AUTHOR: Jason Bouwmeester
Many surge protectors these days include a few USB-C or USB-A ports as well as traditional power outlet plugs. However, the problem with most of these is that you require long USB cables as most people place power bars on the floor. Not to mention the issue of having to crawl under a desk to add or remove a cable if you need to.
Our Monster Power Center Vertex XL review looks at a surge protector with 10 grounded AC outlets as well as a connected “detachable” USB power hub with two USB-A and a USB-C port. Read on for our full review and see why it earns a Highly Rated badge here at Techaeris!
The Quick Take
Surge protectors are a must-have these days to protect your computer equipment from power surges. Recently, many power bars included a few USB ports as well, for added convenience to charge your USB devices. The Monster Power Center Vertex XL takes this a step further with a detachable USB power hub that adds a lot of versatility to the surge protector.
Although a bit more expensive than other options, the Power Center Vertex XL is a solid surge protector with two nicely braided cords which should be long enough for any setup. The detachable USB power hub with its magnetic mount allows you to use shorter USB cables to charge your device, as well as keeps you from having to crawl under your desk to unplug or plug in your device each time you want to charge it. This power bar surge protector from Monster also allows you to rest easy with its 5,000 Joule surge protection and $200,000 Connected Equipment Warranty.
The Monster Power Center Vertex XL we reviewed has the following features and specifications:
- 10 AC Surge Protector Outlet: Power and protect up to 10 devices such as computers, appliances, home theatre systems, and office equipment using our power strip surge protector. An excellent solution for any large or small-spaced apartment.
- 6-Foot Detachable Magnetic Mount Included: Detach and magnetically mount the USB charging hub (2 USB-A, 1 USB-C) wherever you need it using the 3M adhesive sticker included. The designated USB- C port provides Power Delivery so you can charge your device up to 2.5x faster with a 20-watt output.
- Reliable Power Surge Protector: Designed with the utmost quality, the Power Center Vertex XL is the perfect power strip with USB ports!
- 5000 Joule Rating: The Monster Power Center Vertex power strip has 5000 Joules that absorb a high amount of energy to adequately protect your equipment; includes an LED indicator to show that protection is active & properly grounded.
- 6-Foot Extension Cord: Extra-long nylon-braided extension cord gives you the flexibility to plug in all your devices without restrictions, and offers extra protection against wear and tear. The power strip flat plug fits perfectly behind tight spaces.
- Total power outlets: 10
- Voltage: 240 volts
- Material: Plastic/nylon
- Warranty: $200,000 Connected Equipment Warranty (CEW)
- Color: Black/Red or White/Grey
What’s in the box
- Monster Power Center Vertex XL
- Mounting Guide
- User Guide
- Magnetic mounting plate
- 3M tape
As far as surge protectors go, the Monster Power Center Vertex XL follows the basic rectangular design with two rows of grounded AC plugs. Our review sample is black in colour, with each row of plugs facing downwards, towards the long edge of the power bar. Each half is angled down and in the middle, which is where this surge protector differs from most others, is a channel with a red cable running in between it — more on that in a minute. On one end of the surge protector is a red power/overload switch. Below that, on the other side of the split, are two LEDs. The LEDs indicate the Grounded and Protected status of the protector. On the other end is the Monster logo stamped into the top of a squarish piece.
This squarish piece is what sets the Power Center Vertex XL apart from others: it’s a detachable USB power hub. By detachable, it separates from the rest of the power bar but remains connected and attached by way of the aforementioned braided red cable, which is about 1/4″ in diameter. This cable extends about 6′ and allows you to easily access the two USB-A ports and the single USB-C port on the end. You can use it docked as well, but this allows you to place the magnetic power hub in a more convenient location for charging your USB devices. Speaking of magnetic, the underside of the USB power hub has a slightly recessed base which fits onto the included metal plate. The metal plate is about 2 1/2″ across in either direction with two angled edges that match the base. On the bottom side of the plate is 3M adhesive for mounting to the bottom or top of a desk, on the wall, or anywhere else you might want to.
