Ankway Desktop Surge Protector with USB review (with teardown)
The Ankway Desktop Surge Protector with USB is a two-outlet standard power strip with five 2.4amp USB ports capable of delivering a combined 8 amps of power across them all.
While it can’t deliver 2.4amps to five devices at the same time (which would require 12 amps,) chances are this is going to work for your needs unless you really want to charge five tablets at full speed at the same time, in which case, good on you my friend, you’re more of an accomplished technophile than me.
The design of the surge protector with USB is such that you can slap a thin phone or tablet in and prop it up while charging if you’re inclined to incline. You can also turn power off and on via a switch.
For me, this product was useful at a nightstand to power and charge my clock radio, nightlight, HTC One M9, HTC Nexus 9, B&N Nook Color, wife’s HTC One M8, and the iPad 2, however as one reviewer pointed out on the Amazon link below, there’s no UL label on the device (there is on the cord). As such it’s not been tested like you’d expect a power strip to be. What that testing entails, dunno.
Update: I’ve been informed UL doesn’t certify this type of device, so there never could be certification. I’d also like to point out that a review of 2.5 stars is an average product, 3 is better than average, 4 is great, and 5 is the best.
So I decided to void my warranty, rip it apart and look at the guts of the thing. I’ll point out here that the USB section fell out when I opened the bottom, I may have placed it back in incorrectly, but I don’t think so.
The first thing that should be noted is that most surge protectors I’ve played with have a reset button for when the input got too high. You press it afterwards. There’s no reset button. This probably means this thing dies in a lightning strike. Coming from dealing with a lightning strike at my boss’s house, my bet is this would be toast. However without slicing open the surge protector portion of this I can’t tell that it doesn’t have reactivation potential. It resets on its own. Nevermind.
The electrical wires appear decent, but the soldering they did look a bit inexperienced. It does the job, so I can’t really complain, except that’s what I do. You can see damaged and discolored plastic internally from soldering. Not a deal breaker mind you, just not the greatest job I’ve ever seen.
The USB power supply is held together by white goop. I forget the name of it. Goop. Looks fine for what it’s there for, but quick and dirty manufacturing.
This product without UL certification I’d really put an MSRP of about $19.99, they suggest about $70, no. Of course MSRPs are just suggested prices for retailers to charge, and it is available on Amazon for $27.99. My rep has mentioned that the power cord and AC sockets are both UL listed, but there are some things in between these parts so take it how you will.
Coming from a day job where I blow up a lot of electronic gadgetry on a regular basis, I’m a little hesitant to put much faith in the power outlets the Ankway Surge Protector with USB provides for things I love, however the USB side appears to be pretty well done. I don’t think your USB-powered equipment will suffer.
Judging by the negative reviews of this after dropping I’m finding, I’m guessing the soldering jobs pop out when you drop it. Solution is don’t drop, resolder if you’re so inclined, or don’t purchase.
If you’re hooking up a desk lamp and a clock, I’d say you’re fine though.
I really would like to love it, it’s convenient, well thought out, but the soldering. Man.
The Ankway Surge Protector with USB is available from Amazon for $27.99. I’m told there’s a 20% off on Amazon using the promo JGJC95FD, but if not let me know and I’ll remove this note.