- Compact desktop design
- 5-foot power cable with 90-degree plug
- 18W combined USB-A charging across three ports
- No USB-C power ports
- Relatively low maximum amperage (10A) across AC jacks
- No surge protection
If you want the smallest useful power extension for AC and USB-A devices and don’t also need surge protection, the Belkin 3-Outlet Power Cube with USB-A Ports fits the bill.
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Best Prices Today: Belkin 3-Outlet Power Cube
Belkin’s 3-Outlet Power Cube with USB-A is the latest in a long line of entrants trying to help bring AC and USB power closer to where your devices area, instead of adding outlets and jacks under a desk. The compact cube features three AC outlets and three USB-A charging ports connected to a 5-foot (1.5 meter) power cable. The cube can fit neatly on top of a desk. Placing the three outlets and one set of USB ports on different cube faces means you can use every receptacle without interfering with the others. The cube measures about 2.5 inches on each side.
The simple design is matched by a low list price of $24.99. But Belkin has, forgive me, shaved corners in the interests of price and small size.
This review is part of TechHive’s in-depth coverage of the best surge protectors.
The three AC outlets combined can draw no more than 10 amps of power (1,150 watts). That shouldn’t be a problem in most cases. Most power strips are rated at 15A to 25A, but unless you’re plugging in a space heater, a dehumidifer, or multiple loaded tower computers, you shouldn’t exceed the 10A limit. If you do, the power LED goes out. To reset it, you must remove the power load and then insert a paperclip into a tiny reset hole underneath the cube to reset it.
The three USB-A jacks have better limits: They can output up to 18W between them, a sufficient load for single devices (which often can’t exceed a 12W pull) or even three plugged in at once taking in 6W each. That said, it’s odd to offer a modern power device that doesn’t offer USB-C support with at least a 15- or 20W.
Buyers should also be aware that this is not a surge protector. Belkin notes that the unit protects against “short circuit, overload, over-voltage, over-current and over-temperature situations,” but except for the over-current situation, which pops the internal breaker for resetting, Belkin provides no details about how those protections express themselves.
Is the Belkin 3-Outlet Power Cube a good value?
The Belkin 3-Outlet Power Cube might hit the mark for you if you want a compact, inexpensive power extension right on your desktop—one that’s small enough to roll up and take on the road.