My sister needs a surge protector for her laptop and tablet. I have an old one that I used w/ my Sony lemon that connected in line w/ the power cord. My understanding is that over time surge protectors get used up by absorbing the shocks that would otherwise damage the computer. As far as I know there is no way to test the surge protector for how much absorbing power it has left - you just replace it after x number of years. So I figure she should purchase a new one - I've seen them online for only $13. I don't know if the $13 ones give you adequate protection. I liked the ones that plugged directly into the outlet, rather than having that extra weight dangling on the power cord.
Our electricity occasionally goes out w/out any warning and in good weather. I think it's a transformer acting up. The power often goes off and on quickly, making loud noises, while I run around trying to unplug everything before it goes on again. [When we have a lightning storm we unplug.] So I'd like a good quality surge protector that can handle the no warning voltage fluctuations we get.
From previous reading I remember that you want a surge protector that will even out the voltage to protect the computer's components and one that will cut out "line noise". I just don't know how to determine a good surge protector from an inadequate one. I tried reading reviews, but everything got very technical very fast.
I've used Belkin and APC in the past. Can I safely just pick one based on footprint or outlet-type, price and power needed? Should I look for a certain type - linear, etc?