Home Tech Great British Plug: The elephant in the socket

Great British Plug: The elephant in the socket


I've fulminated against the Great British Plug before. It may be the safest connector in the world with its built-in fuse and prongs the size of a 1960s tower block, but it is far too big for modern appliances. Time was when everything was bigger than the plug. Now everything is smaller than the monster it's attached to.

IPhone plug US plug  Europlug

Above: The UK 5-watt charger with Bronze-age fighting prongs  (left) is enormous  while the neat US equivalent (centre)  is even smaller that the new Euro plug (right). You will note that these photographs are not all to the same scale – the two units on the right are actually smaller than they look

Take the iPhone adaptor for instance. Apple have made the best of a bad job with the new design, but it is still enormous. And the diminutive 45w power adaptor for the MacBook Air is dwarfed by the slide-on plug adaptor. With those three extraordinarily huge prongs, it makes a bulky accessory in a small bag. I always worry it will dent the computer if the bag is dropped. 

Unfortunately there's nothing we can do. We're stuck with our giant prongs and the busybody health and safety fanatics love them to death. 


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