The number of devices that charge via USB has increased dramatically over the past few years, so it’s no wonder that chargers with multiple ports, such as Inateck’s 4-port USB wall charger, have become so useful.
When you own a tablet, several smartphones, eBook readers, wearables and a power bank, charging all of these devices using the desktop PC or notebook’s USB ports is out of the question. Computer USB ports have a small amperage that barely makes them suitable for powering external hard drives. If you want to charge multiple devices in as little time as possible, you have to rely either on the original chargers of the devices, or on a wall charger with multiple ports and an amperage suitable for both smartphones and tablets. Inateck’s 4-port travel USB wall charger, codenamed UC4001, seems to be the perfect solution while on the road, especially since the alternative is to take multiple chargers with you.
Contents of the Box
The Inateck 4-Port 30W USB wall charger comes in a plain cardboard box with a sleeve over it detailing the specs of the product.
On the back of the sleeve there are some technical details, the product’s main features and the certifications and standards it respects.
The cardboard box includes Inateck’s logo, fact that makes it easily distinguishable, in case you’re deciding to pack it away, and have several similarly-shaped boxes with you while traveling.
Inside the box you will find the USB charger itself, a piece of cardboard that prevents it from moving around while being transported, and an instruction manual.
Inateck offers the UC4001 charger in two versions, depending on the continent you live in, and consequently, on the type of power plug that’s used. Hence, there’s a version for North America, and one for Europe (as well as parts of Asia and Africa). The one in question comes with the EU plug, and knowing how bulky the UK and Australia power plugs are, I’m not surprised that Inateck has decided to make it this way.
The charger itself is very compact and feels really solid, which indicates that it was built using high-quality components. The two ports that are the farthest from the power LED are Super Charger/S ports using a current of 5V/2.4A. On the other hand, the Universal/U ports charge devices using 5V/1A. However, the total output is of 6,000mA instead of 6,800mA, which means that the overall amperage drops slightly when all the four ports are in use.
The manufacturer points out that Apple and Samsung chargers cannot be used interchangeably, but that won’t be a problem with the UC4001 USB wall charger, as its Super Charger ports have a smart USB charging port controller that detects the attached devices and adjusts the right current accordingly. In addition to that, the Inateck charger includes a surge protector that delivers reliable power to all of the connected devices, and prevents them from getting damaged due to over-current.
Over the past seven weeks, I’ve tested the charger with a first-gen Nexus 7 tablet, two Samsung smartphones and a new 16,000mAh Xiaomi Mi Power Bank, both at home and while traveling. Knowing that the batteries of the mobile devices weren’t exactly new, and thus, not at peak performance, I decided that the power bank would be the most adequate for assessing the efficiency of the charger.
I used both the Super Charger and the Universal ports to test how fast the power bank charges, and taking into account that the Xiaomi Mi Power Bank accepts a current of up to 2.0A while charging, I obtained the following results: the batteries took a bit over 8 hours to get to 100% when using the 2.4A ports, and double that using the 1A ports. That’s a major improvement over the computer’s USB 2.0 ports, which deliver a current of 500mA (or 900mA for USB 3.0, unless your motherboard has Super Charge ports, too).
Price and Availability
Inateck sells its products on Amazon to several markets across the globe. At the time of the writing, the UC4001 4-port USB wall charger was available on Amazon US ($13.99), Germany(€13.99), France (€16.99), Italy (€13.99), Spain (€17.99), and Canada(CND$ 18.99).
Having tested other Inateck products in the past, I got used to the high quality this German company delivers. The UC4001 4-port travel USB wall charger does not fail to impress either, and considering its usefulness and its compact design, I’m sure that it will a home in the backpacks of many geeks out there.
One thing I could complain about is the blue LED that indicates that the charger is plugged into a power outlet. The LED is quite powerful and the light it’s emitting can become distracting at night, so it would be nice if it lit up only when the charger is in use. Considering that it features multiple ports, turning off the LED when finishing charging each device is not really an option.
I would like to thank Inateck for sending me a product sample, and for making this hands-on review possible.