Fastmac U-Socket USB/Power Outlet

Back in December of 2009 (is that really almost 2 years ago?) I found an online article advertising a very cool product that I fell in love with. Fastmac corporation had combined a standard 110V power outlet with 2 USB ports and called it U-Socket. I glanced around at my computer area and took note of the tangle of cables and huge number of power adaptors and decided I needed to get me some of these!

Fastmac offered an introductory price of $9.99 per outlet but pre-order wasn't available. A coupe of months later they did offer up a pre-order but the price was now $19.95 each. I thought about it for about 10 seconds and then plunked down the $40 and sat back and waited for them to arrive. I waited. And waited ... and waited. 

It turns out Fastmac had a great product but the US government needed them to make changes. Great for safety not so great for delivery quick delivery times. The USB ports went from a horizontal orientation above each outlet to a vertical orientation to the left side of each outlet. Not a big deal one would think but if you have to go through testing, verification and the US government approval process it can take a while. It also impacts the price. They now sell for $22.95 and come in a variety of colors. About 2 weeks ago I finally was  notified that the U-Sockets I had pre-ordered were available and they were on their way. I installed them today. 

Each outlet comes with a wire nut, an extra wire in case your outlet is in the middle of an electrical run, a faceplate, the outlet itself and instructions.

If you are a DIY type of guy then it shouldn't be an issue to install them yourself. Just make sure you keep safety in mind and TURN OFF THE POWER FIRST!  To install the two outlets took me about 20 minutes. The biggest issue is the size of the outlet. It requires at least a 16-cubic-inch electrical box to accommodate it. That means you may have to swap out a smaller electrical box for a larger one. Not necessarily an easy task.  Thankfully for me that was unnecessary.

The two USB ports are USB 3.0-compliant, have 12W of total charging power and are rated at 2.1A.  My brand new iPad 2 can charge at full speed but if/when I get a second one it will slow things down a bit as they would share the power draw. 

Another nice feature of the U-Socket is that it's designed to cut off power to the USB ports when nothing is plugged into them. That should put a stake through the heart of those vampire charging adaptors you leave in all the time.

U-Socket is a great device, easy to install and unique in the market right now.  If you’ve been looking for a convenient way to charge all your i-devices and hate the mess of USB charging adapters, give it a try.


  1. If only you'd told me when the electrician was wiring the house ...

  2. In a world of "I like to hear myself talk" blogs, you really stand apart with useful information Bruce. Helpful, concise and Wow! I definitely think we need some of these.

  3. Though, I've noticed this is the old Mac cord. What about the newer flat magnetic one?

  4. @Miss Notes - The cord is actually a new USB2 cord for my iPad 2. Since the MacBook, MacBook Air and other portables don't charge via USB you will have to use the standard Apple charger and the power outlet not the USB port.

  5. Hi Bruce!
    Thank you for posting about U-Socket. Glad you liked it :-) I wanted to clarify a few points in your post with regard to the size of the gang box and the power output.

    a) U-Socket requires a 16-cubic inch (or larger) electrical (gang) box which is the size found in most homes constructed in the US after the 1950s. It *is* a tight fit, albeit no tighter than a standard dimmer switch.

    b) U-Socket is available in USB 3.0 & 2.0 versions & it's current rating is 2.4A (not 2.1A). The USB 3.0 version does cost more but since the ports only output power, it should make no difference in day to day use.


    PS: In case you're wondering, you were not charged extra for the USB 3.0 version that you received O:-)

  6. Where can you buy these?

  7. You can purchase them here:


  8. Fastmac corporation had combined a standard 110V power outlet with 2 USB ports and called it U-Socket. I glanced around at my computer ... usboutlet.blogspot.com