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There’s a trick which most salesmen play. It’s the one where they offer you a ‘really good deal’ on something you don’t really need just as you’re about to pay. It’s only when you get home and think about it a bit harder do you realise that not only have you bought something you never needed, but you also paid over the odds for it.
I rarely fall for it, even when it is a good deal and I do need it, but a few years ago while buying a laptop I was sold the Belkin Surgeprotector and told how important it is. It was ‘reduced’ to £25 and having 6 plug sockets to its name I threw it in the basket with the laptop. After all, what’s an extra £25 when you’re buying a laptop?
Was that you Belkin? – Surge Protecting
I had no idea what a surge protector was nor whether I needed it. Apparently it protects the electronic device from sudden spikes in voltage whether from lightning or other sources. This would ruin a laptop and even turning it on and off would create ‘electrical imbalances’. Most people who know what they’re talking about nod knowingly with this and would say a surgemaster is absolutely essential. My problem is, in 10 years of using laptops and desk computers I have never experienced any damage caused by this and I’ve lived in houses with pretty dodgy wiring and old appliances. Occasionally I’ve unplugged something when a thunderstorm approaches but in seems more likely that a spike in mains electric would be broken by a basic household or business fusebox or tripswitch. A lightning strike is pretty rare and fairly predictable by looking out the window. I am more than happy to admit my ignorance here but the whole apparatus seems a little superfluous. And given the short amount of time electrical equipment lasts for and the need to back up data anyway, why bother with something like this?
This seems to be scaring you into buying something unnecessary.
Watt does it look like?
The main body is approx 15cm by 30cm with a 1m cable. There is an on/off switch at the top and most of the body is taken up by 6 three-pin plug sockets. Now this is useful. It’s rare to get 6 plug sockets in an adapter and this comes in handy in a corner with few sockets and an abundance of electrical items. There is quite a bit of space for larger block style plugs.
Then at the base there is a grey bar which looks like a spoiler on the rear of a car. The intention of this seems to be to tuck the cables under and keep them tidy. This has been a waste of time for me. If you’re really into keeping cables tidy this is will not be good enough, and if you are not then you won’t bother. I never have, to be honest I had no idea what it was for.
Then on the base there are three phone / modem sockets; one input and two outputs. These are to protect from ‘catastrophic surges’. Talk about overplaying your hand or overegging the pudding. Next to these are an input and an output for a TV cable. I have never had any use for any of these and have never suffered any ‘catastrophic’ consequences.
On the rear are two crosses which, I presume, are for wall mounting. Look, this is not something you are ever going to wall mount.
The whole box is really quite sturdy, as it should be, but it is also quite bulky for a mere adapter plug. It sits happily under the shelving which our TV and Hi-Fi sit on but I wouldn’t want to use it elsewhere. And I’ve never used more than 3-4 of the 6 plug sockets so could easily have bought something far simpler and cheaper. Sometimes its good to go belt and braces on electrical items, but this was more like handcuffs!
Should have greater resistance – Evaluation
No doubt I will be corrected on how useful this is, but it has never been of any value to me except as a standard adaptor cable. And even for that it doesn’t give a very long lead. None of the fears of the selling features have ever come to pass. I can’t help but feel quite cross about the whole thing, particularly when I see one on sale on Amazon for about £15. It was one of those offers that never was, sold on fear and pushed on commission. I’ve never had great experiences in PC World and I’ve made mistakes there which have cost me more, but this one rankles as one of their most bully boy.
So it’s fine if you’re looking for an adaptor but sells itself as something much more.
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