Power strips, 4-gangs, 6-gangs, trailing sockets, call them what you will. Most of us will have owned very many in our time. But, believe it or not, Allocacoc have managed to approach this most basic part of your tech set-up a bit differently, as well as adding a neat bit of functionality to it.
I have reviewed quite a bit of tech since starting GadgetyNews back in 2007 but I have never had reason to review a power block before. Until now.
When I received the PowerCube Remote I dreaded having to write about it. What could I possibly say? Well, as you can see, quite a bit actually.
PowerCube Remote design
Allocacoc’s PowerCube is a power strip compressed into the shape of a cube with a 1.5 metre extension cable running out of one face.
This leaves room for 4 sides of power outlets with a big orange on/off button with a white light on indicator in a very compact form.
It’s a neat looking thing and, even though it might not be the flashiest thing you’ll buy (but it could be, I’m not judging you), it is one of the coolest looking trailing sockets I’ve met.
PowerCube Remote performance
It switches on and off. It works.
That should be the performance section sorted really, and it would be but for one thing.
The PowerCube has an extra bit of something up its sleeve. The PowerCube comes with what looks to be a spare on/off button (remember the big orange one mentioned earlier?).
This is not a spare, however, this is a remote control for the power brick. The great thing about it is that it does not require batteries, nor does it work over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Is it magic? I do hope so.
All you have to do in order to pair the cube with the remote switch is hold down the on/off button on the cube until the light flashes. Release your grip and then hold down the remote button until the cube’s light stops flashing. When that happens, all is done and Robert is your mother’s brother. Best of all, it actually works.
I have the little amp and DAC that lives under my desk plugged in to the PowerCube as when I am using headphones with my PC I don’t need the V90 duo switched on. Normally I’d need to get on my hands and knees to switch on the extension block to power the amp and DAC – not any more! Now I have the remote button stuck the the underside of my desk like a panic button so, when I want audio through my speakers, I just unplug my headphones and hit the big orange button.
The genius doesn’t stop there though. No sireeee!
You can control multiple PowerCubes with one remote button or… have multiple buttons dotted around to control one PowerCube – so let’s say a button either side of the bed, and another just inside the room, for example.
If you like the idea of sticking the button under your desk how about mounting the PowerCube? Yup, you can thanks to the included mounting plate. The plate attaches to the desk using some sticky strips, and then connects to the PowerCube by fitting into the sides of the circular plug ports and turning the cube, locking it in place on the desk.
This is a handy option, although it does reduce the number of power outlets by one.
PowerCube Remote review conclusion
I love things that are borderline over designed and this is one reason why I really dig Allocacoc’s take on the power block. The PowerCube is compact and actually looks good, something that I have never found myself saying about any other trailing socket.
Having a remote on/off switch is a great idea and one that really seals the deal for me. If you have a bunch of gear, such as your Hi-Fi and TV, plugged in and left on stand-by because you can’t reach around to the mains point because it’s tricky – use a PowerCube Remote and then put the remote button somewhere easier to reach, or step on as that’s also what it has been designed for, and then powering on and off is no longer a huge mission. It will save your back and could save you money.
If I had to be picky I’d say that, rather than cover an outlet, it would perhaps make more sense for the mounting plate to cover the button on the PowerCube Remote as you have the stompable one anyway.
I still think it’s a neat bit of kit though.