Since fancy smartphones seldom last more than a day on a battery charge, I often carry a USB charging cable so I can get a quick phone charge boost from a nearby computer without having to haul around the little charger adapter.  I leave that plugged in to an outlet under a counter near my front door, the “landing strip” or ad-hoc charging station area of limeduck world headquarters.

So imagine my glee at discovering the U-Socket, a humble standard double AC socket fixture with two USB ports built right in.  I don’t remember if it was bookofjoe or Apartment Therapy Unpluggd that first tipped me, but for the longest time, the good folks at Fastmac teased me with “coming soon.”  A couple of weeks ago I was finally able to place my order, and yesterday I took the plunge and installed it.

And I did not electrocute myself or cause a city-wide blackout.  Fastmac’s instructions are top-notch.  I cannot emphasize enough the need to cut power at the circuit breaker before proceeding with such an operation.  Reference photos, even ones as crappy as the above, can also be a great help in keeping track of what went where.

I fear that the USB sockets might be a little close to the regular AC plugs and might crowd one another out, but it can’t possibly be as bad some of the huge (and power-sucking) adapter bricks I used to have to plug in to to that socket to charge my phone or ipod.

Bonus round: I got this excellent USB car adapter for a song and also enjoy USB charging on the go.  Yes, it’s orange.