The Kensington PowerLift Battery and Dock is a compact 8 x 3 x 6-inches when folded and it will easily fit into a pocket, case, or bag. However it quickly opens to provide a docking station for iPhones and iPod touches. There is a kickstand that fold out to hold the iPhone/iPod in place while in the docking mode so that the user can watch videos or participate in FaceTime chats. There is a short USB plug attached for charging. All components of the PowerLift are attached, so nothing can be lost.
Kensington PowerLift in kickstand mode
PowerLift folded with only connector raised
If you choose to attach the PowerLift to your phone or touch, you can add extra hours to your battery use. There are LED battery indicator lights that indicate how much power you have left. The amount of extra use you get depends on how you use your phone or touch and which version you have. The specs for the product indicate that with an iPhone 4 you can add 20 hours of music, 5 hours of video, 3.5 hours of talk or 1.5 hours of FaceTime.
PowerLift recharging iPhone battery
The MSRP for the PowerLift is US$49.99. I found prices ranging from US$35.00 to US$50.00 on line. The PowerLift will work with most cases. The product carries the usual two year Kensington warranty.
Using the product
This is a simple product to use. For tabletop use you simply unfold the kickstand, attach the USB plug to a convenient outlet, and plug the phone or touch for charging. The kickstand holds the iPhone/iPod at a good angle for viewing.
When just recharging the PowerLift itself, I found that the unit recharges quickly, about an hour when plugged directly into my Mac. Users should be aware that the built-in USB cable is only 3-in. long. Also a USB port is the only way to charge. There is no A/C Adapter.
It’s possible to recharge a phone or touch while it is still in the case, though not necessarily while using the kickstand. If put in the recharge mode many cases can remain on the phone or touch. I tried it with a half dozen different cases that I have on hand, and the cases that are designed to remain in place while recharging worked just fine. The only one that worked in kickstand mode comes apart so that there is no portion of a case in the way during recharging.
Do I recommend it?
I do. It offers a unique design that provides multiple uses and can recharge a phone or touch without removing a case in most instances. Its best use is not as an attachment to a iPhone or touch, to be carried around with you. It is awkward, and ungainly. However, as a small, handy way to recharge between calls, it can be an asset. For instance, while visiting a friend in the hospital, I plugged my iPhone into the PowerLift and slipped both into my purse. While my friend and I visited, my phone battery recharged.