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Customer Review

TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 29 April 2012
I was offered one of these as a gift and failed to immediately understand what advantage it offered other than as a means of hiding the rather ugly assemblage of plugs and sockets that we PC users are forced to use. I then began to see its limitations and potentially serious dangers.

A fairly simple computer set-up may include a PC, monitor, speakers, a printer and a router. That is five plugs for a start. Add a rechargeable mouse, USB Hub, perhaps a couple of external drives, a phone charger and that's another five. You may use a scanner and then there are other things that you may use such as a games console and a controller. You are beginning to see the point. One of these is probably insufficient and you may easily need three or four just for your PC. Then you may have a TV, Sky box, PVR, DVD or Blu-ray-player and possibly either a PowerLine adapter or network extender, speakers or speaker bar and you see the problem there - perhaps 6 or even more plugs, and that is a fairly basic set-up. One box would not be sufficient and the cumulative cost of several is beginning to look ridiculous.

I am assuming, probably incorrectly, that every device uses a standard UK 3-pin plug. I have some that need a further adapter as they came with US or European plugs and then is anything that uses an adapter plug, one where an expanded plug houses the components for a lower voltage output. Some are arranged such that, if you assume that the Earth connector is to the top, the cable comes from the bottom but some are the reverse and their cable comes out from the top. That would stretch the necessary width of the box from about 3 or 4 inches to at least 8 or 9! If any of your equipment uses this type of adapter plug, you will know that they are always at least warm and sometimes can become unpleasantly warm; they are meant to be air-cooled and not enclosed inside something that provides minimal ventilation as does this especially with one or two bundled cables within, always assuming that it is possible for this device to accommodate even one.

Then is the issue of access to a plug. If a fuse should fail, or you replace a device for any reason, how do you gain reasonable access to the plug without completely unpacking the box? The box is not large enough to full allow access. Is there any advantage?

Anyone with a basic knowledge of electricity will know what a coil is. If you bundle a power cable, it becomes a coil! If you look at a lamp filament or the element of an electric heater, they are both coils and heat up when power is passed through them. Whoever designed this, knows little about electricity..

As this device is at potential risk from overheated bundled power cables and also at risk from an enclosed power adapter which is denied sufficient cooling air-flow, I would not personally use one.

The box will house most 4-socket power extenders but some are rather longer and may include surge protection, phone line protection etc and individual socket switches and they tend to be the longest. There are also some with 6, 8 or more sockets and they will definitely not fit. The idea is a simple one but it has not been properly thought through and its usefulness is rather limited and, as a very basic idea, the price is rather excessive.

I did not know the price when one was offered and suspected it to be under £10. I politely refused the offer at the time and only learned the price more recently - I was horrified that it should be quite so expensive! The purchaser did use it for a short time and had within it a power adapter plug which was more vertical than most that I have seen. He does not now use the box but I had not asked his reasons.
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