Customer Reviews: Aluratek AUCS05F Dual USB Charging Station with Mini Surge
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on April 16, 2012
I have considered:

* The Belkin Mini 3 outlet with swivel plug.
Steered away from it because of too many complaints about low frequency humming.
Belkin Mini Surge Protector Dual USB Charger

* Belkin Travel Surge with Hidden Swivel Plug.
No USB ports, though the product picture shows a USB hub, not sure what that's about. Two outlets with no USB and protrudes a bit. It's priced right however.
Belkin F9H220-TVL Travel Surge Protector with Hidden Swivel Plug

* The Monster Outlets To Go.
They don't have surge protection.
Monster MP OTG400 BK Outlets To Go 4 Outlet Travel Power Strip (Black)

* Tripp Lite TRAVELER3USB Mobile Surge Protector 3 outlets 2 USB Charging Ports
I actually purchased this and decided against it due to it's less than ideal design. The plug is too shallow and narrow. I felt it posed an electrocution risk should I pull it out of the receptacle haphazardly. The materials did not invoke confidence in my opinion. I posted photos of the hallow/narrow plug on the product page.
Tripp Lite TRAVELER3USB Mobile Surge Protector 3 outlets 2 USB Charging Ports

* Simran SM-60.
110V-250V universal makes this a versatile surge suppressor. However, I don't need 220V support and it's a bit beastly looking. I didn't personally inspect a unit but seems to get good reviews. This was a runner up choice.
Simran SM-60 110V-250V Universal 3 Outlet Power Strip/Surge Protector for Worldwide Travel with Overload Protection, Black

You'd expect for what appears to be a simple device that there would be a clear winner from the big names. This hasn't been the case for me. However, the Aluratek AUCS05F fulfilled my requirements. It's well built, simple and considering the boundaries from which they had to operate it's a well thought out package.

* Easy pull and grab design so you don't risk electrocuting yourself.
* Good surge protection rating (joules)
* 5V and 1.5A USB. Now I don't know if that's for each USB or combined but its sufficient for my needs. A little note accompanies the packaging notifying the owner that while the Ipad may not register itself as being charged that it is indeed being charged. I assume more slowly and the Ipad charging probably typically operates at 2A not 1.5A.
* Good design. This a matter of personal opinion. To keep it compact it occupies the top outlet of a dual outlet receptacle. Using it on the bottom outlet would block the top outlet of the receptacle. That's acceptable to me knowing it won't block the bottom outlet where you might have a transformer plugged in anyway. That's a considerate design in my opinion. It's not a rotating plug but that also means it stays upright. So if you had to choose between bottom and top it seems reasonable to me that they chose top.

Nothing really here, except some may want a rotating plug like the belkin mini. Not necessary in my opinion.
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on April 9, 2012
As a college student without a vehicle, everything I need for the day has to fit into my backpack. Before I got this, I had the Belkin Mini Surge Protector Dual USB Charger, which isn't bad, but has it's flaws - if you have a large adapter (Like my Laptop charger, a Targus Compact Laptop Charger (AC) for HP, Compaq, Acer, Asus, Gateway, and Fujitsu APA6911US (Piano Black)), it will block another outlet (two if you plug it in the middle); the plug also sticks out the back, taking up that much more room in a bag.

This has three AC outlets and two USB ports, just like the Belkin. But that's where the similarities stop. The plug on this folds up, meaning there's no room lost for it (it's also a very innovative folding design for a three-prong plug). The main outlet is on front, but there's one on each side (I didn't even realize they were their when I bought them!), with the bottom of the plug facing out, so many large adapters still work. With the three outlets spaced this way, you don't have to worry about one blocking the others; you may not be able to plug in three huge transformers at once, but you don't have to worry about a plug always being covered. The USB charging ports (USB outlets?) work well; I haven't used them extensively but they seem to do the job quite nicely.

As far as weight, I've seen no issue. It's got a bit of heft to it, like any good surge protector should, but it's well balanced and shouldn't be enough to pull it out of the outlet.

