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If you’re looking for a power strip for a dorm room or travel, the Anker 524 makes an excellent choice. It offers a small and cleverly designed form factor, a pretty full feature set (including 30W USB-C charging), and will run you less than $30. In fact, after researching the dozens of similar options on the market, I ultimately settled on the Anker 524 as the model to send off with my son to college this fall.
Here’s my takeaway.
First and foremost, a power strip should be able to charge as many of your devices as possible as quickly as possible. The Anker 524 comes with a single 30W USB-C port with Power Delivery, two 12W USB-A ports, and three standard AC outlets. The AC outlets are one per side so you can plug chunky charging bricks into any or all of them.
That means the Anker 524 will support fast charging on most modern smartphones (though not the “super-fast charging” for Samsung Galaxy and Note devices, which requires 45W). Also important to note is that some laptops, including the Macbook Air, will be able to charge at 30W without a separate power adapter. For other models, you can use the Anker’s AC outlets, making it highly versatile.
One of the things I really like about the Anker 524 is the way it packs all of those charging options into such a small 2.44-inch square form factor, making it perfect for travel (where you would never want to lug a full-size power strip) or hiding on (or under) your desk. That form factor also makes it useful for dorm rooms; I purchased one for my son who was heading off to college because his style is to work on his bed, and this little guy fit the bill perfectly.
The Anker 524 comes with a thick, but flexible, 5-foot power cord, and the plug end is flat to squeeze into tight places. Unfortunately, there is no longer cord option.
The Anker 524 retails for $29.99 on Anker.com. Which is a pretty reasonable price for the features and getting the Anker reputation behind it – we’ve tested dozens of Anker products and countless other charger brands, and Anker is one that we regularly recommend.
[Image credit: Josh Kirschner/Techlicious]