So, show of hands. Who doesn’t have at least one power strip active in your home? Anyone? And who doesn’t have at least two USB chargers plugged into those? Again, no hands? OK, I have the right audience. Coocheer has hit the trifecta of geek power needs with their latest device, dubbed the Home Power Center. It has eight (8) three-pronged power outlets together with five (5) smart-charging USB ports, all connected to a single medium-duty cord. I was sent a test unit from the company, and have been using it on my desk. Let’s see what happened.
Note: Photos may be tapped or clicked for a larger image.
I work from home doing tech support. This requires a company-supplied iMac, as well as a second “lab” unit. Additionally, I have my iPad, personal MacBook Pro, and a test iPod from my company on my desk. (Yes, it’s a big desk. And crowded!) Recently, I added the charger for my Apple Watch to the mix. Oh, and then there’s my iPhone which, when things are slow and I’m playing a game, tends to need a bit of juice from time to time. So, that’s three computers, a lamp, three iOS devices, and a watch, all needing power. I’ve been using two power strips and a random assortment of USB chargers to keep things running, so the Home Power Center is right in line with what I need. I couldn’t install it right away, since it arrived in the middle of my shift, but as soon as I had a day off, I pulled out the old units and replaced them with the Coocheer unit. The photos should tell you the story.
Overall, the box is 9.5″ x 4″ x 1.5″ with a 4’6″ cable attached with strain relief. The eight plugs are grouped in two rows of four, with the ground plugs toward the inside. The 5 USB ports are aligned vertically across the end opposite where the cable enters. There is an on/off switch beside the strain relief. The whole unit is a flat black plastic, with the brand silk-screened in the area between the power plugs and the USB ports. A tiny, tiny blue LED that indicates power is centered between the branding and the markings for the USB ports. There are no other lights on the unit.
The home market for electronics has been growing at a rapid pace, even among non-Gadgeteers. Having something that will not only power the lamp and your laptop and the TV and the cable box in the den, as well as having a place for a few phones, tablets, or bluetooth devices normally means a lot of clutter, with bright LEDs attached. I reviewed a Sipolar 10-port charger a while back that had to be moved out of my line of sight because every port and the unit itself AND the power supply had a bright LED. I can actually use it as a nite-lite when I turn out the lights in the office. 12 LEDs for ten ports is just too many. The current unit will fit much more nicely into a home decor, without having to be hidden or taped over.
So, what would I change? Well, despite not having to plug iPhone or iPad chargers into this unit, there may be occasions where having one or two outlets a bit further apart than is presented here would be beneficial. The outlets are spaced on almost 1.5″ centers, as opposed to the usual 1″, which makes room for most of the more compact wall warts, but it’d still be nice to break out an outlet or two. Also, having a plug that doesn’t stick out several inches would allow this to be plugged into that outlet that’s hidden behind the bookcase without having to leave the bookcase two inches away from the wall. Ordinarily, I’d not nitpick like that, but for a home decor item, a flat, right-angle plug would be a true differentiator.
I give it 5 stars anyway – it’s really nicely designed, no gaudy lights, labels, or strange curves and shapes, and it does quite a lot in a decently sized space.
Six months later, still on my desk. I can’t imagine not having this much USB access on my desk again!