Modular power strip stacks up with cube design

The humble power strip gets a makeover with the PowerCube, a stackable, changeable set of square power-outlet extensions.

This should make room for that big power adapter. Amanda Kooser/CNET

There have been many attempts to reinvent the classic power strip. We've had strips with wavy tentacle arms; strips with snake-like, movable joints; and even a power strip built into a tote bag. So what makes Allocacoc's PowerCube worth a second glance? Its almost Lego-like design concept.

The PowerCube is modular and stackable with outlets on five of its six sides. (The sixth side is the plug.) You can build a tower of power outlets, a straight line, or a right angle. You can stick a cube into a wall socket or -- if it has a cord -- conveniently set it nearby on your worktable. You can add another cube when you need it. The only limitation is the total power draw of the devices you plug in.

It's a simple solution to a perennial problem of having enough outlets while also having the space to connect chunky wall warts to feed your hungry electronics. I played with the PowerCubes at CES and quite enjoyed plugging, unplugging, and stacking the devices.

PowerCubes are available in Europe only at the moment, but Allocacoc attended CES 2014 to work on lining up a distributor in the US. Company reps wouldn't tell me if they found one, but they sounded pretty confident about bringing the gadget to the American market.

The cubes are sold separately. Options include just cubes, cubes with cords, or cubes with USB power ports. You pick the pieces you want to customize your power strip. Prices are expected to start at around $25 per cube.

Some day, technology will shrink all our power adapters down to reasonable sizes (I'm looking at you, Finsix). Until then, we need creative ways to make way for juicing up our gadgets, and PowerCube fits the bill.

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