Get a USB wall-plate charger for $14.99

Occupy wall outlets with this clever item, which serves up two USB ports (and an AC outlet) for easy charging of your favorite gadgets.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
A plug-and-play charging solution for your USB devices--including your iPad!
A plug-and-play charging solution for your USB devices--including your iPad! Amazon

Everything charges via USB nowadays: Kindles, iPods, Bluetooth headsets, smartphones...shall I go on?

In a perfect world, your home's AC outlets would have USB ports alongside their three-prong sockets. That way, you could dispense with all those bulky power plugs and just plug each device's USB cable right into the wall.

Until home builders get the memo, here's the next best thing: Lowe's has the RCA USB Wall Plate Charger for $14.99, plus sales tax where applicable. If you don't have a Lowe's store near you, you'll be on the hook for $5.99 in shipping charges.

This is not a replacement for an AC outlet, meaning you don't have to rewire anything or even pick up a screwdriver. Instead, it simply plugs into an existing dual standard outlet and gives you two powered USB ports--along with a single regular outlet to make up for the one it occupies.

Ingenious, don't you think? RCA says you can charge two smartphones (or similar smallish devices, I'm sure) or one iPad (or similar tablet, I'm sure). The latter must plug into the 2.1-amp USB outlet, which is clearly labeled.

I'm sold. This is such a head-smackingly obvious product, I'm surprised it took this long to arrive. No wonder it won an award at this year's CES. Put me down for two!