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Kensington PowerBolt 3.1 Dual Car Charger for iPhone 5 & iPad

December 9th, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

4 stars

Kensington PowerBolt 3.1

Having a single iPhone or smartphone used to be a big deal, then came tablets like the iPad. Now having multiple devices is the norm, which brings us to a charging dilemma. Charging your devices at home is probably a non-issue, but how about when you’re in your car? Can you and your spouse or partner charge your phones at the same time? What about an iPad? Got kids in the back with their own devices? What then? Kensington tries to address all of these questions with the PowerBolt 3.1 car charger.

PROS

  • 3.1A total power output
  • Dual charging ports
  • Comes with lightning cable
  • Relatively small size

CONS

  • Lightning cable’s tip is too big

Kensington PowerBolt 3.1 box

DESIGN & PERFORMANCE
The PowerBolt 3.1 has a total power output of 3.1A and two USB charging ports. One port is labeled “iPad” and the other is labeled “iPod/iPhone.” When the charger is plugged in and powered on, a power indicator light appears.

Kensington PowerBolt 3.1 ports

I tested the PowerBolt 3.1 with an iPhone 5s and a 4th gen iPad. I was able to charge both devices at the same time without any problems. I was also able to charge my wife’s Android phone at the same time as the iPhone 5s.

The PowerBolt 3.1 comes with a lightning cable that has a larger tip than an OEM Apple lightning cable. This didn’t pose an issue with the iPad case I was using, because most 4th gen iPad cases are actually just 3rd gen iPad cases with the larger 30-pin cutout. For the iPhone 5/5s, however, the tip is probably too big to use with most cases. Indeed, I was unable to use the included lightning cable with the Tech21 case I had on the iPhone. If you use cases, it’s something to keep in mind.

Kensington PowerBolt 3.1 with cable

CONCLUSION
The Kensington PowerBolt 3.1 dual car charger is a great solution for people with multiple devices who need to charge them in the car. Being able to charge two smartphones at the same time or a smartphone and a tablet at the same time is convenient and almost a necessity for many. If you’re one of those people, I recommend you give the PowerBolt 3.1 a try.

Available at Amazon.com for about $26.

* Review sample provided by Kensington