There are many different aspects to consider when choosing a built-in desk outlet for your home, office, conference room or other place. Some of your decision depends on the type of connectivity you are looking for. For example, are you looking for AC power? Do you need USB charging or an ethernet jack? You might also be seeking aesthetics because after all, this is something that is going to be permanently installed in your desk. As part of that, you are likely going to want something with a sharp-looking appearance, such as a tabletop box in brass or aluminum. Other factors you should consider are convenience and ease of use. To help you make the best decision, we’ve done a deeper dive below into the different outlet styles to assist you in choosing what is right for your application.
COVER & CONCEAL
Recessed, built-in desk outlets are the types where ports can be concealed, either via a hinged top, a pop up top or a flip-over cover. Power sources like this are designed for situations where you would like to conceal exposed outlets when they are not in use. You need to ask yourself if the outlet is going to be utilized in a room where design is a principal factor; and if seeing outlets would severely detract from the look. This outlet style would give you the most sleek and modern look, where plug ports can conveniently be hidden during downtime. One good place to install one of these desk outlets is a conference room, where connectivity is not necessarily a requirement.
FLUSH EXPOSED INSERTS
Next up, we have desk outlets that are flush — or relatively flush — with the surface. However, this outlet style is still visible, accessible and uncovered. These outlets may find a snug spot in desktops, comfortable furniture like a couch or the armrest of a chair in a waiting area. This type provides convenience without being too obtrusive. It makes connections easy-to-access in a place that is perhaps not as close to an outlet. Spots that could benefit from this kind of an outlet include hotel or airport chairs; and desks in public locations that people may be using to either charge a device or for an internet connection.
ELEVATED STATIC INSERTS
Raised outlets have the easiest access but are the most obtrusive. They stick out significantly above a desk or tabletop surface, with the space usable for connectivity purposes only. While these outlets can be designed to be less unsightly, they typically value functionality over form. They sacrifice style for ease of access, putting connectivity within arm's reach. This type of outlet is a good option within a school, library, computer lab or other place, where a large group of people are using the space partially for connectivity and power.