Kensington Power Review

On October 30, 2008, in Review, by Rich Lefko

“I need more power, Scotty.”

Kensington Portable Power outlet
Price: $24.99

Kensington 4-Port USB Charger for Mobile Devices
Price: $29.99

http://www.kensington.com

Being able to power up and recharge our personal electronics in today’s world has become very important. Not only for road warriors, but also for families that have multiple devices. Take my family, for example. We have five iPods that need regular charging. Even a Mac tower doesn’t have that many ports, and what happens if your Mac is down? Take those devices on the road and you’re faced with a new set of recharging problems.

The good folks at Kensington have introduced a couple of products that go a long way towards satisfying your power needs.

Portable Power Outlet

When I am traveling on business or pleasure, one of the first things I look for when I arrive at my hotel room is an outlet. I usually have my iPod, a cell phone, my Palm T3, and my MacBook that all need to be plugged in.

I can never find enough outlets in a hotel room. Even worse, I have to hunt around the room looking for outlets. Have you ever looked behind the dresser or under the desk in a hotel room? If what you find isn’t gross enough to make you check out, then you’ll have to spread your devices out around the room. I dislike doing this because I’m always afraid I’ll leave something behind.

The Kensington Portable Power Outlet (KPPO) eliminates these problems. The KPPO is just small enough to toss in with your luggage or a computer bag. The KPPO measures 4.4”x 3.1”x 1.2” and weighs in at 7.1 oz. (112 mm x 79 mm x 31 mm–200g)

The 17” long grounded plug wraps around the unit itself. The KPPO has three outlets, two on one side, one on the opposite side. The side with the single outlet also has two USB ports for devices that can connect via USB. I find these ports very handy because I don’t want to carry around an AC adapter for every item I am carrying. In addition, the KPPO has a status LED and offers surge protection which is a nice bonus. The only problem I had using the Portable Power outlet was wrapping the cord around the unit. Sometimes it takes a few seconds to get the plug to sit properly in the wrap around slot. Otherwise this unit solves all of the outlet problems you might have while on the road. It was easy to plug in my MacBook, my iPod, cell phone, and anything else that needed power.
This is a great device for charging up to five items at once with mixed power connections. I highly recommend the Kensington Portable Power Outlet.

MyMac Rating: 4.5 out of 5

You could certainly use the KPPO at home to charge personal electronics, but what if you have multiple devices that require USB charging. You could use the Kensington 4-Port USB Charger for Mobile Devices (K4).

The K4 is simply a wall charger with four USB ports. The unit is designed to be plugged into the lower outlet so it won’t block the upper plug. The K4 has a handy LED on the backside so you can tell if power is present.

The K4 is simple to use. Just plug it into a wall outlet and plug up to four USB devices into the ports on the bottom.

The review unit worked just fine, but the plug end is designed to be used with different types of outlets and it is removable. Sometimes I would unplug the device and the outlet part, with the two prongs, would remain in the outlet. Since this piece is all plastic it was no big deal to just pull it out of the outlet, but it was annoying nonetheless. My rating reflects this.

MyMac Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Both of these Kensington power products can use Kensington Power Tips (sold separately) to charge other mobile devices.

Links:
Kensington 4 Port USB charger for Multiple Devices
Kensington Portable Power Outlet
Kensington Power Tips

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