The Satechi Slim Surge Protector ($15.99 direct) takes a simple and straightforward concept and expands it in a logical direction. People rely on power outlets every day, after all, and those same people also need to charge USB devices, so why not integrate the two into a cohesive package? Throw in the added benefit of surge protection, and you’ve got the Slim Surge Protector in a nutshell. It’s not earth-shatteringly innovative, but it’s a practical, affordable solution for anyone interested in charging their gizmos in one central spot or any who simply wants to protect their gadgets from the perils of electrical spikes and surges.
The Slim Surge Protector’s chassis measures 5 inches tall and 3.5 inches wide. It’s constructed entirely out of black plastic, with a matte-finished rear and glossy face. While I’m fairly certain that most people don’t take aesthetics into consideration when purchasing something as mundane as a surge protector, it’s still worth noting that the glossy finish on the face attracts a considerable amount of smudging after a while, which may irk some given the heavy amount of hand traffic the Slim Surge Protector will see in the form of plugging and unplugging electronics.
The outlet arrangement on the Slim Surge Protector’s face is judiciously arranged in two vertical rows, with three protected power outlets on top and two USB charging ports on the bottom. For all intents and purposes it’s a simple, uncluttered layout, though it would been better to see a bit more space between the power outlets in order to accommodate wider plugs, especially in the case of some smartphone chargers.
In between the two rows is a hole for an optional socket screw, which comes in handy for reducing torque when you’ve got five devices tugging in different directions. Since the optional socket screw provides an added measure of support, one can’t help but wonder why the rear of the Slim Surge Protector’s chassis features a plastic prong that juts out in addition to its three prong plug. As a result, the Slim Surge Protector can only be plugged into the top portion in a two-plug wall outlet since the plastic prong is designed be inserted into the bottom outlet. It would have been more sensible to not include this plastic prong so the Slim Surge Protector could be inserted into either the top or bottom plug in order to yield the most use out of a two-plug wall outlets.
An LED indicator on the top of the Slim Surge Protector glows green to indicate when it’s protecting your stuff from spikes and surges. Accordingly, when the indicator is no longer lit, the Slim Surge Protector has ceased to shield your devices from electrical surges. In addition to its basic surge protection function, the Slim Surge Protector also features built-in Safety Shutdown Technology, which utilizes thermal fuses to prevent power from flowing to the unit, thereby protecting your stuff against fire and other damage in the event that a power spike occurs. Again, if the LED indicator isn’t glowing, then that means that this feature has becomes disabled. Luckily, the Slim Surge Protector comes with a one-year warranty, so you’ll be covered if you see that green light not working within that time period.
The Slim Surge Protector has a 2.1 amp output, giving it enough juice to charge most, if not all, smartphones and tablets. While Satechi lists a bevy of compatible devices on its site, 2.1 amps is certainly enough for, say, a 10-inch tablet. To confirm this, I tested the Slim Surge Protector with the New Apple iPad and an iPhone 4S and found that both devices were charging properly. That said, it would behoove skeptical or extra-cautious buyers to check out the list on Satechi’s site for themselves.
The Satechi Slim Surge Protector is a practical solution for users interested in charging their electronic devices in one central spot with the added benefit of surge protection. Its practicality and convenience sufficiently justify its affordable price tag.
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc