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Road Tested: the socially-developed Quirky PowerCurl

You've heard me rant about Quirky before on TUAW: it's a company that uses social development (i.e., group-think) to create innovative new products. Everyone who participates deeply in the creation of a product can benefit monetarily from the sales of it, and the result has been a string of fascinating products.

A while back we heard about the PowerCurl, a product that was originally dreamed up by Jeff Scholen of Atlanta, GA. I was so taken by the design and utility of the product that I ended up buying one, and it's extremely useful.

Scholen's original idea was a plastic bracket that surrounds the Apple MagSafe Power Adapter and allows both the long extension cord and the small power cable to be neatly wrapped up. The result is a US$14.99, bright orange device that really has two primary goals -- keeping your cables neat and making sure that there is airflow around the adapter to keep it cool. Quirky offers three different models; one each for the 45W, 60W and 85W MagSafe Power Adapters.

How does it work in practice? Beautifully. In the past, I tried to organize my MacBook Air cables in my computer case, but more often than not they were tangled around each other when I extracted them. Since slipping my MacBook Air power adapter into the comfy confines of the PowerCurl, the cables are nicely tamed. As advertised, the power adapter is cooler now that it isn't lying directly on the insulative surface of the floor.

The PowerCurl is simple, functional, and (if you like bright orange rubberized plastic) attractive. I'd recommend this product to anyone who has a MacBook.

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