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    Austere VII Series surge protector review: Beautiful protection preciously priced

    The Austere VII Series surge projector is a radical departure from the norm. Its rivals are invariably ugly issues, usually fabricated from plastic with little thought afforded to industrial design past what number of plugs they will accommodate. Clad in brushed aluminum with polished beveled edges, and an influence twine wrapped in luxurious braided material, Austere’s machine is fairly sufficient you’ll be tempted to go away it in plain view—till you plug issues into its eight retailers, that’s. Then you’ll conceal it away identical to another surge protector.

    The different factor that units the Austere VII Series aside is its price ticket: The eight-outlet mannequin reviewed right here will set you again a cool $200. There’s additionally a six-outlet model for $180, and an Austere V Series that may deal with fewer energy surges earlier than its MOVs are consumed (the V Series is rated for 3,000 joules, versus 4,000 joules for the VII collection). Prices for the V Series are $150 for the eight-outlet model and $130 for the six-outlet version.

    This evaluation is a part of our coverage of surge protectors. Click that hyperlink to take a deeper dive into the subject and discover evaluations of competing merchandise.

    What do you get for all that money? In addition to being lovely to have a look at, the Austere VII Series offers over-current safety through an onboard 15-amp circuit breaker, EMI and RFI filtration that insulates the facility sign from interference that may present itself as noise in your audio system and visible distortion in your video parts, and retailers which are electronically remoted from one another. Austere says it makes use of “flameless” MOVs that gained’t catch fireplace after they can now not take in voltage above the surge protector’s clamping stage.

    Michael Brown / IDG

    The Austere VII Series personal plug is oriented at a 45-degree angle, so it gained’t block an adjoining outlet.

    The Austere VII Series also can present energy to USB gadgets. On the tip reverse its personal energy twine, you’ll discover two USB Type A charging ports, two USB-C charging ports, and one USB-C PD charging port delivering as much as 45 watts. Ultimately, your machine will decide how a lot energy it’ll settle for, nonetheless; the Google Pixel 2 XL smartphone that I exploit, for example, will solely draw 18 watts no matter how a lot energy the charger can ship. A more moderen pill or a laptop computer, however, might suck down all that juice—which implies you possibly can depart its energy adapter in your backpack, so that you don’t want to recollect to unplug and pack it each time you hit the street.

    austere surge protector usb ports Michael Brown / IDG

    The Austere VII Series presents 5 USB charging ports, together with one USB-C PD port that may ship as much as 45 watts.

    Three semi-circular blue LEDs inform you of the Austere VII Series’ standing: The first signifies that the strip is powered on, the second lets that the circuit the strip is linked to is correctly grounded, and the third lets that the MOVs are intact and offering safety from energy surges. Unlike some surge protectors, the Austere VII Series will proceed to supply energy even when its MOVs have been consumed and it will probably now not shield the gadgets plugged into it. If you purchase one, keep in mind to examine that third LED once in a while to ensure your linked gadgets stay protected. Austere recommends changing the machine after 5 years, however which may not be mandatory in case your utility offers regular energy. Just keep watch over that LED.

    The five-foot energy twine hooked up to the Austere VII Series is terminated in a plug with a 45-degree angle, in order that it gained’t block an adjoining outlet. The cable itself is wrapped in a lovely braided material, however extra importantly, the cable is exceedingly versatile and might tolerate excessive bends with out kinking. Two rubber strips on the again of the surge protector will forestall it from marring the floor it’s resting on, however it has a comparatively massive footprint, measuring about 5 inches broad by 13 inches lengthy. You might stand it edgewise to avoid wasting room, however this would possibly scratch the strip or the floor it’s on. Two keyholes are on the again must you resolve to mount it to a wall or a cupboard.

    austere surge protector switch Michael Brown / IDG

    The grasp change on the Austere VII Series 8-outlet surge protector is backlit by a blue LED. A onboard 15-amp circuit breaker presents further safety.

    The eight retailers on the Austere VII Series don’t provide any fancy options. They don’t rotate or pivot, and so they’re not even staggered or in any other case asymmetrically oriented. Despite this seemingly extraordinary design, I had no drawback plugging in a broad number of wall warts and outsized energy plugs, as you’ll be able to see from the photograph beneath. This was a nice shock. What you gained’t get from this surge protector is safety for phone, coaxial, or ethernet pass-through connections. But we don’t take into account these options to be price paying for anyway.

    The backside line

    Is the Austere VII Series surge protector price $200 when our present prime choose on this class—the Belkin BP112230-08—presents 4 extra retailers, a cable that’s three longer, and a price ticket that’s $160 much less? To be completely trustworthy, I don’t know. Is a BMW 740i price $90,000 {dollars} when you should purchase a decked-out Toyota Avalon for lower than $45,000?

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