Earlier today I watched a TV commercial for the Sharper Image “Socket Shelf,” a 6 outlet adapter with USB charging ports, surge protector, and a shelf.
Yes, it has a built-in shelf, to “turn a cluttered mess into an organized success.”
The commercial and product photos show the device being used to support everything from kitchen spices to lotion and shaving cream bottles, and also tablets and smartphones.
They say it can hold:
a variety of household items including iPhones, Androids, smartphones, tablets, laptops, electric toothbrushes, Sonos, Google Home, Alexa, razors, toothpaste, spices, and so much more.
The shelf measures 8″ x 3.25″. Sharper Image does not specify a recommended weight or max rating for the device.
The surge protector provides 1000 joules or protection, and the USB ports deliver 2.1A of shared (total) output.
There are a ton of similarly products online, and also a “Deluxe” double-shelf model by Sharper Image, with a second and larger shelf positioned at the bottom of the unit.
It’s “strong enough for any handyman’s workbench!”
Here’s a shorter version of the commercial:
At the time of this posting, there are 2289 ratings on Amazon, with a net rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.
I know that multi-outlet adapters are popular, but I was advised against them a long time ago, and so I have a strong bias against products like these. I’m okay with surge protectors, and would even be open-minded to a plug-in single or double outlet surge protector.
Adding 2 USB ports to the 6-way adapter doesn’t alter my apprehension of the product one way or another. But the shelf? Is it really a good idea to add weight to a wall receptacle?
Okay, charging multiple devices can get a little awkward. But there are always organizing solutions.
I don’t know about you, but putting the weight of a laptop or smart-home speaker onto a single 3-prong outlet does not seem like a good idea to me.
If you want a shelf above an outlet, put a small shelf there. If you can’t drill holes into the wall, Command strips can hold a little bit of weight, at least you can attach two hooks to brace a smartphone.
To me, this seems like it’ll be a problem. But, the user reviews suggest it’s a convenient problem-solver.
Part of my hesitation is that I know there will be some users who max-out the outlets with AC adapters and plugs, and then put something heavy on top. Adding or removing plugs is surely going to add stress to the connection.
Am I over-cautious and this might actually be a good product, or am I right in my strong hesitation?
And remember, it’s “strong enough for any handyman’s workbench!” What could go wrong?…
I’m all for workbench organization, but I don’t think that the weight of a 6-way adapter, tape measure, and cordless power tool charger and battery is a good idea to place on a single 3-prong outlet.