5 Useless USB Gadgets from the 2010s

USB gadgets come in all shapes and sizes, and if the only one you owned in 2013 was a thumb drive to store boring documents, you were clearly not living the life of a tech geek. USB ports abounded in the 2010s and had to be put to use.

Take a trip with us down down memory lane. Here are some of our favorite USB gadgets from the early 2010s to pick on.

1. U-Socket USB Wallplug


Now, I can take some liberties with this blog post and have some fun with it, but the U-Socket USB Wallplug is actually quite practical — especially for iPhone users who require a USB adapter.

But who is really going to drop $30 to plug your USB into your home outlet? Have we become this reliant on USB ports that we need to alter the common AC outlet altogether?

The U-Socket includes a kit that converts your standard wall plug into a plug that also offers two USB at 125 volts of power. Is installation difficult?

“Installed one myself and I’m not very good with the electrical stuff,” Matthew Powers said in a review.

Good for you Mr. Powers. I’m sure you use that outlet often.

2. USB Heated Travel Mug

We can now move on to the more ridiculous USB products.

Really? Buying the nice thermo mug from Starbucks isn’t goo enough anymore? We now need to plug in our coffee cup?

This 16 oz travel coffee mug keeps your morning brew hot while on the commute to the office (it includes a cigarette lighter to USB adapter) and when you arrive at the office itself.

Whatever happened to just drinking luke-warm coffee? Isn’t that part of the morning experience? Why must we turn something as simple as a travel coffee cup into something that requires us to plug it in?

The USB mug rings in at a bargain $15, but don’t think it’s cheap by any means. It does utilizes durable stainless steel and a spill-resistant lid.

And if you actually decide you need this, make sure to wash this mug with your hands — a dishwasher could fry its electronics.

3. USB Heated Blanket

No thank you.

Staying on the theme of keeping things warm, if you’re slaving away at your computer on a cold winter day, there’s nothing better than a nice heated blanket. And hey — why not? Let’s make this heated blanket suck as much power out of your computer’s port as possible via USB.

Are you cold? Buy a Snuggy.

Not only is this USB heated blanket designed for your home, it’s also advertised as a remedy for a cold office. Ever attempted to bring in a space heater into your cold office, just to have someone from maintenance or human resources tell you its a safety liability? I suppose the USB blanket solves that dilemma, as ridiculous as it is.

Just dress warmer people!

The blanket is 31-inchs long and 17-inches wide and can reach temperatures between 100-113 degrees Fahrenheit (doesn’t that seem too hot to you?). Changing temperature is easy as plugging in the second USB port (you know, because you don’t need to use a keyboard or a mouse or anything) for optimized power.

The model pictured rings in at $75.

4. USB Fishquarium

For the love of God, please find some other way to enterain yourself.

This is not a joke. You can actually buy a USB-powered aquarium, complete with LED light, alarm clock, calendar and thermometer.

And while its advertised as a great way to make your desk look more relaxed, I can guarantee it will be magnet for insults.

Oh, I forgot to mention that it has some practical use: It includes a pencil and scissors organizer cup!

At $40, this USB aquarium isn’t a steal: You don’t even get the fish with it.

This blast from the past will fill your office with great amounts of nostalgia and loud clicking and clatter. Just what you want in your home office — loud typing and probably really slow typing.

The USB Typewriter Keyboard turns your iPad into a hybrid vintage computer.

This typewriter doesn’t work via Bluetooth, rather, good ole fashion USB.

5. USB Typewriter Keyboard for iPad

Unlike the other USB gadgets on this list, a USB typewriter for your iPad won’t come cheap. In fact, get ready to shell over about $700. If you’re feeling gutsy, you can find conversion kits online that let you do it yourself for about $70.

It’s worth it though, right? $100 for a trip down memory lane, I suppose.