Review: Belkin Mini Surge Protector with USB Charger

Imagine this scenario: You’re in a hotel room and you bring your iPhone, Macbook, External Hard Drive, Camera, and another iPod cause you’re nasty..but they’re all in need of a charge. You run and send a search team for the nearest available outlet, to your utter dismay it only provides two outputs. You reason you can live without a couple of those items but then you can’t fit two clunky chargers at once. You’re left with just charging one device.

We’ve all run into hotel rooms that just don’t seem to have enough power outlets. With the Belkin Mini Surge Protector with USB that problem is pretty much solved. How does it perform?

Read on for the rest of the review!

Design

 

It’s a portable surge protector that includes 3 electrical outlets and 2 USB ports (for charge only). They also throw in a Mini-USB charger for you in the box. Obviously it won’t win any design awards but the white and grey look is clean and will match your white charging cables from Apple, if you’re into that kind of thing.

The uniqueness of this electrical solution is the ability to rotate the surge a full 360 degrees with four locking positions (up, down, left, right). Meaning you can adjust the surge to your liking or to fit the surroundings of any outlet.

It’s a bit taller than your iPhone and as thick as maybe 4 iPhones so it’s not exactly small but its size is certainly purposeful. Build quality is solid, it makes you feel safe just holding it. Belkin did a really good job in making this surge protector a sturdy, trustworthy device. But I won’t lie, for a surge protector, this may be as good as it gets for design. It even matches Apple’s minimalist products!

 

Usability

 

Okay, here’s the lowdown on the specs of this bad boy:

  • EMI/RFI Noise Filtration: 150kHz ~ 100 MHz up to 40 dB reduction
  • Joule Rating: 918J
  • Maximum Spike Current: 36,000A
  • Powered USB Output: 5V/500mA each port
  • Responses Time:
  • UL Clamping Voltage: UL1449 800V

What I take from all these numbers is that it’s okay to plug your devices in and certainly a lot easier than lugging around an actual surge and better than not having enough outlets to plug into. Also, Belkin promises a Lifetime Product Warranty and $75,000 Connected Equipment Warranty. Who knows how hard it is to actually file a claim but hey, at least they mentioned such policies.

Though it isn’t the most compact device, it has become a must-add to my laptop bag. I’ve already found use for it at the local coffee shop, a hotel room, a classroom and expect to use it in more locations such as airport terminals and other public spaces. Honestly, I have no worries of being without a charge when I carry this portable surge around. Also, sharing the plugs with neighbors is fine by me, many suits breathe a sigh of relief when they see me pull out the mini surge protector.

This item isn’t exactly perfect though. I do wish the 3 electrical outlets were spaced a little bit wider, with so many unwieldy chargers these days it was hard to use ALL 3 outlets at the same time. Also, I would have preferred to see the actual plug snap into the body of the surge, which would make this device even more portable. Luckily they toss in a cap to protect the prongs.

The good

  • Simple and Stylish for a Surge Protector
  • Incredibly Useful for Frequent Travelers
  • Rotates 360 Degrees
  • It's a portable surge!

The bad

  • Minimal Usage for Home Use
  • Outlets should be spaced wider apart
  • Plug should fold into the body

The conclusion

This is probably the perfect solution for any road warrior or frequent traveler. It seems as if there just isn’t enough plugs in this world to plug your electronic goodies into. So until hotels revamp their whole electrical wiring and public spaces offer multiple outlets, the Belkin Mini Surge Protector is probably the best solution. A 5 for 1 portable solution? Not bad at all.

Final Rating: 4.8/5

Buy now

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There are 8 comments. Add yours.

Mike says:

Not quite sure if you will reply to this or not, HOWEVER, this plug has a fatal flaw, for myself anyways, I simply can NOT charge two iPod touch's at the same time, if I do they start going crazy jumping in and out of the charge screen which inadvertantly leads to massive amounts of beeping. Unplug one ipod touch from either the plug itself or from the ipod (leaving the cord still in the plug) and all stops and the first ipod starts charging normally.
From the looks of it it seems as though the plug doesn't produce enough juice to charge both ipods, and hence puts them into the charging loop as if I was constantly plugging and unplugging the cords (we are talking a beep and screen shift every second, maybe more)
sigh
I thought it was fantastic when I saw it at the store, but now I am not so sure.. At least I can still charge on though so that is better than nothing. :)

CoachFreak says:

I actually bought one of these today before I saw this blog entry or the response by Mike above. I would be charging my iPhone and a mouse or bluetooth earpiece so I am not sure if I will have the same trouble. I often need to charge two computers and my iPhone, so this will really come in handy.

Robert Russell says:

The one problem I've found is that I must use the provided USB cable to charge my Razr v9m which has a micro USB and the Belkin has mini USB so need the adapter.
Micro USB cables will not charge and I've tried several

Scott Lewis says:

To Mike - and the others who are concerned. I bought this product last week. NO problem on charging multiple iPods/iPhones. You cannot charge both via USB, I suspect its too much load on the USB bus, I see the same problem. But if you charge one via USB and one via AC power (the iPhone 3G adapter is perfect for this since it's soooo small) it charges fine. I was charging my MacBook, my Sony A700 SLR camera, an iPhone (original), an iPhone 3G and also via USB a Flip Video camera, no problem at all in any of three hotels I was at, except in one hotel via an AC socket in a lamp, which I suspect was not exactly a 15 or 20 amp circuit.

Alex says:

This is a cool little accesory, Belkin usually come with a lifetime guarentee too.

Scott says:

Sorry people.
I was going to buy this product until I called tech support to find out if it would work in Europe. Wow, the horrible customer service. I got conflicting information from phone techs and email response.
That aside, I don't think I could use it in Europe, so it's useless to me. There are other, better quality products which will suit my needs.

Judith says:

Can I use this in Europe with a power adaptor?

Jenny @ Belkin Warehouse says:

Hi, just doing some browsing for my Belkin site. Amazing the amount of information on the web. Not what I was looking for, but interesting page. Have a nice day.