Daily deal – Belkin mini surge protector with USB charger for $16

My daily deal for today is a product I reviewed several months ago. The Belkin mini surge protector with USB charger has a really long name, but can come in quite handy on the road.

The device plugs into a single outlet and turns into a 3-port outlet with 2 additional powered USB ports. This combo means you can power several devices and charge 2 USB gadgets at the same time.

The prongs on the rear can rotate, which should help make it fit into any outlet you can find.

The mini surge protector only works on 120V, so don’t plan to take it abroad and use on foreign power networks with higher voltages.

The integrated surge protector is a great way to protect your equipment on the road, especially if you plan to use them in places with a less than reliable power grid.

The Belkin mini surge protector with USB charger usually retails for about $25, but you can pick one up from Amazon.com for just $15.26.

Daily deal – RCA Dual wattage foreign plug adapter kit for $12.99

My daily deal for today is another of those essential products any foreign traveler should have in their gadget arsenal.

This RCA branded power adapter kit comes in a handy carrying case, and includes a switchable voltage adapter (one setting for up to 50 watts, and one for up to 1600 watts). The kit also includes 5 different plug adapters.

This kit usually retails for about $40, but Buy.com currently has it on clearance for just $12.99 with free shipping.

Of course, the big red letters on the product page warning you of “limited stock”, should probably be taken seriously, as items like this tend to sell out very quickly.

(Via Fatwallet)

Kensington 3-in-1 review – power it, charge it, lock it

In this product review, I’m going to give you a brief look at three new products from Kensington. Each of these three products has been designed with travelers in mind, and will certainly benefit you on the road.

The three products are:

  • Portable power outlet
  • MicroSaver keyed retractable lock
  • Travel plug adapter with USB charger

Portable power outlet

The Kensington portable power outlet is as the name implies, a portable power outlet.

The device is about 4″x3″ and has a 17″ grounded power cord designed to wrap around the unit itself for storage.

The device splits into 3 separate grounded outlets (one on the front, 2 on the rear) as well as two USB charger ports.

The power outlet even features an integrated surge protector with auto power shutdown and a fault indicator light.

The portable power outlet costs $24.99.

MicroSaver keyed retractable lock

The MicroSaver keyed retractable lock is a tiny notebook lock with a 4 foot retracting steel cable.

To lock your laptop, you simply extend the cable, loop it around something sturdy and use the Kensington lock port on your computer to lock things in place.

Of course, locks like this won’t provide you with 100% protection, but they certainly can delay thieves from removing your laptop. The lock comes with 2 keys and when you are not using it, the lock portion fits snugly inside the unit.

The MicroSaver keyed retractable lock costs $34.99

Travel plug adapter with USB charger

The Kensington travel plug adapter with USB charger is an ingenious little device.

The main unit features 4 different sets of retractable prongs, for various countries around the world. In total, these 4 sets of prongs allow the device to work in over 150 different countries.

Inside the device is a fuse, which should help protect you from overloading the circuits and plunging an entire floor of hotel rooms into total darkness.

The prongs lock in place when extended, and can retracted by pushing a button on the side.

What makes the travel plug adapter special though, is its ability to turn into an international USB charger. By removing the top portion of the adapter and replacing it with the included USB charger, you suddenly have a charger capable of working almost anywhere in the world. Unlike other international USB chargers, this one does not require you to carry a bag full of plug adapters along with you.

The travel plug adapter with USB charger costs $29.99.

Product review – Chargepod multi device charger

In this product review, I’m going to introduce you to the Chargepod multi device charger. The Chargepod is a product from Callpod, and it has 7 connectors; one for powering the device itself, and 6 for charging your electronics. Each connector holds an small removable adapter with the appropriate plug for your gadget.

In the version I am reviewing, the package comes with an AC (wall) charger and a car charger cord. There are some people (like myself) who will usually find themselves on the road with far too many gadgets. The hassle of carrying multiple chargers as well as extension cords and power splitters gets greater with each new gadget. It is however not unthinkable that even the most novice gadgeteer will have at least a mobile phone, a Bluetooth headset and and iPod in their luggage.

With the Chargepod, you simply carry the power adapter, the Chargepod itself, and the power adapters you need for your devices. Then, to charge them, you simply connect the Chargepod to an outlet, insert the power adapters and plug your gadgets in. The Chargepod then charges up to 6 devices at the same time.

Callpod, who make the Chargepod, have 48 different power adapters, and since some of these can be used for multiple devices, the product covers close to 500 different phones, PDA’s, smartphones, gaming consoles and more. If you can’t find the correct power adapter for your device, but you do have a USB cable, then you can purchase a female USB plug power adapter and plug the cable into that.

In my personal travel bag, I carry the Chargepod with tips for a Nintendo DS, Garmin GPS unit, Plantronics headset, a Blackberry, Nokia phones, 2 HTC smartphones, an iPod and a female USB tip for recharging my backup battery pack. The Chargepod replaces 7 different chargers, plus I can use it to charge all my devices at the same time, instead of having to play a boring game of outlet bingo.

The Chargepod kit I carry in my luggage weighs 15 ounces which includes the Chargepod itself, the AC and car chargers and 12 different power tips, as well as the carrying pouch.

You can purchase the Chargepod in 2 versions; a basic kit with the AC charger and the Chargepod, or a bundle kit with the Chargepod, AC and car chargers and an assortment of adapters.

If the bundle pack does not contain any of the power adapters you need, then you are better off with the basic version, and configuring your own kit. The basic kit costs $39.95 and the bundle kit costs $79.95. Each additional power adapter is $9.95 (all MSRP). You can purchase the Chargepod through Amazon, where it retails with a substantial discount; ($32.99 for the basic kit or $47.99 for the bundle kit)

I’ve come to depend heavily on my Chargepod, both for its ease of use as well as the convenience of being able to leave a bag full of power bricks at home. The included AC adapter works on 100-240 Volts, so with the appropriate plug converter it can be used anywhere in the world. The only minor annoyances with he product are that the prongs on the AC charger do not fold in, making it quite bulky, and that the carrying pouch is not always spacious enough to hold all the parts. Other than that, I can highly recommend the Chargepod for its ease of use.

Juicing up on the road

Most of us these days travel with all manner of digital, battery-powered devices. Whether it’s a laptop, an iPod, a digital camera or a mobile phone, it’s inevitable you’ll need to plug in at some point and recharge. Thankfully, Engadget has been all over the topic this week, offering several solutions. If you’re traveling around the U.S., they recommend this power strip that combines three power outlets and two USB ports in one portable device. The best part is the addition of USB, which will let you hook up your iPod or other USB-powered peripherals for charging.

If you’re headed abroad, Engadget also has you covered. They posted earlier today on this universal travel adapter that also features a built-in USB connection. These new power adapter/USB hybrids arrived just in the nick of time – I was beginning to wonder where I could plug in my USB blender while I’m on the road.