Kensington Travel Battery Pack & Charger for iPhone

It’s arrived!

So, a couple of first impressions.  I will update the post again after I’ve had chance to charge it and the iPhone.

So first off, I was surprised how small it was.  Although I looked at the dimensions before buying it, for some reason I didn’t picture it quite this compact.  That’s a good thing as it will travel with my other gadgetry in my *cough* man-bag *cough*.  It’s also incredibly light.

The specifications are as follows:

Battery Composition: Lithium Polymer
Input: 0.5A @ 5V
Output: 1A @ 5V
Capacity: 5.5 Wh
Length: 95.5mm
Width: 37mm
Depth: 20mm
Weight: 95g

The output (1A @ 5V) equates to that of the (for the 3GS at least) wall charger supplied with the phone so I anticipate (obviously) a similar charge time.

As for the design, I have to admit to a momentary scratch of the head when I looked at the oddly shaped cover over the iPhone connector. A brief play revealed the reason for the odd shape.  The cover folds back through 90 degrees and acts as a stand, supporting the charger and phone at an angle (see below).  The face of the lid that the charger rests on has a rubber pad to prevent slippage.

At the other end of the charger is the USB connector for plugging into your computer to charge the internal Lithium Polymer battery.  The connector stows away in the body of the charger until needed, flicking out for connection to the computer.  I found the retrieval of the USB connector a little fiddly as there’s no tab or similar aid with which to pull the connector from the body of the charger.  It requires the use of a nail, picking at the moulded housing to tease it out.  That said it does rotate out of the housing through 180 degrees, which is a good thing as the sockets on my netbook require the connector retracted fully through all 180 degrees (see below).

Another point to note is that, fully retracted, as I have it in the photo above, the connector feels as though it’s meeting a little resistance, as though it’s straining the internal cable connection.  This may not be the case, it may just be the housing, but time will tell.  Having been on many a design team making devices like this, I put faith in the knowledge that these things are scrutinised and tested very thoroughly.

The device has a single push button and a bank of 5 blue LEDs.  The push button gives an indication, via the blue LEDs of the charge remaining in the device.  The above photo shows the location of both of these.

On the rear side of the device there are the usual array of product regulatory markings, in this case the FCC mark for the US, CE for Europe and the C-Tick for Australia, along with a recycle mark and the WEEE mark.  The device is “Designed in California” and “Made in China”.

So, charge tests to follow (likely to take a couple of days to get a good feel for it).  I will post an update accordingly.

Price: £19.99 from Amazon

Update 26-Aug: Initial results

Ok, this is based on the first charge of the iPhone, from flat.  I am not sure if the Kensington charger was itself fully charged so am reserving judgement until I’ve done a couple more thorough tests.  However, the iPhone charged to 74% on this initial test, easily enough to get you through a few more hours.  I’m happy with that at this stage but am hoping that the next couple of charges yield better results.

The Kensington charger is now charging (one note here… the user manual gives absolutely no clue as to when the charger has itself finished charging… I’m guessing it’s when the blue LEDs stop flashing but it would be nice if this were stated somewhere).

More thorough results to follow.

Update 01-Sep: Initial results

After a few more tests I can confirm that the Kensington Travel Battery Pack & Charger for iPhone is averaging an 80% charge of the iPhone.  This is based on only 4 tests so I will update as I conduct further testing.  I think that’s a reasonable charge level given how compact the device is and certainly provides enough charge for my typical “heavy use” day.

If anyone has any insight, feel free to drop a comment.


By icraigt

Craig Thornton (@icraigt), Geek Dad, husband of @linsthornton, Principal Engineer at JLR, tech addict. All views my own.