Filed under: Cables and Wires, Power and Data Distribution
Generally speaking, I’d rather be at my place than staying in a hotel, but here and there I’ve found a few “hotel-only” features that I’ve wished I could have taken home with me. Minibars, for instance. Who wouldn’t want an ever-stocked stash of soda and macadamia nuts right in their very own bedroom? Then again, that would just make one chubby, and a girl prefers to stay in single-digit clothing sizes. And then there’s the coveted glass and travertine shower with rainfall showerhead… but that’s a little out of my bank account’s league right now. So where does that leave me?
At the desk, of course. Well, not the actual desk itself, but the sleek little disk-shaped cable holder stuck to the top of it. You know, the thing that holds onto the built-in Ethernet cord, so everything’s ready to plug in as soon as you whip out your laptop. Unlike at home, at hotels, you never have to crawl under the desk to find the cable. It’s an altogether winning concept. Now, I have far too much of a conscience (or guilt complex?) to make off with lodging-establishment property, but unlike the shower and minibar, those nifty cable-holding hubs are both readily available and in compliance with my ordinary-person budget.
Before I go any further, I should probably tell you exactly what they’re called: TeleAdapt Wired Connectivity Pull-Through Hubs. And they’re the exact same thing that you find at hotels and resorts – right down to the desk card that holds your choice of instructions or messages. If you’re going to use it at home or at work, you could always stick a motivational quote or something funny into the card holder, but if that’s not your thing, you can just remove it completely.
The TeleAdapt hub has a weighted base and a suction cup to keep it in place, and here’s the really cool thing – it isn’t just for Ethernet cords! There are 3 types of pull-thoughs, one each for Internet, Audio, and A/V connections – and each one includes a cable for its respective application. But if you already have all the cables you need, just go with the Cablesitter, a non-wired model that can be used with any cord you have.
Even if you’ve already gone wireless, it never hurts to keep an Ethernet cord tucked away inside your laptop bag just in case you have to get connected somewhere where there’s Internet, but not Wi-Fi, available. Stop wrinkling your nose; thanks to today’s brilliant product, toting an Ethernet cord along on your travels isn’t nearly as much of a pain as it used to be. Gone are the days when you’d have a 15ft cable snaking through your notebook attache, threatening to swallow up your very computer. These days, savvy on-the-go laptop owners reach for auto-retractable Ethernet cords instead.
If you’re wondering what difference auto-retraction makes, the answer is this: it’s all in the case. The cords, of course, need something to retract into, and that something (the case) is only 2.5″ x 3″ x 0.5″. Sure beats a huge coil of loose cable, doesn’t it? The really beautiful thing is that you never need to use more cable than you need; the cord dispenses from both sides of the case, and stays put as soon as you stop pulling on it. Without any excess trailing around on the floor, you (and passers-by) have nothing to get tangled up in. When you’re finished, simply unplug, then tug both ends of the cord to activate the auto-retraction. Pretty cool, huh?
My favorite part of the retractable Ethernet cord is the space it saves — with such a compact design, there’s actually still room left in my bag for my laptop.