Get Three Type B outlets and 4 USB outlets for the cost of 1 wall outlet with the BESTEK POWER CUBE.
Unless you have a recently constructed home, I would bet that you have several rooms with overburdened outlets and some with outlets that have never been utilized. As we gather more and more technology, we are forced to turn to multi-port power outlets and surge protectors to power all of our devices. From our bedrooms, to our offices, to our dormitories, we need better options to keep our devices powered. Luckily, there are several options on the market. As examples, I have a 3600J surge protector for my smart TV, powered hard drive, cable box, 4K blu-ray player, and Nintendo/Super Nintendo Classic. I have a Cyber Power Systems 1500VA/90W back up system, which powers my desktop, monitor, speakers, printer, and peripherals. I utilize several USB-A/USB-C hubs as well as multi-socket wall outlets. Instead of worrying about wall space, I now have to play power strip Tetris. For those who are struggling to find a desktop/office-based power strip, consider the Power Cube from BESTEK.
The BESTEK Power cube arrived in a 4 5/16 inches thick by 5 1/8 inches wide by 5 5/16 inches tall tan cardboard box. Other than the BESTEK name, imprinted in bold black font along the top, front and back panels, the surfaces resembled a standard tan shipping box. The left side panel provided a QR code, linking to the company website, a product UPC sticker, company address, Made in China logo, and several of the typical manufacturing labels. The opposing surface provided a 3×3 layout of product icons: Integrated Copper Sleeve, USB Intelligent Identification, Safety Socket Door, Advanced Fire-Proof Material, Compatible with different electronic devices, Certified Plug, Over Current Protection, Short Circuit Protection, and Overload Protection. Even though we are not supposed to judge books by their covers, we all do. Unfortunately, the BESTEK Power Cube packaging left me confused about the nature of the product and did not detail what was resting within the outer packaging. I wanted more information about the product and wish that BESTEK would have embellished their packaging a little more.
I lifted the lid of the packaging and found a plastic-wrapped, 2 5/8 inches by 2 5/8 inches by 2 5/8 inches power cube and 62 inch power cable. Beneath the Power Cube, you will find a 3 3 3/8 inches square double-sided tape, two 5/8 inches long screws, a product warranty/review card (with QR code’s linking to BESTEK all.com/register and facebook.com/BestekGlobal), and a six-panel English instruction manual. The visually appealing BESTEK Power Cube had a white core, a grey 5/8 inches thick topper, and a slightly wider grey removable base. The 3 3/8 inches long by 3 3/8 inches wide by 9/16 inches thick base could be removed from the main power cube by pressing the two buttons along the sides of the base. Conveniently, there were two screw holes along the bottom, which would allow you to affix the base to your desired surface. If you do not wish to drill/screw into a given surface, you could utilize the included double-sided tape to attach the charger. Without utilizing one of the methods above, the charger will not sit flush with your table because the charging cable outweighs the cube.
The top of the BESTEK charging cube had a single 5V/3A USB-C port, three 5V/2.4A USB-A ports, and a single power button with blue illuminating LED ring. Combined, the four side-by-side USB output ports could provide up to 25W of power. The left, right, and front panels had horizontally oriented Type B wall outlets, while the back panel housed the 1.5meter/5 foot power cable. I was pleased to discover that the instruction manual noted a 300J rating for each of the three surge-protected AC outlets. Additionally, the device provided USB output over-voltage protection, over current protection, short circuit protection, and overload protection. Lastly, I appreciated that BESTEK included a white velcro retention strap for their cable.
I removed the white plastic cover from the Type B prong and plugged the cable into a standard Type B wall outlet. It was at that point that I found my biggest complaint about the device. I liked that they used a flat plug style for their Type B prong but I did not like that they chose to orient the cable vertically. I would have preferred an offset/angled cable or a rotatable attachment point. Since the cable jutted directly south of the prong, I was not able to utilize the top outlet. Instead, I was forced into utilizing the lower port. With power outlet space at a premium, this device could potentially limit our options. Once plugged into wall power, I pressed the small power button and examined the blue LED ring. Even though the ring was visually appealing, I would have preferred the ability to change the color to red or the ability to deactivate the ring. Have you ever noticed that most alarm clocks tend to use red coloration? The reason behind the color choice is not simply aesthetic. Rather, it is a biological process whereby blue light breaks down the sleep hormone melatonin and red light enhances melatonin production. Thus, if you were going to utilize this device in your bedroom, it may potentially worsen your sleep.
Utilizing a DROK USB-C Multimeter, I tested each of the USB ports. I used an AUKEY USB-C to lightning cable and an iPad Air 2, iPhone 11 Pro Max and iPad Pro 10.5" to test the USB-C port. I found the multimeter read 5V/2.4A for each of the devices. Using a standard Apple USB-A to Lightning cable and the DROK Multimeter, I found each of the USB-A ports to output the same rate of charge. While charging my daughter’s iPad Air 2 via USB-A output, I placed my Nintendo Switch onto charge and found the multimeter read 5.04V/.47A for the first few minutes, while my switch was fully depleted. After about five minutes, the switch charged at 4.98V/1.92A-5.04V/2.15A. The USB-C port did not provide any PD type power output. This did not charge my switch optimally and will not charge many USB-C smartphones at an optimal rate. If needed, plug your USB-C PD adaptor into one of the Type B wall outlets and utilize that method to charge your larger devices. Additionally, the power button only controlled the USB ports and did not control the Type B wall outlets. Unfortunately, the USB-C outlet will not provide adequate power to newer smartphones, Macbooks, or tablets/ iPads.
Despite the concern with the angle of the power cable prong, the Power Cube was a worthy addition to my collection of power outlet hubs. If I were going to design the Power Cube 2.0, I would add extra weight along the front to offset the weight of the cable. This would prevent me from being forced to potentially damage a surface. The ~5ft power cable was more than generous and the included velcro cable strap was a thoughtful addition. I loved the side-by-side orientation of the three USB-A and USB-C port but would have preferred two of each output type. Additionally, the USB-C ports need to be updated to the newer PD style USB-C ports. The orientation of the Type B wall outlets was well thought out, considering the power cable of the Power Cube. Since each outlet was oriented horizontally, it eliminated the problem of the cable angle. As noted above, I would also offer the option to change the color of the LED ring for the Power Cube 2.0. I loved the detachable base, the cable length, the orientation, and coloration of the device. If USB-C power delivery is important to you, this is not the device to purchase. If you need more outlets and a reasonable USB HUB, this $26.99 device may be right up your alley. Other than the few deficiencies noted above, the Power Cube should fulfill the needed role of multi-device charger.
Originally published at https://macsources.com on January 15, 2020.