We’d love to get a sneak glimpse of what happens in an average day at Thanko’s Research and Design labs.
The eccentric Japanese company has already given the green-light to a quirky catalogue of oddball gizmos, from the USB bra warmer to the air-conditioned tie. Where can you go after that? Well, an 80-port USB hub, obviously.
Looking like a cross between a spare part from Maplin and a telephone switchboard, the USB X80 features 80 USB ports lined up on a 200 x 200mm red PCB. Thanko isn’t bothered by the X80’s looks, though.
A Google translation of the X80’s product page proudly states that “when viewed from the side of the port in line, you feel powerful and somewhat like a soldier in the army.” Forget charging your USB devices; you can also use it to pretend you’re Montgomery of Alamein if you have a particularly fertile imagination.
The X80 doesn’t handle USB data, but instead acts as a huge charging station. Power is supplied via three Molex connectors at the bottom, so you could theoretically link it up to your PC’s PSU. However, given that the X80’s maximum power consumption is over 78W (5.6V x 14A), you’d probably be safer hooking it up to the supplied AC adaptor.
While the X80 may look like a novelty product to buy for your gadget-obsessed mate as a joke, Thanko isn’t pricing it in the realms of the stocking filler budget. A USB X80 will set you back a whopping ¥14,800 in Japan, which works out at £101.59 in British pounds.