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Peripherals

Get an 8-outlet, 6-USB-port surge protector for $30.99

Designed to sit on a desk, this surprisingly stylish mini-tower handles all your power needs. Plus: If you like puzzles and own an Android device, today's your lucky day...

CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Twitter!


Not a bad-looking desktop accessory, given what it is.

Bestek

As computer accessories go, surge protectors are probably the single most boring category I can think of. They make sync cables seem like a day at the circus, am I right?

And, yet, it's something worth having, as all it takes is one power spike to fry your pricey gear. I know people who have lost computers, monitors, printers and more to lightning storms, brown-outs, etc.

So I've got a deal for you. I'm not saying this is the best surge protector you can get or even the best bargain you can find. It's just one that crossed my desk and seemed appealing.

For a limited time, and while supplies last, you can get this Bestek 8-outlet 1,500-Joules surge protector for $30.99. That's after applying promo code BA6F993J at checkout.

Unlike many surge protectors, which are designed for the floor, this one can sit on a desk without totally ruining the decor. It's a little tower of outlets, with two facing each direction so you should have no problem fitting wall warts and other oddly shaped plugs.

On two of the corners: Three smart USB ports (each able to auto-detect the connected device and deliver up to 2.4A per port).

Other features include two power buttons for the outlets (one for the top row and one for the bottom, I'd guess), a 90-degree wall plug for the tower itself and a photosensor that adjusts the brightness of the various LEDs depending on the amount of ambient light. That may seem a little superfluous for something like this, but it's kind of nice to know that if the room is dark, you won't be distracted by glaringly bright LEDs.

The unit promises 1,500 Joules' worth of surge protection, which is -- a lot? Enough? I don't speak electricity, but apparently that's a good number. Nearly 135 Amazon customers collectively rated the device 4.7 stars out of 5, and according to Fakespot, nearly all those reviews are legit.

Personally, I like the design of this -- it's a lot nicer-looking than the typical six-strip outlet, and definitely a lot more accommdating to big plugs. And six 2.4A USB ports at the ready? That's definitely reason enough to keep it on your desk.

Your thoughts?

Bonus deal: Another reason to consider Android over iPhone: You can get game bundles for the former. Like this 9-title collection of puzzle games, which is yours if you beat the average purchase price (currently $5.67). Combined value: $29. (Some of the games are currently on sale, but you're still getting plenty of bang for your not-quite-six-bucks.) Highlights here include Deus Ex Go, the widely beloved A Good Snowman is Hard to Build, and Human Resource Machine, which comes from the creator of the classic World of Goo.

Bonus deal 2: Speaking of puzzles, if you'll forgive a little shameless self-promotion (and not the usual listen-to-my-podcast! kind), I just started a new business! It's a mobile escape game (think: escape-room-without-the-room) designed for corporate team-building -- but also suitable for parties, reunions, stuff like that. (It can be played by up to 50 people at a time.) We're currently serving the metro-Detroit area, but could also come to northern Ohio, Indiana, etc. Just putting it on your radar in case you or someone you know likes lively, puzzle-oriented group activities.