While at CES, Dan and I had an opportunity to meet with Kensington for a look at some of their new products. A few of the items launched may seem pretty basic at first glance, but all are intended bring a level of convenience that might otherwise be missing.
If, like me, you like to use your iPhone as an alarm clock, then you might like their Nightstand Charging Dock ($39.99). The iPhone can either be held in landscape or portrait orientation, and a free Kensington iPhone app will display local weather and a clock. The dock can also function as a simple and elegant desktop dock; the included USB allows it to sync and charge when attached to a computer.
- Charging dock holds your iPhone or iPod touch in landscape mode using a kickstand to clearly display the time and weather
- Large, landscape display that doesn’t go into sleep mode, with optional screen dimming
- Small footprint reduces nightstand clutter
- Download the Kensington Rise&Shine Clock & Weather application from the Apple® App store at no extra cost
- Kensington application features easy-to-read time and weather along with three clock viewing options**
- Charging cable included
- Visit for more details
- *Must download Kensington Rise&Shine Clock and Weather application for clock and weather **Application compatible with iPhone 3G, iPhone and iPod touch only
Those who like to use their iPhone as an in-vehicle GPS will appreciate Kensiginton’s new dash and windshield mounts ($39.99 each). The first component is the sound amplifying cradle, which holds the iPhone with or without a case. Although this holster was created with navigation in mind, we asked for a demo with music, and found that it easily doubled the produced sound. This cradle was made with ports specifically fitted to work with the iPhone’s speakers.
Because there are so many models of cars, Kensington wanted to give as many mounting options as possible. There is a suction cup windshield mount and also a friction mount for placing on the dash.
- Amplifies iPhone speaker for twice the volume with no added battery drain
- Mounts on any dash-no installation required
- Lets you quickly and easily insert and remove your iPhone with one hand-even in a case
- Provides a safe, secure fit every time
- Mounts with no adhesives so it won’t damage your dash
- Cradle swivels, tilts and turns for unlimited flexibility or adjustability
- Includes 4 sets of swappable rubber inserts to fit 2G/3G/3GS iPhones with and without a case
- NOTE: Because the design of cases can vary from brand to brand, the acoustic amplifier may not perform as specified when a case is used
Kensington offers a charging cable kit that can come with both and costs $49.99.
If you don’t have an iPhone, there is also a quick release mount kit which can work with other devices like the iPod touch; that kit comes with a windshield and vent mount
Kensington is now offering a complete car solution that introduces a series of cables including a two-in-one cable, which is a clever Y-shaped cable which offers charging and auxiliary-in together. This cable works with the quick-release mount for the touch ($13.99).
There is also a noise-reducing cable, which reduces the background hum. $9.99, and you will be able to buy the cables singly or as a complete kit.
One of Kensington’s popular power options is their Ultra Charger, which is now only a little bit larger than the iPhone so you can leave your larger charging brick at home. The charging adapter is light-weight, small in size, and made with a USB port on the side so that you can charge the your laptop and an accessory at the same time with one adapter.
- Tips included for compatibility with the top selling notebook brands: Dell®, HP®, Compaq®, IBM®, Lenovo®, Toshiba®, Sony®, Gateway®, Acer®
- Color-coded notebook power tips for quick and easy set-up
- Slim adapter not only charges your notebook but it also charges your mobile phone, PDA, iPod and more via the built-in USB power port (USB power tips sold separately)
- Included EmPower® airline cable connects from notebook to airplane power outlet in the seat (on Wall/Air version only)
- Included USB charging cable connects to USB power port to charge mini USB compatible mobile devices
- 30% lighter and 22% thinner than conventional power adapters so it doesn’t add extra bulk in your bag
- Built-in over-current protection, short-circuit protection, over temperature protection
One last item that I thought was worth noting was their Travel Battery Pack Charger for iPhone and iPod touch, which is a self-contained external battery with a built in-kickstand, allowing it to stand upright for viewing movies ($69.99).
- Built-in dock connector to charge your iPhone and flip-out USB tip to recharge without the mess of extra cables
- Extends play time up to 23 hours music, up to 7 hours of video and up to 5 hours of talk time*
- LED battery gauge displays remaining battery pack power level
- Perfect for long flights and small travel bags
- All-in-one design; no cables needed
- Rechargeable lithium-ion battery for iPhone
If I had to pick one item as the neatest, it would be a tossup between the Y-cable, the Nightstand Charging Dock and the Travel Battery Pack Charger. Let’s face it; anything that allows me to squeeze some extra time out of my iPhone’s anemic battery is going to be all right by me. Adding extra functionality – like tying the iPhone into my automobile’s sound system, turning it into a bedside clock and weather station, or allowing me to watch a movie without holding the iPhone in hand – is just gravy.