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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
53
Size: 1 Port, 2.1A|Change
Price:$26.55+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on April 25, 2013
I really like this adapter, it charges fast, has a power indicator light, and if you believe the marketing hype, it senses just the right amount of voltage to use for your particular device. It fits nearly flush to your dash - so that's either a pro or con, depending on how you look at it. Pro: it fits tight and nearly flush for a neat, clean look; or Con: it fits tight and nearly flush so it can be hard to remove. However, that being said, at least in my vehicle (2013 Honda Odyssey) there is no power to the unit while the vehicle ignition is off so there's really no reason to remove it.
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I grabbed this Kensington PowerBolt 2.1A CLA (K39666AM) during an Amazon Lightning sale. Prior to this purchase, I have been using a Duracell Mini USB Car Charger DUR167 in my car's cigarette lighter adapter (CLA). The Duracell unit is only rated for 1 Amp, which is sufficient for smart phones but inadequate for tablets.

I tested this PowerBolt unit in my car, charging my partially drained B&N Nook HD+ tablet. The charging current measured was 1.97A, the same as when the tablet is powered by its dedicated AC adapter. When charging my Samsung Galaxy S3, the measured current was 0.95A. This shows that the maximum charging current is limited by the device and not by the USB charger.

Most USB chargers specify an output voltage range of 5V +/-5%, or 4.75 to 5.25V. This PowerBolt unit regulates the output voltage within a tigher window, throughout its load current range. Here are my measured data:
-- 5.07V at 0A,
-- 5.03V at 1A,
-- 4.99V at 2A.
(All voltage and current readings measured using the PortaPow USB Power Monitor. See my review on it for details: http://www.amazon.com/review/RVRNRAC9JJYOP )

Mechanically, the Kensington PowerBolt unit is slightly shorter than the Duracell unit (see the comparison photo I uploaded to 'Customer Images' section). Both units have very low profiles when inserted into the CLA. The retaining springs on the PowerBolt are larger and stronger, which makes it more difficult to insert or remove. On the other hand, it also means that the PowerBolt will not accidentally come off when I unplug the USB cable.

Bottom Line:
The Kensington PowerBolt is an excellent CLA-to-USB charger. At the Lightning deal price I paid, it was a steal. Even at its regular price I still consider it a good value.
My only remaining question is: What in the world is "PowerWhiz", anyway?
review image
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on April 17, 2013
I normally have my Google Nexus 7 and Samsung Galaxy S plugged in - probably the only mobile charger I've used that actually FULLY charged my devices without driving all the way across the country. Works great, and seems to be well built. Now I have to buy one for each of the other cars in the garage as suddenly everyone wants to borrow the 'good' charger. 'nuff said!
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on March 4, 2014
I love having an extra charger with the higher amperage. It's great for when I forget to charge my phone at night and need to charge as quickly as possible when I am on my way to the office. The only negative I have is the LED is on at all times and doesn't quite tell me how far along my iPhone/tablet is along on it's charging cycle like other do.
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on February 21, 2015
The Kensington PowerBolt is well made USB charger with more than enough juice to handle hungry tablets. I purchased this charger after several (cheaper) attempts with less well known brands. All of those chargers would easily handle a smartphone, but several balked when a tablet was added to the mix. This was especially true when I upgraded from an iPad 2 to an iPad 4 tablet and starting using the device for all of my in car navigation. I found, with a hungry mapping app running full time, that most chargers were lucky to just keep even much less fully charge the device. The Kensington is able to charge both a phone and a tablet even when the devices are running full bore. The charger is solidly built and never feels overly warm, a problem I noticed on more cheaply built plugs. The device is certainly not the smallest form factor, so look at you space closely to make sure it will not interfere with a gear shift lever or other control. This is especially true if you are trying to install in a center console socket with limited clearance when the lid is closed. Overall, a quality product and a good value when build quality is considered.
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on March 26, 2014
It keeps disconnecting for apparently no reason. I've never had this problem in this car with other chargers. A pain in the neck and worse than useless, you think you are charging and you aren't so the device discharges itself.
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on September 12, 2015
After 2 years of use, it still works great. I love that it has a low profile and lies fairly flush to the cigarette lighter plug. The only thing that is unique to my car is that sometimes it does come loose (doesn't do that in wife's car), which just means I have to check for the light to make sure its all the way plugged in. Charges my phone quickly and is a must have when I am using my phone as a gps. Highly Recommended!
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on February 22, 2015
Our specific requirement when purchasing this product was to charge our two young sons iPads on a long... long... cross-country road trip. Seeing that each iPad draws 2.1 amps when charging, this product was one of very few that could deliver that simultaneously out of both ports. The product has a quality feel that you wont get from anything purchased at a gas station along the way. If like us, your sanity depends on keeping two iPads charged in a car, buy this product.
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on December 30, 2013
This unit fit the bill for a charging device that charges low amperage cell phones and higher amperage tablets while in the car. My wife and I used it to charge my tablet while listening to audio books and our cell phones while using the battery-draining GPS map apps on our cell phones. The unit fits flush in the socket which is what we wanted allowing the car's fold-down cover door over the socket and charger to be closed when not in use. Our previous unit protruded too far for that door to close. The only downside for us is once it is in, it is difficult to pull out from the socket. But that is only because it fits so well. I would definitely buy again.
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on December 14, 2014
Can charge both our tablets (Apple and ASUS) simultaneously. It took years before someone finally came out with a device that was useful for more than phones.

Kensington in general: have never been disappointed and have been using various of their products over the past 20 years. They just do the job at a fair price. Nothing fancy or high fashion but solid and reliable.
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