It’s obviously a serious gift-buying time around the world. And a countless number of “bad” gifts will be purchased and gifted only to be tossed aside to join the museum of bad gifts. Unfortunately well-meaning tech-centric gifts often end this way. I’m here to change all of that starting with another simple accessory, the travel power strip.
Option #1: Belkin Mini Surge Protector/Dual USB Charger – this handy little travel power brick comes in at 6.1 x 5.2 x 2.3 inches. It isn’t tiny, but still fairly compact and weighs only 9.6 ounces. It also has two USB ports that will charge 5V / 500mA at each port. Before you iPhone users get too excited about these USB ports understand the iPhone's chargers puts out 5V @ 1A – not the 5V @ 500mA that you get with this one. You can charge your apple devices with the USB ports on this thing, but it will be slower and only one of the two USB ports at a time as it’s limited to 1A at a time total.
I like that the plug end of this power brick rotates 180 degrees so that it fits the position of most outlets. I’ve used this device in many airports and have shared the power from it with others hovering around the power outlets.
Note: Thanks David & Scott for the recommendation on this one!
The Belkin Mini Surge Protector/Power Strip is currently available on Amazon for $18.43
Option #2: Monster 4 Outlet Travel Power Strip – I purchased the Monster Outlets To Go 4-outlet power strip about a year ago as I was attempting to lighten my travel load even more. This compact power strip is even lighter and smaller than the Belkin. It doesn’t have the USB ports, but it fits wall outlets even better and it includes four plugs! This is my go-to power strip for travelling. It measures a tiny 2.2 x 6.2 x 1.8 inches and weighs only 2.4 ounces! I highly recommend this power strip if you travel much or need a power strip to carry in your laptop bag.
Notice in the photo below (next to the iPhone for size comparison) the cord neatly wraps around the power strip and plugs into one of the four outlets – genius!
This photo shows the power strip “unplugged”. There are two outlets on each side which should be enough for most of us power-hungry tech travelers.
The Monster 4-outlet travel power strip is currently available at Amazon for $9.15
For another great, inexpensive gift idea, check out the blueLounch Cable Drops