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Surfing through Amazon I came upon their selection of outlet extenders, power strips, and surge protectors. Some of the designs caught my eye and left me wondering what other odd-shaped monstrosities there were out there.

This Westinghouse Portable Charging Station seems like a good idea, although we’re not sure why it has only one outlet and two USB ports? This Westinghouse 5-outlet strip seems like a solution in search of a problem — while it fits in a corner, we’re not sure if it’s a great improvement over a standard power strip. A lovely 3-outlet wall tap [What’s This?]looks like something from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation — perfect for overloading your circuits.

Then there’s this surge protector from Belkin; both utilitarian and hefty, it does look like something from the 1970’s — the Soviet Russian 1970’s that is. Contrast that with this modern Belkin design [What’s This?], which looks quite handy.

Finally there’s this: the UFO Surge Protector [What’s This?]. Seems like a great thing to whirl around your head and smash your unresponsive computer with. Still, not a bad design.

So what are your favorite outlet extension devices? The ugliest and/or most useless ones?


5 Responses to Odd Outlet Extenders

  1. Wheels17 says:

    It looks like a good idea to me.

    Try putting those 5 fat wall warts on a conventional strip. If the strip has the receptacle slots parallel to the long axis, you’ll only be able to hit every other receptacle. If they are perpendicular, there are still a few that are too fat to fit without blocking adjacent receptacles. Wouldn’t be much of an advantage for the new skinny ones, like used with a cell phone, but I have a few places where this would be useful.

  2. Jason says:

    I’d guess that the portable charger is designed for corporate travelers. You’d need one outlet for your laptop adapter but most other road warrior accouterments can be charged via the USB ports which eliminates the need to bring chargers for them.

  3. Keith says:

    Surprised to see that you didn’t include the Power Squid (http://toolmonger.com/2007/01/24/reader-finds-the-power-squid/ ) – when I sent my oldest off to college a few years ago, I sent a Power Squid along since I didn’t know for sure what he’d need to plug in (wall warts, regular plugs, etc.) in his dorm room – it has worked well for that purpose.

  4. Chris says:

    What is the name of the manufacturer and seller of the (6) outlet surge protector in the photo in your Nov.30 2009 edition


  5. Joe says:

    Hey, I like the ‘soviet’ style. It’s made of metal and those flanges make it so easy to mount it.

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