The CE Tech Dual Port In-Wall USB Charger, model number PC204B, SKU # 0000-160-806, is a moderately priced mobile device charger that converts 120-volt house current into the 5-volt USB format, for charging typical and high-current mobile phones, tablets, iPads, Androids, and any USB device that requires periodic charging to keep its battery full of power. We bought ours to replace a couple of burned-out stock chargers that came with the Victor Reader Stream, New Generation reading device that we purchased in 2013. This USB power supply cost less than half of the Stream’s replacement charger, and appears more rugged.
Features, Benefits, Pros, and Advantages of this CE Tech Charger
- Sturdy black plastic case, and has a heavy feel to it. Does not sound hollow when you tap the sides, and the case does not give much when squeezed between the fingers. Solid construction.
- Tested, and found to rapidly charge the Kindle Fire HDX, iPad Air, the Victor Reader Stream (New Generation), and the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 tablet.
- Even at full current draw, this mobile device charger only becomes lukewarm to the touch.
- Tight, plug-gripping USB ports that hold the charge cable in place through moderate-strength tugs, pulls, and jerks on the cable.
- Quite affordable at less than $15 per unit.
- Easy to use. You just plug it into a standard 120-volt wall mains outlet, and plug a USB cable into one of its two USB ports. The simple instructions are printed on the packaging.
- You can charge two devices at the same time from this charger, so long as the total current draw does not exceed 3.1 amps (15 watts total power).
- Smaller than many transformer-based power supplies, and so, typically does not block adjacent outlets when you plug it into power strips, where the individual sockets can appear close together.
- This is a switching power supply, which is good because of its superior voltage regulation. However, as with most supplies of this type, some electrical noise generated by this charger, can work its way down the power line and interfere with other connected devices. However, this charger has been certified to meet the interference limits for a class B computing device. So the incidents of actual detrimental interference are low. If you experience any, try using a Belkin Isolator power strip, which stops RF interference from each of its connected devices, from reaching any other of its connected devices.
Disadvantages, Cons, Problems, and Limitations
- Emits a high-pitched, sizzling sound when charging higher current devices, which can be heard several feet away. The sizzling sounds like something is frying inside. However, after several hours of charging with this wall accessory, we’re convinced that the sizzling is just a normal characteristic of the switching power supply in this device.
- No pilot lamp. So, can be difficult to tell, at a glance, if this unit is powered on.
- The two ports are not identical. Some devices charge best when plugged into one, while the other port works well for others. One port provides typical levels of USB current, at up to one amp. The other can juice a phone or tablet computer with up to 2.1 amps of charging strength. Just make sure that your device is in fact, charging whenever you select a port on this wall supply.
- Since the two charge ports are the same style of USB female D connector, it’s easy to confuse the two; especially since there’s no tactile indication of which one is the high current port. A high current device cable fits just as readily into the regular current port. Confusing the ports could mean that the next morning, you’ll wake up to find that your high current device did not charge fully. So be careful, and select the right port for your device.
- At over two and a half inches in length, this “wall wart,” juts out from the outlet quite a ways, and can therefore be easily knocked out of the outlet or damaged by bumping into it. So be sure to plug this into only those outlets and power strips that are, “off the beaten path.” This is a bulky device for a charger.
- Non retractable plug prongs. Many chargers feature a 120-volt connection that can be folded into the body of the unit itself for ease of packing for portable use. Not this one however. So, care must be taken not to bend the prongs during transport. Neither compact, nor foldable.
- When charging a tablet or high capacity phone from the 2.1 amp USB port, be sure that you’re using a high-current USB cable. If you do not, if the cord you select is too thin, it will severely limit the charging current, and either your device will require very much more than usual time to fully charge, or it will not charge at all.
- Exceptionally long USB cables (those exceeding 6 feet in length), should always be tested before being relied upon for charging Longer cables have more resistance, and may limit the charge current too much for high current mobile devices.
- Will not charge devices any faster necessarily. If the portable device you’re charging requires the current that this charger delivers (like the 2.1 amps required by many tablets), then as compared to a charger that can deliver only 1.5 amps, then this charger will indeed provide a faster time to a complete charge-up. But if you’re charging a smartphone that requires only 1.0 amps to attain a full charge, then this charger will not charge it any more quickly than a smaller charger would.
We were pleased to find such a cheap alternative replacement wall charger for our Victor Reader; one that seems quite capable of delivering any current that the Stream may demand during charging. We love the price and capacity, even though the size seems rather large compared to other similarly outfitted USB chargers. However, due to this CE Tech device’s ability to charge any USB device, whether it have a normal or high-current requirement, we really like it, and would rate it at 95 out of 100.
Where to Buy
We found ours at Home Depot. These CE Tech charger accessories appear to be sold exclusively by Home Depot, so you may not be able to find them at your typical electronics shops.
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- 2017-02-06: Revised the tags list.
- 2015-11-30: Added appropriate tags.
- 2014-12-20: Added whitespace, revised content, and adjusted ad placement within the text.
- 2014-10-03: Originally published this piece.