Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Cool Idea... but does anyone else see the obvious problem here?

That's Belkins newest product; a compact power strip with two USB charging ports on the side.

Overall, I think this is a great concept, given that the gadget industry seems (finally) to be standardizing on the MIniUSB port for charging and data transfer. Every phone, PDA, and MP3 player, and most of the headsets in this house use them; and rather than have to keep them all plugged into my laptop all the time, or trade off between the one plug available in the hotel room, this seems like a great solution.

Actually, I generally bring a compact power strip with me in my laptop bag for just such things; but this is smaller, lighter, and more convenient... though if I were king of the world, I would wish for one more outlet. If I were really pushing it, make that a 4 port powered USB 2 hub as well, and stick a short extension cord in the box (for those inaccessible outlets), and I'd run out and buy a half dozen of them as geek christmas gifts.

Anyway, there's just one problem I forsee here.

Look at the two USB ports.

Look at their spacing and orientation.

Given this spacing and orientation... and the fact that this device is a power strip...