Have you ever watched QVC, the shopping channel? It has a strange hypnotic quality to it. And some of the products showcased on there are just wonderful. Like this one, which we managed to get in for review. It is the USB Pink World Travel Adapter, and it is sold by Pinktoolbox.co.uk.
This is a gadget for the mums really, although that's not to say there aren't dads who like the colour pink. However they might be happy to know that the same product is also available in a nice, rich, grey. The pink version is, though, very pink, and comes with a very pink bag, which will appeal to lots of people I know! We gave it to PlayPennies mum Emily, as she travels quite a lot. Particularly with the holiday season just behind us, how useful does she think it would have been?
Her first impressions were good. "I took the new travel adapter out of its handy little pouch. To start with, the pouch is useful, because I often throw travel plugs in my suitcase and get poked by the prongs when rummaging for it."
While the unique aspect of this adapter is that you can plug in the devices that use a USB port to charge, even if you're not near a laptop or computer, it will also adapt the plugs of all your devices to the sockets of many countries.
Emily says that "It's quite a nifty little gadget too. I couldn't name all the countries where this would work, you'd need to read the specifications on the website for that. But from looking at the plug itself, I can see the UK prongs, US prongs, EU prongs and here's my favourite bit - a USB power port." On the website it says that the USB World Travel Adapter will fit the sockets of of America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
That's good, but does she think it will come in useful when she is travelling? "This is actually excellent for me, because I usually travel with my laptop and have a few devices that charge via the USB port. My ebook reader and mobile phone can both charge via USB - so that actually means I don't have to carry their 2 power plugs with me any more! As long as I have a USB cable (which I usually do), then I'm all set."
It is quite scary just how many electronic devices we travel with nowadays. I remember years ago when I first started backpacking after university, the only electronic device I carried was a walkman, the old fashioned cassette using kind. And that just needed batteries - rather a lot of AA batteries if I recall.
Emily's only problem with the USB Pink World Travel Adapter was that it was, well, pink. "I'm not really a pink person," she explained. "So I am not in love with the colour of this gadget. But I DO love gadgets, and this fits the bill."
Lucky then that this item is available in grey too. However, the whole selling point of this website is that it sells pink items. A concept that I find rather bizarre, and yet I can definitely see the niche appeal. Who though, seriously, is going to want to have an outdoor, garden hose on a wheel (pictured at the bottom) that is entirely pink? Well, me kind of. I'm not actually a pink fan, but it certainly looks a lot more fun than the standard green garden hose. Unfortunately my other half nixed the idea. What a spoilsport!
Emily sent me a photo of the adapter in four stages, as seen here. "Top left - the plug as a whole. Top right - the plug broken in two. Bottom left - the plug broken down into the full 3 pieces. Bottom right - the plug in my hand."
Both the Pink and Grey versions of the USB World Travel Adapter cost £14.99. Delivery is free to mainland UK, and items are delivered within 48 hours.
One word of warning though. Do use the link above to go to the website. If you are entering the site's address yourself, then DO make sure you enter the .co.uk part. I discovered that the pinktoolbox.com site covers something very different to products that happen to be pink, is American, and is definitely not suitable for family viewing!