8 Best Power Board Options for the Home and Office
Power boards and power strips are not the most exciting topics, yet they’re standard additions to every home and workplace. So, they at least warrant a discussion about what to look for when purchasing a new one and which are the best.
When purchasing a new board, or strip, consider the number of outlets, USB ports, power cord length and if there’s a built in surge protector to help keep your electronic equipment safe.
Before we look at the best power board for your home and office, let’s take a look at surge protectors and why they’re essential.
The Importance of Surge Protectors
The surge protector is a built in function designed to protect your TV, desktop computer and other valuable electronic devices against damage resulting from excessive electrical current.
If the voltage rises above a suitable level, the surge protector absorbs the current and diverts it back to the power point’s grounding wire. The current could fry your expensive equipment or reduce its lifespan without being properly grounded.
The type of protection you need differs depending on what devices are in use, just as each power board offers a different level of surge protection. Surges are measured in joules, and the higher the protection, the better.
Surge protectors do not guarantee protection but reduce the risks. Lightning strikes, for example, will be most likely be higher in voltage than what a surge protector can handle. It’s advised that you shut off or disconnect appliances during a lightning storm.
Now, let’s take a look at the best power boards for the home and office:
1. Belkin 2.4 USB Charging 8-outlet Surge Protection Strip
The Belkin 8-Outlet Surge Protection Strip is one of the most comprehensive power boards available. With eight electrical outlets and two USB ports, it’s ideal for a home entertainment system or comprehensive home office.
The USB ports charge at 2.4 amps, which is not quite fast charging but should be around 40% faster than standard USB ports. The recessed power switch is positioned to help reduce accidental shut offs, and the cord length comes in at 2 metres.
Belkin says the built-in surge protector is rated to handle up to 900 Joules from short circuits and lightning strikes. The tech brand is so sure of its ability to protect that they offer a warranty of up to $50,000 to cover the costs of damaged equipment if the power strip fails to protect.
Pros: 8 AC outlets, impressive warranty
Cons: Only two USB ports
Price: RRP $70
Where to Buy: Belkin, Bunnings, JB Hi-Fi, Officeworks, Amazon
2. Lenovo Smart Power Board
Lenovo goes beyond PCs, tablets and monitors with a range of accessories to suit modern technologies, and their smart power strip is no exception. The Lenovo Smart Power Board is a slim, modern unit with four AC outlets but no USB ports. The power board features surge and overload protection, and users can take advantage of the smart connection for added flexibility.
Connect the Lenovo board to your Wi-Fi and use the supported app to manage power to each of the four outlets individually without laying a hand on the board itself. Voice controls are supported through Google Assistant and Amazon Alexia.
Pros: Slim, modern design, smart connectivity
Cons: No USB support
Price: RRP $49
Where to buy: JB Hi-Fi, Bing Lee, The Good Guys, Lenovo
3. HPM USB & Wireless Charging Hub
The HPM USB and Wireless Charging Hub is the ideal solution for charging devices on the go and allows for up to six devices to be charged simultaneously.
There are no AC outlets, just USB. So you’re looking at 4 x USB Type-A ports, 1 x USB Type-C port and one positioned on top for wireless charging. The charging hub automatically detects connected devices. It features surge protection and shuts down to prevent overheating.
The AC power cable is 1.5 metres long, and the charging hub weighs 290 grams. This would be ideal for content creators to charge phones, cameras, batteries and drones.
Pros: Compact design, charges six items simultaneously
Cons: No AC outlets
Price: RRP $99
Where to buy: Bing Lee, Total Tools, Dick Smith
4. Jackson 6 Outlet Rackmount Power Board
Sleek, black and mountable, this Jackson 6 AC outlet power board is a great option for a shed, garage or mounted to the underside of a desk. It features 6 surge protected outlets and has brackets at either end for easily attaching to walls, desks and cabinets.
The 1.8 metre power cable can be removed for efficient storage, and a black colourway would be ideal for industrial surroundings.
Pros: Slim, mountable design
Cons: No USB ports
Price: RRP $85
Where to buy: Officeworks, Dick Smith, Mwave
5. Brilliant Smart Power Board
This is another smart power board that gives you voice control and app support for managing electricity to your appliances and gadgets. Along with the four individually controlled AC outlets, there are also four USB ports for your convenience. Use your choice of Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri to manage via voice or simply bend over and press the power button if you’re that way inclined.
This Brilliant board features thermal overload protection with a side-mounted reset switch, and the AC power cable measures 1.4 metres.
Pros: Smart controls, plenty of ports
Cons: No surge protection
Price: RRP $69
Where to buy: Brilliant Lighting, Mitre 10, Officeworks
6. CordTech 6A 10 Outlet Desktop Tower
The CordTech Desktop Tower features a design that looks more on par with a modem than a standard power strip. With 6 x AC outlets and 4 x USB ports, this is a great option to place at the centre of a shared workspace so everyone can plug in laptops and accessories.
Additional features include surge and overload protection, a master switch at the top, and a power cable measuring 1.5 metres in length.
Pros: Plenty of ports
Cons: Potential for it to tip over
Price: RRP $80
Where to buy: Bunnings
7. Safemore 3-Level VPS Origin Plus Power Board
This Safemore power board deserves the ‘Tower’ title, but it seems they’re better at crafting quality electrical products than at branding. This power hub suits the centre of a conference room or shared workspace with its 10 AC outlets and 4 USB ports.
It has a bold design while providing plenty of power to boot. There are two main switches on the top to encourage energy saving on the outlets not in use.
We were unfamiliar with this brand, but their Origin Plus power board has hundreds of five star reviews across Catch and Dick Smith online stores.
Pros: Plenty of ports, swivel design
Cons: Unknown brand
Price: RRP $60
Where to buy: Dick Smith, Catch
8. CordTech 6 Outlet Workshop Power Board
So, the focus was power boards for the home and office. But we can’t pass on the CordTech Workshop Power Board with its bold design and durable build. Six extra wide outlets accommodate larger plugs, like the ones found on tools and hardware. Plus, there are two USB ports and a built-in master switch.
Equip one of these in the shed or workshop, and you can benefit from 1000 Joules surge protection and a carry handle to boot. Plus, you’ll never misplace it with colours like this.
Pros: Bright design, 2 metre power cable
Cons: Design won’t be for everyone
Price: RRP $40
Where to buy: Bunnings, Mitre 10
Published: 8 Feb, 2022