One of the more interesting (but not terribly exciting) products that I have seen in recent memory is a travel-sized surge-protecting power bar that also happens to come with a couple of USB ports. This is great for when you’re on the road, because you can plug in all the things you need to charge, both via standard wall outlet plugs and via USB cables. This new introduction from Kensington is much the same way.
The power supply block that comes with your notebook serves just a single purpose, so Kensington is adding some extra utility by integrating a single USB port in that brick. You’d still plug the brick into the wall on one end and your laptop on the other end, but the brick has a USB port for charging your iPhone, GPS, or whatever else you carry with you on the road. This way, you’re not hogging up a USB port on your laptop.
Yes, I realize that this isn’t completely groundbreaking and it probably won’t get all that much media attention, but this is incredibly useful. I wish it had more than one USB port, but the idea is very nice. Kensington is currently taking preorders on the $50 universal power brick and it should be compatible with most major brands.
Along with the USB-touting power supply, Kensington also announced a $15 wired mouse, $25 wireless mouse, $25 security lock, and a $15 neoprene sleeve. They’ll ship by the end of the month.