The Belkin adapter mentioned above definitely has some advantages compared to this one; it can handle higher joules, has a $75,000 equipment warranty, and includes a mini-USB charging cable (although honestly, it's been a couple years now since tech moved over to micro-USB). So, this may not protect if it's plugged into an outlet that's struck by lightning, but honestly you shouldn't have your stuff plugged in then anyhow. It's all about your needs - compact and well-spaced or bulkier & warrantied.
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on November 19, 2012
I bought this from a local seller, not Amazon. I immediately plugged it in and plugged in two Apple USB charging cables with an iPhone and iPad plugged in. Within 15-20 minutes, the iOS devices began to flash on and off, like they were being unplugged and plugged back in every second. The top of the Aluratek charger was hot and smelled like burnt electronics. I tested on another outlet with the same results. I tested at my office the next day with two completely different iPads with the same results after 15-20 minutes. Perhaps I just got a lemon but this thing overheats! I plan to return and exchange for another one to see if it was just a bad one because it seems like the perfect charger for what I need. One star because it doesn't work, but if it worked I'd give it 4 or 5.
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on August 6, 2011
I haven't used it for long so I can't say how reliable it is but so far I like it. I have plugged in my and my wife's phones at the same time and it charged both (Samsung Intercept and LG Optimus).

I prefer it to the Belkin Mini Surge Protector Dual USB Charger. The Aluratek lacks the fancy guarantee that Belkin has, has a lower-rated surge protection (612 joules), and is more expensive--hence the 4 stars rather than 5. But the Aluratek is (a) smaller and lighter than the Belkin, (b) has the outlets arranged so all three can be used at once--the Belkin's are together in a line so one large plug will hog more than one outlet--and (c) the Aluratek's plug prongs fold up completely out of the way, where the Belkin's not only stick out, but are on a base that sticks out from the main case, making the Belkin very awkward to pack in a small space.

UPDATE July 2015, four years later: still working fine. We really like the dual USB charger, so my wife and I can both charge phones at hotels.
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on August 5, 2013
I carry this charger with me when I travel and use it at home also for my phones and tablets. I just wish it plugged in the other way around as it is a little top heavy. But, it works great if you just check periodically to see that it has not pulled away from the wall.
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on December 12, 2012
I was originally going to buy the actual power outlets with USB to hardwire into my house - at $40/pc, I didn't want to take the leap. These were a great substitute and I liked the first one I purchased so much, I bought 4 more. Very handy to have a charging station located in each room and no longer have to keep track of USB outlet plugs. All 5 still going strong.
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on September 3, 2014
Save your money. This thing doesn't work. The three prong outlet doesn't move out of the lock position so you cannot plug the prongs into the wall. .
The three prongs are made of some type of inferior hard metal that will not move to allow you to plug the device into the wall. It's so rigid that I hurt my fingers trying to get it to open, and of course it never opened, grrr!! The three prongs fold away very nicely,, too bad they stay that way! The prongs are so rigid that's you'll be unable to open them! I'm sending it back!
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on July 14, 2013
This product does what it claims. I've used it with a 7" Android tablet, two different Android phones, wireless headsets, and some other gadgets. All seemed to charge faster on this than on the manufacturer supplied chargers.

The only problem is, I plugged my Droid Razr Maxx into it last week, and about ten minutes later there was a puff of smoke, an acrid smell, and my phone shut off. The device still shows a green light, but nothing will charge on it. This wasn't a power surge either. I had this charger plugged into an APC UPS unit and there was no indication of a voltage spike or surge in the software.

My phone now takes 8 hours or more to charge on the factory charger and the OS doesn't seem stable. Not good. Luckily the phone at least still works and I can recover my data, but something isn't right. Considering that replacing the phone will cost me hundreds of dollars, and the charger still doesn't indicate that there's anything wrong even with the burnt smell and lack of current on the USB ports, and I'd definitely recommend that people stay away from it.
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on May 31, 2015
Great product at great price. I haven't been able to check the surge protection on the unit, and I hope it works. It would be nice if there were instructions on how to check it without damaging the unit, and being able to be sure it will protect the rest of your valuable electronics
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on July 20, 2014
I just bought this again, after leaving my last one in a hotel;( I am ordering another today for my son. This now has a USB output of 5V/2.1amps. It is the least expensive Travel Surge Protector, 3 Outlet, Dual 2.1 amp USB Charger at Amazon that gets good ratings. Highly recommended, but hard to find on Amazon because it is not found in Electronics like the other surge protectors.
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