The power strips are one of the most common devices to be found inside every home and office, having the sole purpose of allowing more devices to connect to a single power outlet, while lacking any type of protection which would ensure the safety of your equipment. To alleviate this problem, the manufacturers created the surge protectors.
These devices usually look like the basic power strips and have pretty much the same functionality (since the surge protectors also allow multiple devices to be connected to a single power socket), but, as their name suggests, they offer protection against power spikes that are usually caused by power outages, short circuits or even lightning, which have the potential of severely damaging your equipment (of course, the next level would be the uninterruptible power supplies, also called UPSes, that are able to provide a higher level of protection, control and maintenance for your devices).
To stand out of the crowd, the manufacturers of both power strips and surge protectors have opted for non-conventional designs, so, you won’t be surprised to see that there are devices that have kept the industrial feel and look, while others have adopted flower-like designs (Poweradd), some preferred outlets that swivel and pivot (EchoGear) or went with tower-like boxes covered by lots of outlets all around, which are more suitable for desktop placement. The Bestek 8-Outlet power strip falls into the latter category, providing 8 outlets for your electronic devices, as well as 6 USB ports which, in total, can charge up to 14 devices simultaneously, while also providing protection against surges (the surge protection ensures that your devices won’t be affected by voltage fluctuations, surges or spikes and it is able to absorb up to 1500 Joules before it fails – the device’s AC rated power is 3600 W).
Bestek 8-Outlet Surge Protector is a 5.7-inch tall device with the footprint measuring 4.8 x 4.8 inches, so it won’t take much space from a desk or shelf, but it may inconvenience people that are used to have their power strips flat and hidden after pieces of furniture. Fortunately, the design of the Bestek Surge Protector is attractive enough to fit in with your other consumer-type electronic devices, but I doubt it will blend in properly as a living-room decoration.
The device comes in two colour variations: steel blue and black, which covers most of the surge protector, while the outlets are surrounded by a white plastic (with a matte finish, so it won’t retain any fingerprints – the entire case is built out of fireproof V0 grade PC and ABS material). The power outlets are positioned vertically (two by two) on all four sides of the device, with two large buttons positioned on one edge, each of them having the role of independently controlling four outlets (useful for energy saving purposes) – you need to press the button in order for the specific set of outlets to become active, which will also turn on the small green Power LED from underneath the button.
Note: Each of the eight AC outlets have protective covers to ensure child safety (the covers aren’t that hard to press, especially after using the outlets for a while).
Positioned on two other edges, on opposite sides and in-between the outlets, there are two pairs of three USB ports, each port with its own LED light (after you connect a device, the LED will be solid green, which indicates that everything is working properly, but, in case the USB port short circuited, overloaded or got affected by overcurrent, the LED indicator will start flashing until the problem is fixed) and each row of three USB ports has a square Photosensitive Induction sensor, that has the role of automatically adjusting the intensity of the LED lights based on the ambient light in order to ensure that you won’t be disturbed during the night. The six USB ports use what Bestek calls intelligent identification function in order to correctly sense how much power every connected device needs and adjust accordingly (up to 5V/2.4A per port and 5V/8A in total) and every USB port is Quick Charge 2.0 compatible.
The base of the surge protector slightly protrudes outwards and it is very solid, ensuring the device will not budge even if you use all the outlets and ports (add to the equation the four silicone feet and the 2.14 lb weight and you get a robust device which will stay in place regardless of the number of connected devices). Furthermore, on the base, there is a red Reset button (you need to press this button to restore the power to the AC outlets after an overload or short circuit) and two LED lights which will indicate if the devices are Protected and/or Grounded.
Bestek is a Shenzhen-based company that was founded about a decade and since then, it has been a reliable provider of high quality electronic products (including automotive accessories, household appliances and more), so the first question that comes in mind when thinking about the Bestek 8-Outlet Power Strip and Surge Protector is if the device is UL or ETL listed. Unfortunately, it does not seem that the Bestek surge protector is UL listed, but the manufacturer said that the device is in the process to get ETL listed.
Note: Inside the package, you will find the Bestek 8-Outlet Power Strip / Surge Protector unit and the User Manual (the 6 feet cable is attached to the body of the device).
Overall, the Bestek 8-Outlet desktop surge protector is a solidly-built device which will satisfy both the need for more power outlets (along with lots of USB ports) and the necessity of having all your connected devices protected from surges, power outages and short circuits, but the appeal of this surge protector lies in the attention to detail and the small elements (such as the adaptive LED lights and the independently controlled sets of AC outlets) that will definitely raise the bar for the other surge protectors from the competition.