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This insanely useful surge protector costs under $19

It's vertical. It rotates. It has 10 outlets and four USB ports. And it's on sale! Plus: A great deal on a beloved animated movie, two totally free games and your chance to win a Google Pixel 2 XL!


This smartly designed power station charges all the things.


Quick housekeeping note: We're doing a little experimenting in the coming weeks, meaning you might see some bonus deals that appear as short, standalone posts. Today, for example, there's a pretty sweet Parrot Swing deal, but you won't find it below; it'll appear separately on the Cheapskate page and in the newsletter. The idea is simply to give bonus deals a little more spotlight. Stay tuned.

As computer accessories go, surge protectors are about as exciting as sync cables. Woooooooo!

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

But forget about those six-outlet strips that just lay there. Surely there must be something a little more versatile, a little more interesting.

Yep! For a limited time, and while supplies last, Jackyled Direct (via Amazon) has this 10-outlet surge protector charging station for $18.49 with promo code NBR4IAX6

Unlike many such products, 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, all of them angled out so you should have no problem fitting wall-warts and other oddly shaped plugs.

On two of the corners are smart USB ports, each able to auto-detect the connected device and deliver up to 2.1A per port.

Other features include a carrying handle, independent power buttons for the outlets and a retractable (!) power cord for the tower itself. Speaking of which, it rotates! I'm not sure how practical that really is once you have a few items plugged in, but it seems cool.

The unit promises 780 Joules' worth of surge protection, which is -- a lot? Enough? I don't speak electricity, but apparently that's a decent number. Over 1,000 Amazon customers collectively rated the device 4.5 stars out of 5, and both Fakespot and ReviewMeta give passing grades to those grades.

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

Bonus deal: The 2016 animated film Kubo and the Two Strings is widely beloved. It was nominated for Best Animated Feature Film and currently holds a 97 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

It normally sells for $10, but for a limited time you can own the movie for about the price of a rental: Amazon has Kubo and the Two Strings in HD for $4.99. That's for the digital version, of course, so you'll need a phone, tablet or streaming device to watch it.


Bonus deal No. 2: Game time! Steam is currently offering a pair of nifty freebies: the classic platformer Oddworld: Abe's Odyssey and the popular strategic-arcade shooter Yet Another Zombie Defense. Both are for Windows only.

Oddworld is so old, it's square: It was designed before the shift to rectangular, wide-screen monitors and TVs. But it's still widely regarded as one of the best platform games ever.

YAZD is more modern and has its share of fans as well; you can play with friends locally or online, and, let's face it, when you're facing down hordes of zombies, it's always good to have help.

Giveaway! Our friends over at ZDNet are giving away a Google Pixel 2 XL and a $100 Google Play Store gift card to go with it. To enter, just answer a simple question in the comments section of the giveaway page (not here). You've got until May 22 to do that. Good luck! Update: Once again, the giveaway is at ZDNet, not here.

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 Facebook and Twitter!