4-in-1 charger

If you’ve ever taken your iPod (and an Apple Camera Connector) out on a photography assignment, you’ll have experienced just how quickly grabbing pictures from your camera wears your iPod battery life down. Downloading images from a camera to the iPod can become a race against time, with you anxiously watching to see if the operation will complete before the power runs out. The same applies with voice recorders and other handy iPod add-ons, such as FM transmitters – they nearly all take power from the iPod, draining battery life. There are solutions available that will recharge your iPod, but once again, these require the dock connector.

This solution recharges any iPod with a click wheel and will recharge any USB-powered device (including the iPod shuffle, some mobile phones and PDAs). The kit consists of a plug that connects to the accessory power plug found in most cars, and a USB cable with a dock connector at the end.

Designed with cars in mind, the cable also works like any other iPod USB cable, but integrates a second, pass-through dock connector. This means you can continue to use devices like FM transmitters while recharging your iPod, either from the car using the included plug, or straight from a USB connection on a computer, using the lead on its own.

It also means that next time you find yourself outdoors, away from your car or a computer and in need of a solution to keep your iPod’s power levels up while grabbing images from the camera, you’ll be able to use a portable iPod battery recharger to do the job, as long as it has USB.

There is one fault though. The device fits like a glove on an iPod, but used with a nano the dock on the cable blocks off the headphone port. Since the solution has been developed with a view to enabling drivers to keep the iPod powered up while using an FM transmitter, that may not be a problem, but it’s worthy of note.

OUR VERDICT

There’s a gap in the market for a dock connector doubler that lets iPod users employ more than one device at once. While relatively mundane Kensington’s affordable solution takes should be particularly handy for drivers, home users and photographers on assignment. It’s a useful, if expensive, piece of kit that may emerge as essential in time.

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