Lightweight SurgeStop takes a heavyweight attitude to power protection

Lightweight SurgeStop takes a heavyweight attitude to power protection


By John Breeden II

GCN Staff

A smart user always protects computer equipment with an uninterruptible power supply or a surge protector. It's cheap insurance for the hardware, not to mention the stored data.

So why take any chances on the road? Notebook computers cost at least as much as desktop PCs, and files carried on the road matter as much as those back in the office.

But no one wants to lug around a bulky surge protector just for use in hotel rooms.

TeleAdapt Inc.'s tiny SurgeStop antisurge plug weighs only two ounces and fits in a palm. It comes in five models to fit most portable computers. I could not find a single notebook in the GCN Lab that lacked a corresponding plug for SurgeStop.

The SurgeStop fits between the notebook and the AC adapter. I have seen other antisurge products that plug into the wall, connecting the notebook by a pass-through. They tend to get overlooked and left behind in the hotel outlet. The SurgeStop stays right next to your notebook, so you won't forget it.

A bright red LED indicator in the center of the plug tells when your system is protected. If the LED fails to light, you know SurgeStop is no longer working. The device is compatible with 110-volt AC power and Europe's 240V AC.

Dips and spikes

To test the SurgeStop, I induced surges and power dips by plugging hair dryers and other electrical devices into the same outlet as my test notebook. I recorded the effects on power quality through a UPS with monitoring software, also plugged into the circuit. Turning the different devices on and off caused dips in power and, over the course of a day, several spikes.

While snapping the switches, I kept a digital video disk movie playing on the notebook and never saw any loss of sound or picture quality. The LED indicator stayed lit, showing the power spikes did not hurt the SurgeStop's performance.

Travelers who hesitate to plug their costly notebooks into unreliable power circuits should buy the SurgeStop. The only thing that's missing is surge protection for a notebook modem card.

Box Score A


TeleAdapt Inc., San Jose, Calif.;

tel. 408-965-1400

Price: $19.95

Pros and cons:

+Five models to fit most notebooks

+Lightweight and tiny

'Should include phone line surge protection

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