Nifty universal travel adapter has AC, 3 USB, and 1 USB-C outlets

#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/05/13/nifty-universal-travel-adapter.html

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#2

Note that the AC outlet just passes through the AC input. If you’re in England, that’s 230 volts, not 120 as in the U.S. Many gadgets are fine with that, but some, like my Philips Sonicare electric toothbrush, will melt down.

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#3

I tend to prefer dedicated plug adapters, but I have to say that a relative did find that a plug adapter/USB charger combo was super handy when traveling.

I’m a bit wary of the multi-plug adapters having seen Big Clive’s videos on some of them, showing how the extra adapter plugs can expose users to live power. Hopefully this adapter doesn’t have that issue, it looks much better engineered, but it’s hard to tell from just looking at the photos on Amazon.

Here is Big Clive:

Fake spot rating for the product in the OP is “C”, with the caveat that Fake Spot has found high deception and the rating used to be an “F”. Amazon has altered or removed 42 reviews for this product.

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#4

It looks like it might have a similar issue in that the EU pins could theoretically be extended while the US blades were in use, as the EU pins are located some distance further up in the casing, and could extend past the edge of a power strip or extension cord end. There might be an interlock system inside the casing, but there doesn’t appear to be much room for one.

The “Plug Lock” feature mentioned in one of the images apparently refers to what looks to be a simple latch that keeps the selected pins extended so that you can insert them into even the most stubborn of stiff outlets.

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#5

I notice that this wonder adapter says nothing about Mexico, Central or South America. Has Africa abdicated? Have I missed something? Did those whole parts of the world vanish? Maybe our mal-adapted leader found a cosmic delete button and solved all the problems that poor people represent. Maybe whoever makes this little marvel doesn’t think anyone would ever travel in those directions. Fuck a bunch of euro-centric bastards and their little adapter too.

#6

According to the Amazon listing:

Type A [the US style two bladed plug] can work in:

United States of America, American Samoa, Anguilla, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Domincan Republic, Ecuador, EI Salvador, Guam, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Japan, Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Mexico, Niger, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, Tahiti, Taiwan, Thailand, Venezuela, Vietnam, etc.

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#7
#8

Most countries around the world use one of the standards supported by that lethal universal adaptor.

#9

This, like every other universal adaptor I have owned or seen, seems unaware that everywhere I’ve been in Europe has outlets that look like this:

They’re recessed, and so only the non-universal, non-voltage-adapting non-grounded adaptors fit.

#10

I think this one actually can work with the very smart shrouded sockets that prevent energized pins from being exposed, unlike the terrible Edison plugs we have in the US, where every time I plug or unplug something I risk accidentally coming into contact with live prongs.

Note the extra length, which I expect corresponds with the depth of the shrouded socket. But, also note the lack of a ground connector. Not a problem for most of my devices, though, as none of my chargers are grounded.

58%20AM

I’m still going to stick with my individual adapters, though. But for power bricks I’ve considered buying a C7 power cord with EU pins when traveling, but the dedicated Edison to EU plug adapters are so small I haven’t bothered.

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#11

Bought this based off the BB recommendation. Plugged MBP USB-C into it and within an hour my laptop shut down. When I switched back to the MBP power brick and booted up my battery had been drained to 2%. Returning this and advise people to pass on it for plugging their laptop into at the least.

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#12

The charger in the OP does claim to charge “laptops”, but it doesn’t have Quickcharge or Power Delivery standards, so it’s stated output is limited to a fixed voltage 5v at 2.4 amps per port, or 12 Watts. The output of my Apple charger with Power Delivery for my MBP has variable voltage with a max of 20.2 at 4.3 amps, or 87 Watts. It takes about 27 Watts to “maintain or slightly recharge the battery when the computer is not under load

A cheap, low wattage charger can’t keep up with my computer, but more than that, Apples are fussy about what chargers they will charge off, and won’t charge even from some chargers that have the USB Power Delivery standard.

I don’t know if MBPs will charge at all off of USB-C chargers that do not have Power Delivery, even for slow charging. And just a bad USB-C cable can cause a device to be destroyed, so I certainly don’t feel like hooking up a generic imported USB charger to my MBP, though I think MBPs are somewhat protected.

Anyway, I think you may want to look for chargers that specifically say they will charge a MacBook Pro.

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#13

The “electrocute-o-daptor” in Big Clive’s video has pins on a base set into the side of the adaptor, which folds out and puts the pins far enough away to reach inside the socket.

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closed #14

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