I usually travel pretty light. I hate checking bags unless I really have to. But I still end up with at least a few different USB devices. By the time you have a phone, an iPad, and a couple of GoPros, you end up with several USB devices that need charging. Sure, you can try juggling a single USB charger, but that becomes a real pain.
And thanks to some of the new multi-port USB chargers, an unnecessary one. I’ve written about multi-port chargers before, but one of the things I’ve been disappointed with is that their AC power supplies are often bulky. And that’s a pain when traveling.
But the Photive 5-Port USB charger doesn’t have that problem. The power cable is a standard figure-of-eight AC cable (or C8 connector) that you can easily pick up at stores if you happen to forget or lose it. There’s no bulky external power supply. And it’s still a switching power supply, meaning you can use it with 110V AC or 220/240V AC (though you’ll need the local plug adapter or version of the cable).
The charging hub itself is a glossy white small box with 5 USB ports along one of the short vertical edges. They’re labeled, not especially helpfully, with things like iPad or Samsung Tab. It would have been better if they’d just put the charge for each. The labels correspond to these:
- USB 1 / 2.1A (iPad)
- USB 2 / 1.3A (Samsung Tab)
- USB 3 / 2.1A (iPad)
- USB 4 / 1A (iPhone)
- USB 5 / 1A (Android)
But if you plug in all ports at once, it will still only put out a maximum throughput of 5 amps.
It includes voltage control, current control, and temperature control, all of which are designed as safety protections against overcharging your batteries.
If only it came with a small travel pouch.
The Photive 5-Port USB charger is available from Amazon. But if you’re looking at it, I’d recommend the company’s 6-port version instead (available here, which is a better product because it automatically detects the correct maximum charge for your device).