Most of the time, installing new PC gear involves some degree of misery. So when someone finds a way to rectify a small piece of that, its worth calling out.
Let’s take a small moment to appreciate the wonderful designer, whoever they are, who came up with this little lifesaver. So having just gone through the annoyance of removing and gifting an old TV, as well as the “fun” of unboxing its replacement and cleaning up all the bits of styrofoam left behind, I wasn’t looking forward to dealing with another bit of tech that has multiple screws, a complicated install manual and other bits of bad design.
Unboxing one of the new Samsung 27-inch 240Hz gaming monitors was pretty painless to begin with: a single panel that just hooks into the rear, no screws required. That’s a plus. But then I stopped for a moment when I saw the power adapter:
What the hell? That doesn’t look like anything I recognised, I thought. I’ve never seen a power plug look like that before.
After some messing around, I realised the plug would rotate. It wouldn’t rotate into anything that would fit into an Australian power point, but it turned. And then it all clicked — obviously, I’d left something in the box, an extra attachment.
That’s when the power plug went from “OK this is weird” to “OK, this is genuinely very useful.”
If you can’t see the video or GIF above, here’s the gist of what I’m getting at. Samsung have basically provided a plug can you can twist with your fingers into three separate positions. It lets the adapter plug in straight on, which is fine if you have the space for that, but you can also rotate the plug so it can connect from the side. The latter is a massive lifesaver if you live in, say, a standard Australian apartment where all your power points are about one inch off the floor.
The problem with power points like these is that many adapters and larger plugs simply won’t fit. It’s not the wall socket that’s the problem. It’s the lack of a gap between the floor and the wall socket. If you’re only dealing with a small plug — say a tiny USB charger for your phone — then that’s not a problem.
But what about a cordless vacuum cleaner? Maybe a TV with its own gigantic power brick. Or a speaker/soundbar that took inspiration from a laptop for its adapter. Or most routers. In cases like those, you’ll probably just have to get a power board. It’s not because you need the extra plugs, but so you can lay the power board flat on the floor, letting you plug everything in vertically.
Alternatively, companies could just get clever and just supply attachments. Then if you can’t plug straight in, just twist the damn thing into the position you need. You might still need a power board if you’re plugging a second chunker into the other port, but that’s a problem that could be solved by better design. Just make fully rotatable plugs that fit into any environment.
As for the monitor, it’s still early days there. But I can confirm that I could plug it in directly to the power points on my floor, which meant I didn’t have to play mix and match with all the other adapters that I’ve got plugged in and neatly spaced out. It’s nice when the small things are designed well.