While the tech industry is still in the middle of a transition to USB-C, it can be easy to wind up with lots of various charging bricks and adapters. Leviton’s Type A & Type C USB Charger/Receptacle caught our eye as a way to simplify our digital lives, so we went hands-on with the handy wall outlet.
Between fast charging with a USB-C to Lightning cable, the mix of USB-C supported accessories, and the likelihood this year’s iPhones will ship with a USB-C power adapter, the new standard is slowly but surely expanding beyond devices like Apple’s MacBook and MacBook Pro.
However, it’s still convenient to have standard USB ports around. Leviton’s Type A & Type C outlet offers one of each in addition to two standard outlets.
- 15 Amp, 125 Volt, Decora Tamper Resistant Receptacle/Outlet
- 5.1 Amp, 5VDC, 2.0 Type A and Type C USB chargers (2.4A and 3.0A max, respectively)
- Can be installed with back or side wiring
- Tamper Resistant
- Available in white, black, brown, gray, ivory, and light almond
- 5-year limited warranty
Even if you haven’t done any light electrical work yourself, installing the receptacle should be straightforward for most applications. The brass screw is for the hot wire (typically black), silver screw for neutral (white wire) and the green screw is for the ground (typically bare copper wire).
In my experience, it took about ten minutes to remove my old outlet and install the Type A & Type C outlet. Make sure to turn off the breaker of the circuit you’re working on before starting the process. If you have any questions, you can reference the included instructions, call Levition customer support, or always hire a licensed electrician.
One note, if you happen to have an old home (with old electrical), it may be tricky to fit this outlet in a single receptacle box. It wasn’t an issue at my home which was built in the 90’s, but I also tried installing this at my parent’s home that has wiring and receptacle boxes likely from the 60’s or earlier. The Leviton outlet barely fit, so it may be worth measuring your box before making a purchase. The Type A & Type C outlet width comes in just over 1 3/4-inches.
I tested out the white outlet paired with the screw-less wall plate. If you haven’t tried out the screw-less style plates before, they offer a really clean look. The white Type A & Type C outlet is priced at $30 with or without the wall plate.
Two phillips screws attach the mounting plate that the screw-less plate snaps onto.
I installed the outlet in my kitchen behind where my Sonos One speaker sits. In addition to the value of not needing to use power adapters to charge up your iPhone, iPad, and more, Leviton’s Type A & Type C receptacle doubles your output from two outlets to four without having to use clunky solutions.
I found it particularly useful to be able to keep charging two devices (quickly), with Sonos staying permanently plugged in, and still have an outlet free for small kitchen appliances.
The only downside I found with this outlet is the USB ports are quite close to the standard outlets (particularly the bottom one). But as long as what you plug into the bottom outlet is a standard size plug, you shouldn’t run into any trouble.
I found the outlet to deliver the advertised power output after measuring with a power meter. At the 2.4A max, the standard USB port can output just over 12W and USB-C port offers just over 15W at its 3.0A max. Both are notably faster than charging with Apple’s 5W bricks for iPhone and iPad.
Just for fun, I also plugged my 15-inch MacBook Pro directly to the USB-C port on the outlet. It did indeed deliver the almost 15W to my notebook, and just barely kept the battery floating at the same percentage during light use. While this won’t provide much practical use for MacBook Pro owners, it could be useful in some cases for 12-inch MacBook users. Of course, the primary benefit of the USB ports will be for charging up your iPhone, iPad and other smaller devices.
For those who are interested in expanding their charging options while keeping a clean and simple aesthetic, Leviton’s Type A & Type C USB Charger/Receptacle is easy to recommend. Ranging from $26-$35 depending on color, it feels like a good value from a reputable company, especially when Apple’s 29W USB-C power adapter is $49 alone.