The first time you ever try to plug a bulky AC adapter into a conventional power strip, it hits you: this is not the right tool for this job. Some hefty adapters will cover up as many as three of your precious outlets — an unacceptable amount in any power-hungry area. A few gadget manufacturers have, uh, adapted their adapters so their bulk is shaped "horizontally," making it jut out to the side instead of covering up the next outlet down, but such tweaks can only get you back so much space on a closely-packed strip.
So it was with much excitement I unpacked my PowerSquid. Made by Flexity, the PowerSquid is a surge protector like no other. Looking like a multi-tentacled sea creature, it sports six cables with six outlets instead if a single flat strip. Since each outlet has its own tether, you're free to attach the biggest power adapter in the world and still not crowd your other gear. On the white-colored PowerSquid Surge 3000 Calamari, the model I reviewed, the outlets on the two longest cables emit an ice-blue glow, a handy feature in shady corners. Clearly the PowerSquid is a highly evolved cable hub, but its many advantages over more primitive strips bring with them a few weaknesses as well.
WHO WANTS THISPeople with money to burn on accessories, are serious power nerds, or just enjoy novel design.
WHYResembling a sea creature, the PowerSquid has six outlets on its "tentacles," so they're perfect for bulky AC adapters.
WHAT'S COOLAn impressive surge rating, outlets that light up dark corners, and the best plug ever designed.
WHAT'S LAMEIt's a bit big, and many of its perks will appeal to only a select few.
FINAL MARK: B+Great product, though for most, it won't justify its high price tag.
PRICE: $80Check out Flexity's site for details… and cheaper models!
Beyond its primary feature of giving you all the space you want for big plugs and adapters, the Calamari's few perks are suited mainly for hardcore users. How can you be a "hardcore user" of a surge protector, you ask? Try wall mounting. Slots in back make it easy to proudly display your electrical cephalopod on a wall, which actually lets you take best advantage of the hanging "tentacles." On the floor, it's really not a hell of a lot better than a regular ol' strip, since you still have to kneel down and reach behind things to do any plugging or unplugging.
Connectors for your cable box and phone line are nice to have, as they extend the PowerSquid's impressive surge protection (rated at 3,240 joules) to more of your gear. I still wouldn't chat too long on my landline during a lightning storm, but the extra shielding can't hurt. Two other great bonuses: the good and long (8-foot) cord attached to the "head" and the rotating plug at the end of it. Seriously, every plug on every piece of equipment ever built should be designed like the PowerSquid's: not only does the rotating head ensure you'll never cover up any other outlet on your wall, but it sticks out less than half an inch when plugged in! Yes, I'm exclamation-point-excited about this.