Wayne Thorp will speak at the 2015 AAII Investor Conference this fall; go to www.aaii.com/conference for more details.
One sign of a truly good “gadget” is how badly we need it or how heavily we rely on it. Much of the technology available to us today is more luxury than necessity. But every once in a while I run across something that, at least to me, becomes truly indispensable. One such product is my Outlets to Go Power Strip with four AC outlets from Monster Cable Products. Whenever I travel, this power strip has a place reserved in my computer bag. Since I usually have with me my cell phone, iPad and/or laptop, the power strip ensures that they will all get the juice they need. With this power strip, one outlet becomes four.
No doubt when you hear the word power strip, you think of some large, clunky object that would be the last thing you would want to carry with you while traveling. The Outlets to Go Power Strip, however, is anything but bulky or heavy. Its ultra-compact design allows it to fit easily into even the most overstuffed briefcase or bag. It measure 6.25 inches by 1.8 inches by 2.25 inches (length by width by height) when it’s stowed for travel and weighs less than six ounces.
The power strip’s ingenious cord management system is the main reason why it is so compact. Its FlatWrap Cord folds over it and the FlatProfile Plug plugs into the power strip to keep the cord secure for transport.
It addition, the four outlets are widely spaced with two to each side. This is very useful, given the variety of plugs companies use these days. I have yet to run across a situation where a device I have plugged in covers up the other outlet on its side of the power strip.
The only real drawback of the power strip is the illuminated plug. When you have it plugged in, the strip shines a bright blue light to let you know that it is receiving power. While it’s nice to know it’s on, the light could be toned down a little bit, as I have seen night-lights that don’t cast that much illumination.
Finally, the power strip has a built-in circuit breaker to prevent overloading. However, it does not provide surge protection, which would be a nice feature.
As I have said, the Outlets to Go Power Strip and its four outlets are always with me when I hit the road. The power strip eliminates the need to rearrange furniture in a hotel room in search of more outlets. It even helps me meet new friends—I was using it once at an airport to charge my laptop and cell phone and had people asking me if they could use the two open outlets. An added bonus is the price, which is under $20. If you are a frequent traveler and are looking for a means to power your various gadgets while on the road, you would be well served by adding the Outlets to Go Power Strip to your computer bag.
Monster Cable Products Outlets to Go Power Strip With 4 Outlets
$19.95 (currently $16.14 from Amazon.com)
Wayne A. Thorp, CFA, is the author of “Gadget Corner.” All reviews are based on firsthand experience of the product or service. No third-party compensation is received for opinions on products, services, websites or topics. However, sometimes the author is not required by the manufacturer or their PR firm to return the product under review. In such instances, it is our policy to convey this within the review. The views and opinions expressed in these reviews are strictly those of the author. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.