One charging station to rule them all.
One of my biggest pet peeves is needing to charge a device, but not having easy access to a power outlet or USB charging port. On more than one occasion I’ve actually reached for a power bank before in order to charge my phone rather than dig out its power adapter and climb under my desk and search for an empty plug. I have used various options for desktop power in the past, but none of them have really met my needs completely. That is until the AUKEY PowerHub XL crossed my desk.
The PowerHub XL from AUKEY is a tower of power. It contained 12 AC outlets and 6 USB ports. All the outlets and ports are orientated to be vertical rather than horizontal. The tower stands almost 7 inches tall and has a diameter of 4.6 inches. The power cable is a heavy duty AC extension cable that stretches several feet for your ease of use. Perhaps one of the more interesting features of this device is that it has AiPower incorporated.
AiPower is adaptive charging technology provides the safest maximum recharge rate for USB powered devices. The PowerHub XL provides up to 2.4A per port. That said, it if you have something plugged into every USB port, it will only output 6A total between all the ports. The column design of the charging station makes it convenient for plugging in multiple items at one time. While the PowerHub XL is incredibly powerful, AUKEY has put a lot of safeguards in place to ensure that excessive current, overheating, and overcharging doesn’t occur.
The PowerHub XL (PA-S14) comes in an inconspicuous cardboard box with an illustration of the device on the cover. It’s simple packaging, but very sturdy. I believe that AUKEY actually uses reinforced cardboard for their boxes, which keeps items like the PowerHub XL safe during transport. In addition to the tower itself, the charging station ships with a very concise user manual. It outlines the package contents, shows the user the important parts of the tower, and gives the product specs.
Set-up of the PowerHub XL required very little from me. I pulled the tower out of the box, unwrapped the extension cord, and plugged it into the wall. I then found a good place for the tower to live on my desktop and started charging devices. The PowerHub XL has a power button built into the top of the tower. It’s nicely hidden away and if you didn’t know it was there, you wouldn’t be aware of it at all. When you tap it to ‘on’, the ring around the button will glow green. When it’s off, the ring will appear white. The charging station must be turned on in order for connected devices to charge or have power.
Since I’ve had the PowerHub XL on my desk, I’ve literally felt the stress melt away. I no longer have to waste time trying to find an empty power outlet somewhere around my desk, I just grab a cable, turn on the tower, and start charging. I’ve plugged countless objects into the PowerHub XL since I’ve had it and it’s done a great job of providing power. I’ve never noticed any excessive heat collecting on the surface of the tower — even when I’ve had multiple things plugged in. I absolutely love the design of the PowerHub XL. Aside from it being a convenient design for a desktop, the hex-like angles make it easy to plug in a variety of products no matter what their power adapters are shaped like.
For testing purposes, I checked the USB ports to make sure they were outputting the proper amount of power based off of what the website calls out spec-wise. I used a USB Digital Tester to see how much power was being provided to my iPhone 7. After 30 seconds, the reading on the tester was 5.09V/1.41A. This was in line with what the iPhone draws and the PowerHub XL pushes out. I also did a test to see how quickly the phone would charge. After 24 minutes, my phone had gained a charge of 26%. This was approximately 1.08% per minute, which is actually much more efficient than most of my portable batteries.
I’m planning on making the PowerHub XL a permanent fixture on my desk. It’s become a very convenient addition to my set-up and I love being able to charge and power devices quickly and easily without fumbling around for a power source. Normally, I don’t like to have a lot of things on my desktop, but I’m willing to make an exception for this powerful machine.