If you’re anything like us the area around your computer is a mess of wires and mains power plugs – all of them plugged in, and all draining power even when the devices aren’t in use.
Looking around us right now we’ve a notebook computer, external monitor, a couple of backup drives, a USB hub, printer, scanner, house phone, mobile phone charger, and a few other accessories too – all plugged in.
Even though some of these are not in use, they’re still draining power form the mains and racking up household power bills. iGo calls it ‘Vampire Power’ and says it accounts for around 10 per cent of the average UK home’s energy bills.
Enter the Power Tower
The Power Smart Tower offers a total of eight mains power outlets, as well as two USB ports. The USB ports are on the front, the mains power outlets at either side of the tower-shaped device. Four of these are standard outlets, and into these you can plug devices with their own power switches, or those that need to be on all the time.
The other four outlets are divided into two pairs, and these are controlled separately. These outlets drop into ‘green mode’ – that is, a low- or no-power state – when the devices plugged into them aren’t being used. The device checks for changes every half hour to see if the connected devices requires power. If they do, the outlets switch on. You can override the checking by pressing an ‘instant on’ button on the front of the Tower.
A pairing system
Effectively those two pairs of ‘green’ outlets can be used to gather together high-power and low-power items. In the latter category sit things like mobile phone chargers and digital cameras; in the former monitors, printers and desktop computers.
It’s a neat system. We’d have to use it for months to see if it really reduced our power bills and find out how long it took to make back its own price, though.
- Neat and tidy organiser for power plugs; two USB chargers; two green power groups.
- Half the eight sockets aren't power controlled; might be cheaper to unplug your things.
The iGo Power Tower is neat organiser of multiple cables. With only half its eight outlets actually controlled, though, it does a little less than you might initially think. The built-in circuit breaker is an extra plus point - but we can't help thinking you could save yourself £49.99 by simply unplugging things when you're done with them.