Qubic makes us wish all power strips were modular

Seriously, why hasn't it always been this way?

At Gadgette we test out some really cool tech including virtual reality headsets and brand new smartphones. It’s probably easy to imagine us getting excited about those sorts of things. Less likely is the idea that we would get excited about a power strip (or extension lead) but that’s exactly what’s happened. We first saw the Qubic Modular Power System at CES and have been using it to charge our devices and we honestly wouldn’t go back.

Let’s be clear, Qubic doesn’t have any fancy, futuristic features and it won’t change the industry. It does what power strips have always done; it powers your stuff. But power strips have been the same for 45 years and it has taken this long to make them the way they always should have been: modular. In hindsight it seems like such an obvious change and it really is a big improvement.

The Qubic power strip consists of modules, where the first is a surge protector and the rest are add-ons. There are starter packs that give you the surge protection module and 4 or 6 socket modules. There’s a patented 4–pin connector between modules and it literally couldn’t be easier to use. The modules just slide together like you’re playing with LEGO. Most homes now have more electronics than wall sockets because of TVs, computers, tablets, smartphones, and robots (just me?) so we use power strips more than ever. It only makes sense that they’re customisable for different uses and in different rooms in your home.

The most obvious advantage is that it’s great to add extra modules when you need them rather than buying an entirely new power strip. Less obvious is that different modules can let you customise the power strip for your needs. As well as extra socket modules you can buy USB charging modules and protection modules for network/phone or TV/sat connections. The USB modules either have 1 or 2 ports and can charge two devices simultaneously. The network protector has 2 RJ45 ports so you can protect the phone/modem/computer from voltage spikes.

We were happy to find that the devices can be daisy-chained with other power strips. You can take your old power strip and connect it to one of the Qubic sockets as long as the total power consumption of Qubic doesn’t exceed 3250 W.

The modular nature of Qubic means that future modules can be invented and added to your existing kit without having to buy everything all over again. The company is currently working on a wireless module that would let you control the rest of your power strip so you can turn devices on and off remotely using a smartphone. Those modules should arrive sometime later this year.

All surge protectors should work this way and be customisable; it just makes sense. And the best thing is that Qubic isn’t a great deal more expensive than standard power strips anyway. On the official website you can buy the x4 starter kit (surge protector plus 4 socket modules) for £19.99. You can get pairs of extra sockets for £7.99. If you have a lot of tech and your needs change often, this might be the best way to simplify your power without breaking the bank.


Main image © Qubic/Philex Electronic Ltd