While I appreciate that power strips are important bits of your household, you’ve got to admit, there’s nothing particularly interesting or sexy about a big chunk of plastic you plug stuff into. iClever’s “Power Strip Tower” is only mildly interesting and not at all sexy (at least to me, I won’t judge your tastes), but the unconventional form factor is worth some examination.
This big chunk of plastic falls broadly into a popular new category that places its US-standard plugs in a cardinal array, vertically on four mostly symmetrical sides, plus four standard USB ports for good measure. At $26 it’s not any more expensive than a usual 8-plug surge protector, and it’s rated for up to 1250 watts. Pretty standard stuff, extra USB ports notwithstanding.
That being said, I do rather like the “tower” layout. While nothing this front-and-center with its outlets is going to be particularly elegant, if you need to constantly plug things in and remove them, it’s an extremely handy way to do so. I can see this being the desktop plug-in station of choice for a gadget nerd like me, but it would do just as well in a garage workshop or a shared space like an office, bar, or waiting room. As long as you’ve got either a standard AC power cord or a USB cable, you can get that sweet, sweet electricity your doohickies crave.
At under thirty bucks, you wouldn’t expect many creature comforts, and indeed you don’t get many. There’s no Wi-Fi for smarthome integration, and the USB ports max out at 2.4 amps—that means no fast charging for phones or tablets, and most USB-C laptops will need the full wall plugs. I also wish it came with a 10-foot cord (it’s only 6.5). However, having dedicated switches for the front and back is a nice touch—I can see that being useful for someone trying to set up different “zones” of gadgets or appliances.
There’s some thoughtful design on display here. All eight plugs have plenty of space in all dimensions, allowing for odd-shaped adapters (like my weird USB battery and laptop charger) to fit at once, a problem that conventional power strips don’t often solve. I like the flat plug for the tower as well—it’d be easy to slide behind a desk or fridge.
And at the end of the day, it works. I managed to fill up all eight wall outlets and four USB plugs for several days, and the thing never got more than a little warm. It’s rated for surge protection at up to 900 joules or 15,000 volts—not the top of the line by any means, but suitable for most users. If you’re looking for an easier way to access lots of plugs at once, buy it with confidence.
Here’s What We Like
- Easy access
- Good spacing between outlets
- Handy switches
And What We Don't
- Relatively short cable
- 2.4A max on USB ports