Charge your tablet or phone in the car with Kensington's PowerBolt Micro

2.1 amps from a charger small enough to hide away

If you have a tablet, or a new smartphone with a large screen, odds are you've worked out two things — using it throughout the day uses up battery fast, and charging from a PC or laptop is slow.

Most cars have a 12V cigarette lighter easily accessible to the driver, although sometimes they're hidden away.
Most cars have a 12V cigarette lighter easily accessible to the driver, although sometimes they're hidden away.

If you're on the road regularly, or if you drive to work in the morning and home in the afternoon, you've got the option to charge your mobile device using the 12V cigarette lighter port.

This Belkin charger we've had for a few years did the job for our old smartphone, but now it's not able to keep up with charging a tablet.
This Belkin charger we've had for a few years did the job for our old smartphone, but now it's not able to keep up with charging a tablet.

Not all car chargers are made equal, though — usually there's a compromise between being bulky and powerful, or small and gutless. Especially if you've got a car charger that's a few years old, chances are it's not putting out enough power to charge your tablet or smartphone as quickly as possible.

Despite being able to output a full 2.1 Amps, the PowerBolt Micro is little larger than the Belkin it's replaced.
Despite being able to output a full 2.1 Amps, the PowerBolt Micro is little larger than the Belkin it's replaced.

Ideally, what you want is a small car charger that's both small and powerful, and Kensington's 2.1 Amp-capable PowerBolt Micro fills that role perfectly.

There's a small LED to tell you when the PowerBolt Micro is powered, and the USB port can provide enough current to charge even a full-size iPad.
There's a small LED to tell you when the PowerBolt Micro is powered, and the USB port can provide enough current to charge even a full-size iPad.

It's barely any larger than a standard 12V cigarette lighter socket in the first place, so if the port is hidden away behind a panel it won't get in the way of it closing. It protrudes barely one centimetre past the socket.

The PowerBolt Micro is small enough that it can hide away wherever your cigarette lighter port is — you don't have to disconnect it when you're not using it.
The PowerBolt Micro is small enough that it can hide away wherever your cigarette lighter port is — you don't have to disconnect it when you're not using it.

The Powerbolt Micro includes a 30-pin cable to connect your older iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, but it'll work with any micro-USB cable for Android phones or tablets or any Lightning cable for iPhone 5 and new iPads and iPads mini. It would have been nice for it to include another cable or two, but they're cheap and we have plenty around anyway.

The PowerBolt Micro's retail package is simple -- it'll set you back around $30.
The PowerBolt Micro's retail package is simple -- it'll set you back around $30.

The Kensington PowerBolt Micro is available for a $29.95 recommended retail price, but you might also find it cheaper if you shop around.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Campbell Simpson

Campbell Simpson

Good Gear Guide
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?