Hopefully, it’s never happened to you. You’re working on your computer on an important project with a tight deadline, and a storm brewing outside causes a power failure. When the electricity is restored, you’re horrified to find that your computer has been fried. Granted, the odds are small, but a powerful surge can burn out a computer chip faster than you can snap your finger, and if you live in a particularly lightning prone area, the odds of that one-in-a-million strike hitting you go up every time the sky darkens.
Enter the Satechi Compact USB Surge Protector — a single-outlet surge protector with a built-in USB charging port for MP3 players, iPhone, Blackberry, Android, and Windows Mobile phones. It retails for ten bucks and, especially for the money, is attractive, convenient, and compact, and well-built. Measuring approximately 2.25” wide x 1.5” high, it easily fits in your purse or pocket.
How many times have you sat in a hallway at an airport or a trade show and plugged your computer or phone directly into the wall? You’re taking a risk, and sometimes you’re taking up two outlets. With the Satechi USB+Surge Protector you can charge two devices while purportedly protecting them from harmful surges.
The Satechi Compact USB Surge Protector is, for all intents, a disposable device. But for the price, it can afford to be. It features an LED indicator light that illuminates green when the surge protector is operating to its full protection capacity. When the circuitry has been spent, due to surges or just the normal flow of electrons caused by day-to-day use, the LED will no longer illuminate indicating it is time to replace the unit.
The USB port on the Satechi Compact USB Surge Protector delivers enough power to charge most devices, including the Kindle Fire and various tablets and smart phones, although at 1 am, it might struggle with larger tablets. The 3-prong AC outlet allows the user to connect another charger for additional devices, though. The product features one grounded AC outlet, one USB port, an electrical rating of 120v/15A, USB output 5V/1A, the aforementioned LED protection indicator, and a one-year warranty.
The Satechi Compact USB Surge Protector is ideal as a travel adapter and for the price ($9.99 at Amazon), you can’t beat it. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a lightning generator on-hand to test its protection, nor does Satechi’s documentation spell out just how significant a surge the unit is capable of shunting to shunting to ground, but it costs next to nothing, and it’s certainly worth much more than that, especially if you’re on the go and can’t bring your usual power protection system along for the ride.