Product review – Kensington Mini battery pack and charger for iPod and iPhone

Today’s product review will take a quick look at a kind of product that has suddenly become quite popular.

Many owners of the new iPhone 3G have been rudely awakened by its poor battery life. In some cases, the phone won’t even last till the end of the afternoon. Since an outlet and charger are not always available, Kensington have developed a portable power source to help get you through the day.

The Kensington “mini battery pack and charger for iPod and iPhone” is a 1.5oz/42g pocket battery pack with an iPod dock connector.

The battery pack contains a Lithium-Polymer battery with enough capacity to fully recharge most iPod and iPhone models. On most devices, you’ll add up to 30 hours of music playback or 6 hours of video. On the iPhone, you’ll add up to 3 hours of talk time.

The battery pack can be charged using your computer or any other power source with a USB connector, including the AC adapter included with some iPods.

Using the battery pack couldn’t be easier, you simply plug it into the bottom of your device, and let it charge. On the front of the battery pack are 4 lights. Three of these lights show the charging status of the iPod or iPhone, and one turns on when the battery pack itself is being charged. One of the other big advantages of the Kensington battery pack is that you can charge your phone using USB, which means you can leave the Apple charging cable at home (of course, you can’t synchronize your device through the battery pack).

Included in the package is a handy retractable USB cable and a plastic cover to protect the dock connector when you are not using it. The only minor complaint I have is that the battery pack adds close to 2 inches to the total length of your iPod when it is plugged in. An alternative product is the Kensington ultra portable battery pack, which I reviewed last week. Of course, with that product you will lose some of the convenience of having such a light battery pack, and you will need to carry your iPod charging cable.

The Kensington “mini battery pack and charger for iPod and iPhone” costs $49.95 ($47 from Amazon).