A solid desktop power strip should always provide a bounty of protection and connection features designed to last the product’s lifetime. These include over- and under-voltage protection, temperature monitoring, and outlets rated to handle a decent amount of joules.
But what about pleasing, ergonomic, space-saving designs that allow the desktop power strip to sit right on top of our workstations and tables? While most power strips lay on the floor beneath and behind our workstations and A/V furniture, there are times when a quick-connect tabletop power strip is a must-have.
Fortunately, several reputable companies produce good-looking desktop power strips that include the must-have features of today’s leading surge protectors.
Ask Yourself What You Actually Need
Not all desktop power strips are created equal. Ask yourself a few questions, so you know what you really want (and need) before you buy.
- What are you protecting?
- How many outlets will you need now? In the future?
- Do you need USB ports, and if so, which type?
- Where is it going to go?
- How much do you want to spend?
Once you have an idea of what you are looking for, you should have no problem finding a desktop power strip that looks good and works well. Here are seven tabletop-friendly power strips that we would be happy to have on our desks.
1. Torras Power Cloud
BEST DESKTOP POWER STRIP OVERALL
We’ll be the first to admit we would buy this power strip based on looks alone. Sleek and minimalist, yet extremely high-tech in its appearance, the Torras Power Cloud looks like a power strip of the future. And in many ways, it is.
Designed to reduce wire clutter, the Power Cloud features two distinct powering zones: a set of three 1,250 watt power outlets atop the module, and a front-facing panel of USB inputs, including two 65 watt USB-C ports and a single 18-watt USB-A port. Best of all, the Power Cloud utilizes an intelligent charging chipset that will automatically adjust current based on what devices are connected.
The Torras Power Cloud is also small enough to quickly unplug and relocate if you’re working in several locations throughout the day and comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.
2. Vari Power Hub
BEST CLIP-ON DESKTOP POWER STRIP
Nothing says clean and straightforward like an out-of-sight power strip. Yes, it’s convenient to house a power strip on top of our desks, but sometimes the bulkiness and wire clutter can become a bit too much to handle. That’s why we love the clip-on harness that the team at Vari incorporated into the design of the Vari Power Hub.
Featuring no-tool installation, slide the bracket over the side of your desk or table and screw the bottom locking harness into place to secure the module. In terms of outlets, the unit includes three surge-protected power outlets and two USB inputs (one 2.4 and one 3-watt). The main power lead is 12 feet long, so you should have no issue reaching the nearest outlet, and there’s even a handy on/off switch.
Vari also offers a 30-day trial so if you get it home and you don’t like it, or it doesn’t fit your desk, you can ship it right back — no questions asked.
3. Anker 12 Outlet Power Strip Surge Protector
BEST FOR CONNECTING MULTIPLE DEVICES
For those with electronics-filled workstations and busy A/V entertainment centers, this 12 outlet power surge protector from Anker is a more than worthy investment. Each power outlet is protected up to 4,000 joules, a safeguard further bolstered by the unit’s fire-resistant housing, overload protection and temperature monitoring. There’s also a $300,000 connected equipment warranty that covers the life of the surge protector.
Each of the three USB inputs utilizes Anker’s PowerIQ technology to automatically adjust the current used to charge all connected devices, ensuring your phones, tablets and laptops are getting the most efficient power boosts.
The relatively sleek chassis and angled plug head with a 6-foot lead make this a decent tabletop contender, but we understand if you’d rather keep this one on the floor. However, the four rear-facing keyhole slots make it easy to mount this Anker power strip to the back of your desk or behind your media cabinet.
4. FDTEK 4 Outlet Desktop Charging Station
BEST FOR BUDGET SHOPPERS
Sometimes your workstation has a desk lamp in the rear corner, monitors and speakers closer to the front, and other peripherals scattered here and there. This cube-style desktop power strip from FDTEK has got you covered for situations where not everything is precisely front-and-center.
Featuring one power outlet per cube section and three 2.4 watt USB inputs up top, you’ll be able to connect equipment from every angle. Plus, the grab-and-go design makes it easy to toss the charging station into a piece of luggage, making it ideal for use in hotel rooms and other locations.
The charging cube also features overload protection, and the chassis is fire-retardant. It’s also one of the cheapest entries on this list, but keep in mind that the power lead is only 5 feet long, and wire clutter may become an issue if you have a ton of hardware connected at the same time.
5. Tripp Lite 3 Outlet Portable Surge Protector
BEST FOR PORTABLE POWER
While this portable surge protector only features three outlets — two in front, one in back — and two side-facing USB-A inputs, but no USB-C connections, it’s our favorite surge protector to toss in a bag when you’re heading away for a few days but still have a small army of devices to charge.
Each outlet is protected up to 1,050 joules, with automatic shutoff whenever a device plugged in crosses the safety threshold. The entire unit is also covered by a $25,000 connected equipment warranty for the product’s life.
It may not be the best-looking desktop power strip of our roundup, but for guaranteed protection and a reliable name, we can’t think of a better portable power station.
6. Anker A9132 PowerExtend Power Strip
BEST FOR USB-C DEVICES
The real-estate saving, sleek, white-capsule Anker A9132 features some of the best USB charging specs we’ve seen on a desktop surge protector. Located on the front of the protector are each of the three USB inputs for easy connections to a phone, laptop or tablet, and you can choose between two 15 watt USB-A ports and a high-speed 45-watt USB-C connection.
The USB-C port includes Anker’s PowerIQ that automatically filters current based on the type of device you have plugged in. For reduced wire clutter, you can find the PowerExtend’s three main power outlets on the back of the power strip, which is excellent for smaller workstations.
The Anker A9132 PowerExtend also includes an 18-month worry-free warranty and a $50,000 connected equipment warranty that lasts for the product’s life. Many reviewers relish the ease of connecting and charging multiple devices simultaneously, with the 6-foot power lead being plenty long for most rooms.
7. Shinola Power Supply 5 Port + Dual USB
BEST OLD SCHOOL DESIGN
Connecting your workstation equipment to a tabletop surge protector is a convenient way to manage your devices, but reducing wire clutter can turn into a real hassle. This five-outlet desktop power strip from Shinola Detroit addresses the trouble of bunched-up cabling with its eight-foot, custom braided power lead. The tough jacketing ensures it won’t develop any unsightly kinks or knots over time. The clever addition of a 45-degree wall plug prevents the plug head from blocking other electrical outlets.
Featuring five power outlets and two 2-amp USB ports, the relatively sleek profile and choice of colors make the Power Supply ideal for hanging out on top of desks or directly underneath, all in plain sight. Many reviewers have noted the impressive design and impressive charge times delivered by both USB ports.
Quite the aesthetic treat for any desktop setup, the Power Supply 5 Port + Dual USB may be a bit on the pricey side for some, especially considering it doesn’t feature any power surge failsafes.