Hooked Up – ezSpace UFO

Article

posted 8/25/2008 by Dan Keener
other articles by Dan Keener
Platforms: AV
Welcome to Hooked Up, the Gaming Nexus series that puts the spotlight on gaming related products that impact the Video Game experience. This week we take a look at ezGear’s ezSpace UFO power station.




What is it?
The ezSpace UFO by ezGear is a power supply and surge protection solution designed to allow almost any size plug to be accommodated in a single six-outlet design.

Product Quick Reference 
Company ezGear
Product ezSpace UFO
Price $28.99
Product Website www.ezgear.com


Impressions
While I was visiting e ezGear booth at CES 2008 to check out the ezJam Guitar, this crazy looking little power outlet thing shaped like a cone caught my eye. It turned out to be a working prototype of the ezSpace UFO. When I finally got my hands on a review unit, I was still marveling at how simple the design concept is while completely eliminating the issue of freakishly large plugs not fitting a traditional six-bar outlet.

Let me just say that this unit can be used anywhere a regular six-outlet power solution is needed, but it really come in handy in an office, console or PC Gaming rig configuration. We all have those annoying extra-large plugs from our routers, printers and the like that are so big they use and cover sometimes two or three outlets on a power strip. With the UFO, the design has extra width between each plug and sends the oversized ones vertical where even the craziest of style plugs can connect right next to each other. Another offshoot of the vertical design is that you can easily group the power cords in order to hide them or reduce clutter further. Because of the cone shape, the cords will all eventually come together above the top of the UFO, especially if it is sitting on the floor.

I took a before and after picture of the six-bar strip in my office (and after the UFO replaced it) where a most of my console gaming devices are plugged in. The after shows an area that it not only cleaned up where I plug everything in, but also allowed me to connect the massive HP printer plug that is seen laying there in the ‘before’ image. For the record, I have an HP Printer, Xbox 360 Elite, Linksys wireless router, battery charging solution for the Xbox 360, Motorola Cable/VoIP modem and the power cord for a Sony PSP all plugged into the unit in the picture. The UFO is then plugged into a battery backup UPS.

Before

After

One improvement that could be added would be some basic rubber non-skid pads on the bottom of the device. In the pictures you can see that the UFO is sitting on an area of my office desk behind my Xbox 360. This laminated surface had the UFO moving around a bit without any non-skid pads on the bottom of it to keep it from sliding. Otherwise, it was hard to find anything else that could be improved with the UFO with its current design and intended functionality.

Pros Cons
Maximizes Plugs No Non-skid Pads
Small Footprint No Power Filtering
Flexibility  
Power Switch Location  


Gaming Impact
The ezSpace UFO does not directly impact the gaming experience so much as it creates a much better gaming environment. It does not matter if it is a PC gaming rig, console gaming area or just the TV or Office that you play at, the ezSpace UFO will help clean up the area where everything is plugged in. No one likes a messy rig or having to swap out plugs because they are all too big to fit into one outlet. So this makes the UFO a nice addition to any gaming area to clean it up and allow the maximum number of plugs to be connected at the same time.


The Skinny
The ezSpace UFO is a uniquely designed power and surge solution that solves an age-old problem of using every outlet on your power strip. Anyone that has set up a full blown PC or gaming rig knows there are always a couple devices that have oddball shaped plugs. With the ezSpace UFO, these all can be plugged into one device in a neat and orderly manner without wasting any spots.

However, the unit is designed specifically for one thing, and that is to create enough space to get all plugs into one outlet and basic surge protection. If you are expecting it to protect against massive surges or to make the power cleaner, than that is not what its intended purpose is. However, it easily can be plugged into a backup UPS (as I have done) with line filtering if desired. Priced at anywhere from $20 - $30, it falls in line with most basic six-bar outlets with surge protection, but the benefit from a clutter free power solution is absolutely priceless.

Where to Find/Buy
The ezSpace UFO power outlet from ezGear can be found at the ezGear website. In addition, it can also be found at Target, Home Depot and at numerous online retailers with a quick search of Google Products.




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