review: Kensington PowerBolt Duo Car Charger for iPad iPhone and iPod
November 28, 2010 by Bill Palmer
by Bill Palmer
Kensington’s original PowerBolt car charger for iPhone and iPod was a breakthrough in that the charging unit was so tiny it almost recessed itself entirely within your car’s charging port, sticking out by only millimeters. And now Kensington unleashes the PowerBolt Duo which, as its name suggests, applies that miniaturization concept to a car charger which can support two devices simultaneously. As expected, the Duo isn’t as microscopic as the original, although the Duo is smaller than most single-device car chargers were a year or two ago. But the real twist here is that unlike many car chargers from a year or two ago, the Duo offers enough amperage to charge an iPad.
The Duo sports two USB ports, one whose amperage is more than twice that of the other. As it turned out in my tests, either port can charge an iPad using the included cable. But as the product’s packaging proclaims, the top port can charge an iPad about twice as fast as the bottom one, which is good news seeing just how long it can take to fully charge an iPad. The implication, then, is clear: charge your iPad in the high power USB port while you’re charging your iPhone or iPod in the lower power port. And I found that it works exactly as advertised (and yes, the included cable does work with the iPad).
I have only one quibble: the PowerBolt Duo is clearly intended to be used to charge two devices (otherwise you’d by the regular PowerBolt), so why does it only come with one cable? At the competitive price of $29, I’m not saying a second cable should necessarily be included with the Duo at that price. But from a hassle standpoint, buying this product means getting your hands on an extra cable, whether that be carrying your iPad’s bundled cable back and forth from your house to your car (which doesn’t match stylistically with the Duo’s all-black styling), or buying another cable elsewhere. I’d just like to have also seen another PowerBolt Duo option with two bundled cables for, say, $34. Perhaps Kensington will consider it.
But for those who aren’t concerned about there only being one cable in the box, the PowerBolt Duo is a nice svelte way to keep your iPad and your iPhone/iPod charged up simultaneously, without having to wait forever for your iPad to charge, easily recommendable.
Price: $29 • Kensington.com