'Book Value

Kensington Portable Power Outlet a Great Accessory for the Road Warrior

Charles Moore - 2008.07.22 - Tip Jar

Rating: 4 out of 4

Power bars have been a virtual necessity and a ubiquitous presence at computer workstations for two decades now, but a new wrinkle on the power bar concept is the Kensington Portable Power Outlet, which packs not only three wall current outlets into a single compact unit, but also adds the convenience of being able to power or charge USB devices directly as well.

Kensington Portable Power Outlet

Utilizing both sides of the unit for plug outlets maximizes utility while keeping physical dimensions small.

back of Kensington Portable Power Outlet

The Portable Power Outlet includes 2 USB power ports in addition to 3 standard AC outlets, allowing you to charge devices like your iPhone, iPod, PDA, or digital camera simultaneously with your laptop without being obliged to pack each device's own power adapter.

Kensington Portable Power Outlet in useThe Portable Power Outlet also features built-in surge protection with a status LED to protect your hardware against power spikes and a short, flat-wrap extension cord that stores neatly around the body of the device when not in use, keeping it compact and more convenient to carry in a computer briefcase or backpack.

Kensington Portable Power OutletThis is such a good an logical idea, I'm surprised it didn't catch on a long time ago, but I guess it took the proliferation of USB bus-powered and/or charged devices to create a viable market. There is only one other similar device on the market that I'm aware of and it has just one USB port and sells for five dollars more than the Kensington unit.

In summary, I can't think of anything to criticize negatively about this product. It's inexpensive, innovative, convenient, and useful, and appears to be well-made. I suppose that a USB hub function would make it even more desirable, but perhaps that's a bit greedy for $25. Low End Mac rating, 4 out of 4.

Kensington Portable Power OutletKensington Portable Power Outlet Features:

  • Low profile, compact shape travels easily to conference rooms, hotels, airports, anywhere you need to work
  • Fits conveniently in a travel bag or notebook carrying case
  • Three wall (AC) outlets power your notebook and more
  • Two USB power ports charge all of your USB compatible mobile devices (USB Power Tips sold separately)
  • Built-in cord management
  • Surge protection with status LED defends against power spikes

Specifications

  • Weight: 200g (7.1 oz.)
  • Unit Dimensions: 112mm x 79mm x 31mm (4.4" x 3.1" x 1.2")
  • Kensington Portable Power OutletCable: Wrap Around Grounded Plug w/ 430mm (16.9") Cable
  • Outlets: 3 Grounded Wall Outlets and 2 USB Power Ports
  • Input: 125 VAC, 60 Hz Output: Wall Outlets - 125 VAC, 60 Hz,
  • USB Power Ports - 5 VDC, 0.5A Max

Warranty

  • The Portable Power Outlet is backed by the Kensington 2-Year warranty.

Price: $28.99 (currently $25.13 with free SuperSaver shipping at Amazon.com, $10 rebate available through 8/21/08)

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Charles Moore has been a freelance journalist since 1987 and began writing for Mac websites in May 1998. His The Road Warrior column was a regular feature on MacOpinion, he is news editor at Applelinks.com and a columnist at MacPrices.net. If you find his articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

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