Product review – Kensington Ultra Portable Battery Pack

Gadgets are great, and they can make your trip much more comfortable, but they become pretty useless once they run out of power. It’s a pretty aggravating experience to get stranded at the airport only to discover that your mobile phone has run out of juice. So in today’s product review, I will take a closer look at a product that can be a real lifesaver; the Kensington Ultra Portable Battery Pack.

The battery pack is about the size of a small mobile phone and is finished in a sleek black piano finish. The battery pack has 2 connectors; one for powering your devices and one for charging the device itself.

The Kensington Ultra Portable Battery Pack charges any device that can be powered using a USB cable. This includes all iPods, the iPhone, the Sony PSP and most current phones and smartphones.

The device weighs just 3 ounces/84 grams and the internal power source contains Lithium-Polymer battery cells, not unlike the ones used in most high tech gadgets.

The battery pack can be charged through USB, which means you’ll be able to fill it up from your desktop PC, laptop PC, the included USB wall charger, or any other device that has a powered USB port, including some airline seat power ports.

Powering gadgets is just as easy. You plug the charging cord (included with your device) into the USB port of the battery pack, and pretty soon you’ll have a fully charged gadget.

The internal batteries in the Kensington have a capacity of 1800mAH but feel free to forget that, because all you need to know is that the product has enough juice to power and recharge most gadgets at least 2 or 3 times.

According to the specifications provided by Kensington, you should be able to get the following out of the battery pack:

  • iPod/Zune/Creative MP3 player : + 55 hours (of audio playback)
  • iPod Video (5G/Classic) : + 14 hours (of video playback)
  • Mobile Phone : + 5 hours of talk time / up to 4 days of standby time
  • Smartphone (Blackberry/Palm/HTC): + 5 hours of talk time / up to 2 days of standby time
  • PDA (Palm/HP/Dell): + 5 hours of use (when turned on)
  • Portable gaming device (PSP, Game Boy/DS): + 5 hours of play time

The battery pack comes with an AC wall charger rated for 100-240V and a USB charging cable. On the front of the battery pack is a single button to activate the charging indicator, and 5 bright blue LED lights that show the power level. These lights also show the charging status when the device is plugged into the AC adapter or your computer.

It is light enough to carry around, and has enough power to get your gadgets through the longest of long haul flights. Since AC power is not always easy to find (especially at the airport), carrying a portable power source like this means you’ll be able to power and recharge your phone or music player whenever you need it. And just to clarify; the portable battery pack is not suitable for charging your laptop; it is only powerful enough for portable gadgets like MP3 players or a PDA.

If your device does not come with a USB charging cord, you can order a retractable USB cord from Kensington for $14.99. Cords are available for most mobile phones as well as the HP iPaq, Palm Treo and Blackberry smartphones.

The Kensington Ultra Portable Battery Pack costs $59.99 and is available here. Kensington provides a 2 year warranty on the product.