I’m constantly messing around with the items on my desk at work.
I like to think about my desk as a tiny version of NASA’s mission control console, with everything convenient to reach.
But I’m never really happy with the results. It always feels like there’s something missing.
I love to take note of how people have their desktops arranged to see if they are doing things I could be doing to make my life easier.
Because I’m an IT guy, I have lots of things plugged in, mostly to keep them powered on or charged up.
On my desk, within arm’s reach, I have five different chargers for various devices, including two wireless chargers and one four-port USB charger.
I’ve been trying out two new pieces to my desktop puzzle from Accell that add electric outlets, USB ports and even a wireless charger.
Accell Block Mini
When Apple introduced wireless charging to the iPhone, I began collecting wireless chargers, and I currently have one on my nightstand, two on my desk at work and one in my car.
The Accell Power Wireless Block Mini ($39.99)
The first thing you notice is the phone stand built into the front. It has a sticker on it that says, “Horizontal Charging,” and they’re not kidding. The wireless charger will work only if your phone is put on the stand horizontally.
I carry the iPhone XS Max, which has wireless charging, but the home screen icons will only display vertically, so when my iPhone is charging on the Block Mini, everything on the screen is sideways.
Individual apps on the XS Max can rotate horizontally, but the home screens are vertical only. This is an annoyance but not a show stopper.
You can set your phone in the dock vertically, but it won’t charge.
The Block Mini’s wireless charger is Qi-compatible and works with cases up to 4 millimeters thick.
On top, you’ll find three USB type-A ports with a total power output of 5V/4.8A.
On each side, the Block Mini has a protected AC outlet with max output of 1,875W and surge protection for up to 300 Joules.
The Block Mini has a 5-foot power cable to plug into the wall.
Overall, the Block Mini is a small but very capable little charger. It’s kind of light, but the power cord is very stout and stiff, so it did scoot on my desktop a bit. I wish it were heavier. You might want to affix it to your desk with a Command strip to keep it in place.
Accell Power Cutie
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I opened the box of a product called the Power Cutie.
I was half-expecting something shaped like a unicorn or a cat, but the Accell Power Cutie resembles a baseball with outlets all over it.
The Power Cutie ($35.99)
The Cutie takes advantage of its shape with outlets on five sides.
The front and top of the Cutie each have two USB-A ports that provide 5V/4.8A/24W total.
The left, right and back sides have AC outlets for plugging in your gadgets. The three outlets have a combined 540 Joules of surge protection.
The Cutie also has a very thick and stiff 6-foot long power cable, which makes it a bit hard to keep it in place on your desk. The cable’s stiffness tends to make the Cutie drift around the desktop.
Accell put two keyholes on the bottom. These are the type of holes like a picture frame might have to use a nail head or screw to mount it. This is more useful for mounting the Cutie on a wall.
Surge protectors and plug strips are pretty common. I suppose all that separates them is their size and shape. I have a few 12-outlet surge protectors around the office, but they’re understandably on the large side.
Accell’s Power Cutie and Block Mini take the opposite approach. They aim to sit on your desktop, taking up very little space, but they’re a lifesaver when you need to plug in a hard drive or tablet.
I use my larger surge protectors for permanent installs, and I’d likely use the electric outlets on these smaller surge protectors for temporary connections.
These would be a great gift for almost anyone, especially if desk space is at a premium. The Block Mini is a good choice if your cellphone charges wirelessly, and the Power Cutie has one more AC outlet and one more USB port. If I were to choose one for my desk, it would be the Power Cutie. I like the shape, and it has all the outlets I’d need. I’d find a way to stick it in place on my desk, though.
Pros: Small size, plenty of ports, surge protection
Cons: Stiff cable makes it hard to keep in one place on your desk
Bottom line: Very handy little chargers that bring the charging outlets right where you need them.