With all the devices that need charging, to waste or block a classroom outlet is as close to a school sin as it gets. Bracketron’s Twist & Charge can bail out your power needs with the ability to inexpensively make every outlet do double duty.
By redesigning how its USB charger gets its power, Bracketron engineers have created the perfect AC adapter for everything from an iPhone to an Android tablet. It might sound like magic, but the key to Twist & Charge is that it actually doesn’t plug into an outlet.
Instead, the USB charger is held in the outlet by another device’s plug. Power flows to the adapter through its unique gray insulating plastic sheet that has flat conductors inside. The whole thing can be rotated 270-degrees for maximum outlet flexibility and giving it the ability to sit above, blow or on the side of the outlet. This makes it the closest thing to an AC adapter two-for.
It works with two- and three-prong plugs as well as extension cords and power strips. If you don’t have a second device’s plug to hold Twist & Charge in place, you can use a three-prong plug adapter, leaving its outlet open and available.
Weighing less than an ounce and about the size of a pack of gum, Twist & Charge is the opposite of the typical bulky AC adapter. It not only easily fits into a shirt or jacket pocket, but travels easily. It has a built-in surge protector however, but lacks an LED to show that it’s working and doesn’t include the needed charging cable.
Still, it can draw enough current to charge a USB-powered device and delivers a maximum of 1 amp at 5 volts to the charging device. This is about four-times more current than most devices require, and should be enough to charge even the most power-hungry tablet or phone, including iPads.
Twist & Charge worked well, delivering 110-volts of needed charging voltage. I use it with a full-size iPad and a Mini as well as an LG Nitro phone and HTC Evo Flyer tablet. It was even able to charge a wireless speaker. It drew no power when the tablet or phone was charged or unplugged, but sometimes took longer to fully charge-up the devices than the adapter that camne with the device.
Unlike many after-market power adapters, the small Twist & Charge stays cool to the touch even when it’s charging a tablet and is roughly 75 percent efficient, about the level of off-the-shelf USB adapters. The device comes with a 1-year warranty, but has not been tested and approved by the Underwriters Laboratory for electrical and fire safety as is the case with most USB power adapters. The UL examination and certification process is voluntary, but important to the peace of mind for the purchaser.
All told, Twist & Charge can help anybody who’s heavy on tablets and USB devices but is short on AC outlets. At $18, it costs about the same as an iPad adapter and is a whole lot cheaper than getting an electrician to wire up new outlets.
+ Unique design
+ Doesn’t use or block AC outlet
+ 1 amp output
+ Can rotate 270-degrees
+ Weighs less than 1 ounce
- Not UL approved
- No cables included