Kensington Portable Power Outlet Review


Kensington is coming out with some handy products lately. A few weeks ago I reviewed their ShareCentral device and now it’s time to take a look at another one of their products. This time it’s their new Portable Power Outlet.

Kensington Portable Power Outlet

Hardware Specifications

Input: 125VAC, 60Hz
Output: 3 wall outlets at 125VAC, 60Hz, 15A max, 1875W, 2 USB power ports at 5VDC, 0.5A max
Surge protection: 540J rating, L-N, L-G, N-G protection modes
17″ cable
Size: 4.4 x 3.1 x 1.2 inches
Weight: 7.1oz

Kensington Portable Power Outlet

Package Contents

Portable Power Outlet
Instruction Guide

I don’t know how many times while I’ve been traveling, that I’ve been in need of more wall outlets. It seems like hotel rooms usually only have one or two wall outlets that don’t already have something plugged into them. This Portable Power Outlet hopes to solve that problem.

Kensington Portable Power Outlet

Made of Black plastic, the power outlet is relatively compact. Definitely more so than a regular power strip would be. On the face of the module, there are two USB ports and one grounded AC outlet.

Kensington Portable Power Outlet

On the flip side of the module, you find two more grounded AC outlets.

Kensington Portable Power Outlet

Wrapped conveniently around the edge of this device, is a 17 inch long power cord with a grounded plug at one end.

Kensington Portable Power Outlet

The length of the power cord is just long enough to be useful, while not being long enough to get in the way.

To use the Portable Power Outlet, you just unwrap the cord and plug it into an open wall outlet. Once plugged in, you now have three regular power outlets and two powered USB ports.

Kensington Portable Power Outlet

When the module is plugged into a wall outlet, the protection LED on the back side should glow Green to indicate that the surge protection feature is active. If this LED does not light up, that means that you need to replace the module.

You can use this device to power your laptop, cameras, and other gadgets that can’t charge via USB. To charge your USB enabled devices like phones, iPods, etc., just plug their charging cables into one of the USB power ports. What’s nice is the fact that USB devices usually charge faster when they are plugged into a power outlet, instead of into a USB port on your computer or hub.

The only thing that would make the Portable Power Outlet from Kensington better in my opinion would be to put all of the power ports on one side of the device, instead of having two on the back side. Then the module could lie flat on the ground. That’s my only small complaint though. Otherwise, this is nice accessory that most travelers will find quite useful to take along with them on their next trip.


Product Information

  • One open power outlet
  • Surge protection
  • Portable
  • Wrap around cord
  • Connectors on both sides of module
Posted in: Gear
{ 12 comments… add one }
  • kenton a hoover August 21, 2008, 4:16 pm

    You missed the single largest flaw with this product:

    125VAC, 60Hz

    The time when I have the greatest use for a product like this is when I’m traveling and need to split outlets off an international adapter. Without being multivoltage, that’s not possible. So I’m back to my combination of $2 hardware store multiplug and international adaptor and this useful item stays at home with the wife and kids.

    It’s a shame.

  • Julie August 21, 2008, 9:01 pm


    Sorry for missing that flaw. I don’t travel outside the US enough to have discovered the problem…

  • Jake Tongue August 22, 2008, 12:35 am

    if they did a uk one i’d peacticically run out to buy one but the major flaw is it’s only 125 volts

  • Mark Rosengarten August 22, 2008, 6:27 am

    I bought one of these this weekend, and my biggest concern was that it be able to recharge my iPod Nano 3G. With the newer iPods, you can’t just use any USB charger, but this one works. It is going into my gear bag for when I go storm chasing. The number of outlets is perfect! The main outlet for my laptop, the USB ones for charging my phone and iPod, the two on the back for charging my camera battery and my camcorder battery. Instead of trying to find outlets in a hotel room (unplugging all manner of things to find room), I can do it all from my room desk and one outlet. It is an excellent solution to a long-standing problem.

  • Colin Westwater August 22, 2008, 6:38 am

    Wish they would release this in the UK. Monster have a similar product (but without the USB ports) and they have no plans to release their version in the UK.

  • Julie August 22, 2008, 8:11 am

    I’m going to make sure my contact at Kensington reads these comments. Hopefully they can do something about a UK (and other) versions.

  • Colin Westwater August 22, 2008, 10:40 am

    Thanks Julie. I think half the battle in the UK is our power plugs are so much larger than the UK. Mainly because our mains puts out more juice!

  • Hai August 22, 2008, 1:04 pm

    Looks like Kensington is coming out with a competitor to the Belkin’s Mini Surge Protector with USB Charger:

    While I like the Belkin’s for its beautiful and design, I give the Kensington a thumb up for being practical: many hotel’s outlets are blocked by furnitures and the Kensington’s cord solves that problem.

    By positioning the connectors on both sides, Kensington can accommodate a large power brick without blocking others; something the Belkin could not do.

    I wish Kensington (and Belkin for that matter) goes the extra mile by including short USB cables for iPod and male A to male B (which many phones and devices use).


  • Alan B. August 22, 2008, 4:07 pm

    Thanks Kenton. Good catch. I think I’ll pass unless they come out with an international version.

    [Edited at August 22, 2008 16:12:48 PM.]

  • Julie August 22, 2008, 10:59 pm


    You make an excellent point as to why having outlets on both sides of this device is a GOOD thing. :o)

    BTW, I got a reply back from my contact for Kensington and she said that she is definitely passing on the comments about a UK version. So keep your fingers crossed.

  • BK August 23, 2008, 4:28 pm

    I own the Belkin surge protector and while it serves a similar purpose to the Kensington power outlet, the Belkin device is simply huge: 3.6 x 5 x 8.5 inches

    vs. the Kensington: 4.4 x 3.1 x 1.2 inches

    In terms of portability and flexibility, I’d argue the Kensington wins hands-down. It’s quite the ugly duckling, though! Now I need to find someone to foist my Belkin off on 🙂

  • David Bechtol August 24, 2008, 5:35 pm

    Why not reverse one of the grounded recepticles to make them more accessible for all plugs?

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