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Use your USB hub as a gadget charger: Quick Tips

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Quick Tips: Use your USB hub as a gadget charger

1:34 /

Sick of all those wall warts? A single USB hub can be used to juice up several of your portable gadgets--with just one AC adapter.

>> Let me guess, you've got a bunch of portable gadgets, but all the chargers that go with them are overcrowding your power outlets. I'm John Falcone from CNET with a quick tip that will help you juice up most of your portable devices, at home or on the road, with just a single charger. The secret here is USB. Most, but not all, portable phones and music players can be charged from a standard USB port. But that port doesn't have to be on your computer. A USB hub will work just as well. You can pick up a USB hub for under $30. Pretty much any model should do the job, so long as it includes its own power adapter. Then all you need is a matching USB cable for you devices. Now not every product with a USB port or docking cable will work. Be sure to check the product manual to be sure. That said, all current iPod and iPhones should be compatible, as well as all recent Blackberry models, and many other cell phones. The one caveat. You might have to invest in a special charging-only cable as we did with our iPod. We were also able to find special USB cables that worked with the Nintendo DS Light and the Sony PSP for around 10 dollars a piece. Once you verify the product's capability with USB charging and you've got the proper cable, you're good to go. It's just plug and play. The only downside is you still have a lot of wires, but you can cut down from several AC adapters to just one. And that's a worthwhile victory over gadget clutter in our book. I'm John Falcone for cnet.com. See you next time.

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