Belkin Mini Surge Protector Dual USB Charger: USB Charger is Useless

I bought this Belkin Mini Surge Protector Dual USB Charger recently hoping it would solve two problems at once. First, it is smaller than the power strip I’ve been carrying on trips for years. So, it would reduce luggage volume and weight slightly (every ounce counts). Second, it also has two USB charging ports. My hope was that it would help me eliminate one or two USB charging transformers.

Unfortunately, it turns out that the USB ports only provides 500mA per port. Most USB chargers I have lying around are a full 1A. Basically, my devices don’t even see power when plugged into the Belkin’s USB port and doesn’t charge. I tried a couple of HTC Windows Mobile phones and found that none of them saw power when plugged into the Belkin.

However, it is still a useful and small power string and surge protector with three grounded A/C outlets. So, I’m taking it on my trip to San Jose next week. I won’t be using it to charge anything from its USB ports though.