Product: Bluelounge CableBox Mini Rating: Recommend* Price: $30 I've been intrigued with the Bluelounge Cable Box since its release last year, but never followed through on getting one because I felt like it was still a bit too bulky and bland for my office. I'm glad I held out because the CableBox Mini is a wire solution that's closer to my aesthetics.
The kind folks at Bluelounge sent over a CableBox Mini for me to test out at home and, while it has some faults, it's a great solution for camouflaging the anxiety provoking mess of cables and wires that can accumulate in just about any home office. The CableBox Mini is about 3/4 the size as the original CableBox, which for simple home tasks is just about the right size. It comes with its own 8-inch surge protector that fits within the 9.3 x 4.6 x 5.2 inch CableBox. On either side of the box are small openings, one to accomodate the power strip's plug and the other to feed your gadgets' wires through. A cover pops on over the top, to hide the gaggle of wiring hidden within.
The power strip can juice four gizmos at once, which if you plan to use this with a computer set-up for example, should be just enough outlets, but you may find that you need more. Space is limited within the Mini, so don't expect to plug in four power bricks. You're pretty much limited to standard size plugs. Since the power strip only takes up about a 1/2 the space within the CableBox, you have plenty of room to wrap and tuck excess cables within the box. Bluelounge even ships the product with twist ties to help with that.
While the original CableBox was only available in black and white, the Mini is available in a slew of Skittles colors including, blue, green, yellow, orange, and pink. I chose yellow, to match with the pendant lighting we have in our office. I'm a fan of color so I was really into the idea of hiding my cables in a brightly colored box, but those of you who are looking for something that can easily be concealed within a room, there's always Bluelounge's white model.
Now for the drawbacks. My major complaint is that the surge protector itself has an incredibly thick cable that's not very flexible, which makes it hard to manipulate in order to sit flush against the wall and the floor boards. Also, the plug itself is crazy big and sticks out quite a bit when inserted in an outlet, forcing the thick power cable to jut out of the wall. When compared with my Belkin power strip's plug, you can see why I might be frustrated. Pros: Colorful, yet simple cable solution for those who need to keep things tidy while their gadgets are plugged in. Cons: Keeping wires undercover becomes a bit moot when you have a thick, unforgiving power cable to manhandle. Our Ratings: Strong Recommend Recommend* Weak Recommend Don't Recommend Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.