Question: When is a powerstrip not a powerstrip? Answer: When it is the $179.99 Austere VII Series Power delivery system. Yes, the VII Series Power would be an extremely pricey powerstrip if it were just a powerstrip, but, of course, it is not. It’s a refined, aluminum power supply system that offers top-level protection to your pricey electronics.
The Austere VII Series Power comes in a six and an eight outlet configuration. I was sent the six outlet version. The price tag of $179.99 shocked me, but that was nothing compared to the shock I experienced when I pulled the device out of the box. It weighs a ton! That’s because, unlike the cheap plastic power strips you can get at Target or on Amazon, this power delivery system is made from aluminum.
As the company explains:
Austere Power is moving beyond the charge to a place where performance, safety, and design define the new normal.
The power system combines the strong aluminum housing with a WovenArmor power cord that is thicker and more durable than pretty much any power cord I have ever seen.
In addition, serious thought went into the spacing between the outlets to let you plug in as many different devices as needed. The company calls the, “SmartFit” outlets and while I love power strips with rotatable plugs, this gets the job done too.
Distinctive by design: Carefully selected aluminum materials and meticulous engineering make Austere Power lightweight and durable. The classic brushed housing is subtly enhanced by design details to be one of the most desirable and functional power products on the market. Our signature braided, WovenArmor power cord couples uncompromising flexibility and strength with the smallest bend radius available to fit in the tightest spaces. Feel confident that the SmartFit outlets were manufactured with the precise spacing between plugs to give you the fit you expect.
They believe so completely in their product that they offer a lifetime guarantee that it will perform to the purchaser’s expectations.
Now you might be asking yourself why anyone would want to pay more for a powerstrip that’s they otherwise need to. There are a few reasons. The first has to do with the power delivery options this device offers. In addition to the six (or eight) US outlets, it has two USB-A ports, two USB-C ports and one USB-C PD port that can deliver 45W of power for charging many of today’s laptops. After all, “Your laptop is part of your entertainment system.” All of these are connected to and enhanced by Austere Power’s “Isolated PureFiltration.” As they explain,
This advanced EMI/RFI filtration will insulate the power signal from external disturbances to deliver video and audio clarity to your HDTV and sound system. In addition, Austere’s Omniport USB provides rapid charge and protection for low-voltage devices.
If that level of protection weren’t enough, Austere Power devices also employ state-of-the-art fire protection technology. “We are,” they proudly state, “redefining how power should perform and protect with flameless MOV circuits and thermally protected outlets, keeping you safe from a home electrical fire.”
COMPONENT FIVE (5) YEAR GUARANTEE Austere guarantees to the original purchaser of any Power/ Surge protection product five (5) years of Protected Connected Component assurance.
But lest you think you need to simply take the company at their word, they include a “Component Guarantee.” If any equipment is damaged while plugged into an Austere Power product the company will replace it; regardless of the device’s value. There are other companies that offer device protection but few seem to offer the combination of USB-C, USB-C PD and “unconditional” five-year device replacement.
Surge Protection: up to 4,000 Joules of protection with the Series VII (Series V devices offer protection up to 3,000 Joules)
Pure Filtration: Insulates the power signal from external disturbances and static “noise” that can come fro other appliances like a microwave or a vacuum
Isolated Outlet Filtration: eliminates the possibility of cross-interference between home entertainment components
Fire Protection: Flameless MOV circuits and thermal-protected outlets keep you and your home safe
Component Guarantee: If a device is damaged while plugged into an Austere Power product the company will replace it for up to five years
WovenArmor Power Cord: Flexible and strong, it is made with Kevlar and offers a surprisingly small bend radius
SmartFit Outlets: Designed with precise spacing so there is enough room to access and use each of the outlets
Austere Omnipotent USB: Delivers rapid charge and protection for low-voltage devices
45W USB-C PD port: Lets you rapid-charge most laptops
We first wrote about Austere shortly before their launch a few months ago. It was clear their upcoming products were bought fully designed. It was also clear that said products would come at a premium price. That is certainly the case with the Series VII Power. $179.99 for the six-outlet device I was sent is asking for serious sticker shock. The eight outlet version is just under $200. That’s insane when a quick search on Amazon delivers options for surge protected power strips with ten outlets and four USB ports for $25. But while it might be tempting to make such a comparison and write Austere’s products off as insanely-priced, it isn’t an apple to apple comparison. The Austere offering is made from aluminum rather than plastic. It offers 4,000 Joules of protection compared to the Amazon offering’s 2100 Joules. The Austere offering has two USB-A ports, two USB-C ports, and a USB-C PD port compared to four USB-A ports on the Amazon offering.
But while all that is true, you could purchase seven of the power strips on Amazon for the price of one Austere Series VII Power device. But… and this is a huge but… the surge protector I’m looking at on Amazon offers no guarantee if a device plugged into it is fried during a power surge while Austere is clear they will replace any device… of any price… damaged while plugged into their product for up to five years. That’s a huge deal and might well make this product worth considering. I mean, think about this. My Vizio television is about $800, the Sonos Playbar and Sub are $1400, my Nest Router is $150; my Apple TV is also $150, and I could go on but you get the point. My main home entertainment area is filled with devices that are worth well north of $2500. And with the Series VII Power, they are fully protected. If something happens to them, it is Austere’s responsibility to replace them. So one might think of the Series VII as a $50 power strip that offers a ton of connection and protection options AND a $125 insurance plan that is good for the life of the Series VII Power. Is the peace of mind that comes as a result of the added expense worth the high price of admission? Time will tell. As much as I think the Series VII Power looks amazing and offers a nice range of connection and protection, I’m not sure I’m going to the expense of getting one to protect the entertainment devices in our bedroom. I like the device, but this is clearly a luxury play. For those who love their home entertainment and for whom price is not a concern, this product is ideal. For the rest of us, I think the premium over other gadgets that offer similar functionality may be a bit much. So in short, it is a great product, but it is pricey as hell. Check it out here.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Beautifully crafted from aluminum; Offers a wide range of connectivity options; Offers serious protection both with regard to power surges and interference from other devices; Offers a full guarantee to replace any item damaged while plugged into it for up to five years
What Needs Improvement: Pricey!