quite impressed with the product. Considering the amount of power (40W/8A for the USB ports), this surge protector includes, it's quite small, actually. On the front row of the product, you have your two AC outlets, which I've been using with my Macbook Pro plugged into, even though it's right next to my Macbook Pro. In the back is the row of five USB ports, these are "Smart" USB ports. So they technically are not Quick Charge 2.0 ports, what they do is talk with the device that is plugged into them and sees how much power it can take without damaging the device, and it sends that much power over. So for the Moto X Pure Edition or the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+, it does charge them about as fast as a regular Quick Charge 2.0 charger. It's just under another name. The 5 USB ports do max out at 8A. The five ports can auto-detect and self-adjust the power. Now what this means is if you have a device that does Quick Charge, and one that doesn't, instead of allotting 2.4A for the device that does not do Quick Charge, or can't handle that much, it will send that to another device. So that it's not wasted power. And at 8A total, the Ankway cannot send 2.4A for each port (simple math tells us that's 12A).
Now in between the row of USB ports and the row of AC outlets, there is a small space there where you can place your phone. It's a great idea really, as it keeps your phone nearby and charging. And it also saves some room. It's a really genius use of space, seeing as the product still needs that space for holding energy or power to charge or give power to the devices that you have plugged in. It's long enough to handle phones around 5.7-inches and probably larger. It's also wide enough to handle most smartphones and still have a bit of room. So it doesn't feel like you're forcing it into that spot. For many, forcing a phone into a spot, can feel like you're attempting to break your phone. And after spending around $700 on that smartphone, you aren't going to be happy about breaking it.
In the case of needing to reset the surge protector, you know if the power goes out or something, or you just want to shut it off and conserve some energy. There is a power button on the left side, near the cord which plugs into the wall. Speaking of that AC cable, it's about five feet long. So it's long enough to hang behind your desk and into the outlet (like how I have it set up on my desk), but not long enough to stretch across the room. Ankway has also built-in a pretty sophisticated circuit design, which includes overheating, over-current and over-charging protection. This is to both protect the devices or gadgets plugged in, but also to protect yourself from starting a fire, or damaging your house at all. Ankway also says that when the battery is full, the outlet will stop charging. This way your phone or tablet or smartwatch battery doesn't get overcharged, which can actually be an issue, if not right away down the road at some point. Overcharging can often deplete the overall life of your battery. Most batteries are good for around 500 charges or cycles (some are less), and overcharging can quickly decrease that number.
Something that many people ask about products like this, especially with a price like this (under $30), is the build quality. And I'm happy to say that it does not feel cheap, nor does it look cheap. The Ankway Surge Protector and USB Desktop Charger feels nice and solid. It also looks pretty nice on your desk, although when you start plugging things in and have cords running everywhere, not so much.
Like I stated earlier, my experience with this Ankway Surge Protector and USB Desktop Charger was quite positive. It's great to have power at close reach, for when you need to plug something in. Whether that be with a USB cable or with a regular AC cable. Being able to charge all of the little gadgets I have laying around on my desk everyday, and use just one outlet, is definitely a nice thing. This would definitely be my first choice, when recommending USB desktop chargers. Sure there are others out there with plenty of USB ports, but the fact that there are two AC outlets included here, that's a pretty big deal, at least in my opinion.
Right now, you can pick up the Ankway Surge Protector and Desktop Charger from Amazon, exclusively. At the time of writing this, the price was $27.99. But as usual with Amazon, that price can fluctuate, but it should be around that same price. Currently, Ankway only offers it in the white color, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it available in another color as well.
Get 20% off the Anyway Surge Protector and USB Charger, valid through Dec. 31, 2015 using code JGJC95FD at checkout.