Geoffrey Long
Tip of the Quill: Archives
Belkin Concealed Surge Protector: Don't Buy.

I wanted to like this product. I really did. Back in August I made a quick lust-post about the Belkin Concealed Surge Protectors, and today I found them on price markdown at Target, from $49.99 to $39.99. One of my bad habits is cleaning like crazy as a distraction when I'm stressed over a deadline (*cough*THESIS*cough*) so I couldn't resist. I snapped it up, brought it home and then spent a happy hour rewiring the rat's nest under my desk.

I should have known that I was in trouble when I got it out of the package and the bloody thing wouldn't close properly. The Concealed Surge Protector's simple concept is also its undoing: somehow the engineers at Belkin failed to take into consideration the sheer girth and resistance of a bundle of wires when stuffing them into their svelte beast, so the simple plastic clasps that are meant to hold the thing shut utterly fail when actually in use. Instead of an industrial-strength clasp akin to those found on Timbuk2 bags, for instance, this thing simply uses two tiny tongues meant to clip onto the underside of the door. They're weaker than soaked newspaper. I finally wound up using four rubber bands around the middle of the thing to keep it shut.

My floor is now clearer of clutter, if not cleared completely. One nice thing about the product is that it offers a generous eleven outlets, so that went a long way towards reducing my power headaches, but I'm still annoyed that the simplicity that was supposed to be the product's biggest selling point also killed its functionality, and was then completely undermined by the necessity of rubber bands to make it work. Rubber. Freaking. Bands. C'mon, Belkin – great idea, jaw-droppingly crappy execution.

My verdict: not worth returning if you've already bought it, but try not to buy it in the first place.

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