BESTEK Universal Travel Adaptor REVIEW Fantastic Travel Companion | Mac Sources9.6
Whether traveling locally or abroad, keep your devices fully charged with the portable, versatile multi-port travel charger from BESTEK.
If you are not familiar with the Imaging USA Conference, it is the “longest-running photography conference, trade show, and exhibit in the United States.” This year, as I prepare for the Imaging USA conference, on 1/19/20–1/21/20 in Nashville, Tennessee, I want to try to limit my overpacking. Instead, my goal was to bring lightweight, portable, versatile tech. Knowing that hotel rooms tend to have sparse outlets, one of the devices that I needed was a more portable power strip. Luckily, BESTEK had a convenient option to add to my travel gear.
The BESTEK 250W Travel Adapter and Power converter arrived in a 7 3/16 inches long by 6 1/4 inches wide by 1 11/16 inches thick retail tan cardboard box. As a consumer, I found the packaging to be a little underwhelming. Save the tan background color of the box, the cover had a 1/2 inch tall italicized BESTEK name, a “DO NOT USE” sticker with a hair drier, curling iron, flat iron, and coffee pot, and a secondary square QR code sticker along the bottom right of the panel (scan with your transparency app). The top, bottom and right side panels were devoid of any writing/imagery. The left panel provided another QR code and a white SKU sticker, which provided the first clue about the device: “BESTEK Universal Travel Adaptor: Model #MRJ201GU.” Piqued, I turned the packaging over to look at the bottom panel and found no additional information about the device. The back panel displayed the company name, international business addresses, and phone numbers. Interestingly, the packaging did not describe the product, nor did it provide an image of the device. As a fan of blind boxes, I appreciated the surprise of opening the nondescript box.
I lifted the front flap and found several pieces within the box. Before removing the contents, I lifted out the instruction manual and reviewed the four panels. The manual detailed the specifics of the power adapter/converter (5V/4.2A output per port, 100–120V output, and 100–240V AC input) and the 58-inches long power cord with European plug. The manual promised three universal plug adaptors, but my packaging only came with two universal adaptors, Type A (USA, Canada, Mexico, Japan) and Type G (United Kingdom, Ireland, Malta, Malaysia, and Singapore). On further inspection, the Type A plugs were able to rotate into a type I configuration, which would work in Australia, New Zealand, China, and Argentina. The manual noted the device was able to convert any AC input from 100–240V into 100–120V, 60Hz frequency. Specifically, the device was designed to allow travelers from the United States to enjoy their small electronics devices abroad. The device has a single AC input socket along one of the short sides, three Type B wall outlets across the top, as well as four 2.4A USB A outputs and a readily accessible power button along the font (long side).
To utilize the Power adaptor, plug the power input prong into the device, then plug the European prong into the appropriate universal adaptor, and ultimately plug the adaptor into the wall outlet. When ready to utilize the charger, flip the small forward-facing toggle to the on position and a small green LED will illuminate. The device, with six small rubberized feet, was designed to rest with the broad side facing downward. I loved the orientation of the three Type B wall outlet ports and the four USB 2.4A amp output ports along the front of the device. Each of the outlets was capable of powering a small appliance rated at 100–120V AC, with a total of 250W output. According to the included instruction manual, each of the USB ports was equipped with an intelligent identification chip. The chips allowed each of the USB ports to identify the smart device and to configure the output to the device. I was pleased to discover that the BESTEK charger provided overheat, overload, over current and short circuit protection and isolated the power output from the AC output ports.
The BESTEK adaptor worked perfectly for a recent trip to Nashville. My boys each brought an iPad Mini 5, while I brought my iPhone 11 Pro Max and my iPad Pro 11". The Bestek device was able to keep all of the devices, except the iPad Pro 11", fully charged through the USB output ports. The included 6 3/4 inches wide by 9 3/4 inches tall brown drawstring bag fully accommodated the BESTEK universal charger, wall outlet, three USB-A to Lightning cables, a USB-A to USB-C cable, a USB-C wall adapter and a USB-C to USB-C cable for my iPad Pro 11". Starting at 10–12% for each of the iPad Mini 5 and 40% for my iPhone 11 Pro Max, I allowed the devices to charge overnight (7 hours). By morning all of the devices were fully charged. Using a DROK USB C multimeter, I found the iPad Mini 5 to charge at 5V/2A, while my ThinkPad was charging as well. The only potential negative that I found for the device was with the internal cooling fan. I did not personally find the fan to be too loud but some may find it to be a distraction when trying to go to sleep.
When ready to pack up the BESTEK device, toggle the power switch to the off position, remove the adaptor from the wall, remove the European prong from the wall adaptor and BESTEK charger, and then wrap up the cable with the included velcro retention strap. I then placed the BESTEK box, the coiled power cable, adaptor, and USB cables into the drawstring bag. I loved the portability of the device and the ability to adapt the technology to several power outlets throughout the world. Without travel out of the country, I cannot attest to how the device will work with other wall outlets. However, the passthrough tech of the adapters should not fail. It is important to note that most modern smart devices employ smart charging technologies to essentially act as their own power converters. This device is not strong enough for larger appliances and thus may create more of a niche market. I enjoyed the robust power cable and felt that the length was more than adequate. With portability and convenience in mind, the sub $40 BESTEK adaptor will be included in my Imaging USA travel gear.