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Best portable travel power strip

technologyEdward Kiledjian2 Comments

Whether you travel for pleasure or business, one of the most useful gadgeteer's toys is a power strip (power bar). I have never seen a hotel room with enough power-plugs to charge my power-hungry electronics.

Having used and tested over 20 different power strips, the one that really won my heart is the Belkin SurgePlus (10 watt) (link) power strip. 

This thing is tinny and very easy to travel with. Not only does it give you 3 full power-plugs but it also provides 2.1Amp (up to 10 watts total) USB powered plugs to charge your electronics (smartphones, GPS, tablet, eBook reader, etc).

The unit's power-plug has a built in swivel system to ensure you can plug it into even the busiest plugs.

In addition to providing additional plugs, the power strip has a 918-Joule energy rating which means it will keep your precious little gadgets safe from electrical surges or lightning strikes. 

Properly wired grounding is also critical for device protection and I have stayed in one too many hotels were the grounding wasn't properly done for all in-room plugs. The Belkin surgePlus has a built in protection light that let's you know it is working and also that the grounding is properly wired. Very useful (often forgotten) feature.

I tested each plug and everyone provided clean consistent power (primary power-source was clean also). This is important because it means Belkin used quality components. I plugged in 2 laptops and a Nexus 7 charging brick to test the USB plugs and even when the power-plugs are fully utilized, it delivers clean 2.1A (up to 10watts) of power to the USB ports.

Overall I loved this little guy. Physically the plastic casing is well moulded and sold. It will last many years with proper care. When you plug and unplug it into a wall outlet, everything just feel sold. Plugging devices into the Belkin SurgePlus is also easy and everything feel solid. You can pull a plug out without having to worry about stressing the power strip or flexing it.

The only downside comes with devices that have large brick based power-plugs. Most of my devices have either power cables, power cables connecting to a brick or very slim brick connectors. If you have large bricks that plug in themselves then you may love one of the outlets because the plugs are close to each other. I do with the plugs where further away from each other or that at least one was moved to the side for larger brick plugs.