Today, there are a number of third-party adaptor solutions, one of which is Griffin’s PowerBlock Travel. The kit can handle voltages between 100AC-240AC. As well as the 30GB and 60GB iPod it will recharge nanos, minis, and photos, as well as 4G iPods, but it doesn’t support 3G, 2G and 1G iPods.
It can also charge all USB devices – including the iPod shuffle – via a transformer that houses a USB port. Devices can be connected directly, or using the included 48-pin dock connector cable (which can be used to connect an iPod to a computer). There’s even a carry case.
The transformer has two flat-blade prongs, which fold flush with the unit when not in use. The kit includes three plugs for different regions, including the US, mainland Europe and the UK. You simply plug the transformer into the appropriate plug for the country you’re in, and connect the USB cable between the iPod and the adaptor.
PowerBlock works effectively, but the ability to run any appliance – such as a hairdryer – would have been nice, making the device a one-stop travel-adaptor solution. Despite this, PowerBlock is a trustworthy product from a respected manufacturer; it’s been registered by consumer safety agencies, and carries a kite mark to indicate its compatibility with current European environmental legislation.
Having music on your travels is great, and the PowerBlock delivers here. While not the sexiest Griffin product, the PowerBlock has the advantage of being easy to carry, safety tested and having the guarantee of a reliable manufacturer.