In my opinion, Monster missed an opportunity here with the USB power hub, however minor. Due to the size of the power hub, you can’t slide it through your typical office desk grommet holes. In other words, if you want to set this on your desk, you have to snake the cable up behind the desk between the back of the desk (if it has a back) and the wall. It would be a nice feature to be able to unplug the USB power bank from the main surge protector, feed the cable through your grommet hole, then reattach it to the power bank.
On the underside of the surge protector are two L-shaped cutouts for wall mounting if you choose. In addition, there is a thin strip of silicone around the outer edge of the base for added grip if you have the surge protector set on a smooth surface.
As for dimensions, the main surge protector is about 15″ in length, 3 1/2″ in width, and about 1 3/4″ in height. The USB power hub is 3 1/3″ in length, 3 1/2″ in width, and 1 1/2″ in height. The grounded AC outlets have 1 1/2″ centers and four (two on either end) allow for sideways plugs to be used easily due to the extra space at either end of the power bar.
While our review unit came in a black/red cable colourway, you can also get the Power Center Vertex XL in white with a grey cable.
Ease of Use
Like any other surge protector, the Monster Power Center Vertex XL is simple to use. Plug it into a wall outlet, plug your devices into it, make sure the power/overload switch is turned on and the Grounded and Protection lights are white, and you’re good to go.
To detach the USB power hub, all you need to do is lift it up from the main surge protector and pull it out from the tray it sits in. Once detached, the secondary cable slides out from the middle groove in the surge protector, and you can unwind as much or as little as you need (up to 6′ of course) from the outer edges of the surge protector. It’s a pretty nifty setup, although the cable does sit a bit loose when the USB power hub is docked and the cable is wrapped around the outside of the power bar.
I had no issues with anything I had plugged into the Monster Power Center Vertex XL. During testing, I had an Xbox Series X, a Samsung projector, a Sony 4K A/V receiver, a Sony PlayStation 5, a Nintendo Switch, two external hard drives, and an Xbox controller charging station. At the same time, I had a PlayStation Dualsense controller and Switch Joy-Con charging station connected to the two USB-A ports. Of course, I didn’t have all of these on at the same time, mostly the projector, receiver, and one of the consoles, as well as the charging bases, but I had no problem with power output.
When it comes to the USB ports, the two USB-A ports are rated at 5V/2.4A for a total of 12W each. The USB-C port features up to 20W power delivery and is rated for 5V/3A, 9V/2.22A, and 12V/1.67A. However, the total USB output power is only 32W so if you have three devices plugged in, you may not get the full potential of each port.
As far as protection is concerned, Monster states that the Power Center Vertex XL is rated for 5,000 Joules of surge protection, which is more than ample for most setups. In addition, the surge protector includes a $200,000 Connected Equipment Warranty (CEW) which covers equipment damaged by an AC power surge while connected properly to the surge protector.
The Monster Power Center Vertex XL isn’t cheap though and has an MSRP of $119.99. If you don’t need 10 grounded AC outlets, the smaller Power Center Vertex has six and is $99.99 (and currently on sale on Amazon). That being said, most of the 8, 10, or 11 outlet surge protectors with USB ports that I saw were about 1/2 the price (or less) but didn’t have a detachable USB hub and topped out at around 2800 Joules of surge protection. The included CEW is an added value as well, with up to $200,000 coverage in case of a power surge that damages your connected equipment.
While pricey, the Monster Power Center Vertex XL has a very nice design with braided cables and its detachable USB hub. The hub is a pretty neat, and functional idea, especially with the magnetic mount feature. While the USB ports could do with more output, especially the USB-C for power delivery, for most devices you’ll connect to it, it’s more than ample. In addition, it offers up to 5,000 Joules of surge protection and a $200,000 Connected Equipment Warranty.