After CES 2015 there is always a flood of mobile accessories to hit the market and Kensington isn’t far behind, debuting two power banks - the 10400 & 5200. Kensington has been in the business for the last 30 years producing a wide variety of items including laptop docks, USB hubs and charging accessories. And out of the event, I received a Kensington 5200 power bank. Let’s see if compact also equal power.
The 5200 power bank is a very compact portable charger measuring about 3.5” x 2”; it’s encased in an aluminum finish with black plastic panels on both ends and the top has all the workings from lights, ports, and power button for operation. The device is turned on and off via a round power button but also works as a tester telling you how much charge is left via the 4 LEDs, each representing 25% increments. Inside is a high quality LG 18650 battery along with Kensington’s proprietary chip called PowerWhiz, which detects your device and makes amperage adjustments according to your attached device.
I’m testing the Kensington 5200 on the Galaxy Note 4 and an IPhone 5S; I’ve performed two tests: the first test is a zero to 100% (phones are drained to zero/charged to 100%). Then there’s a second test using the same figure, with each device running Netflix while still plugged into the device. On the first test (0-100) with the 5200, the Note 4 got up to 80%, while on the 5s charged to a full 100%. On the Second test (with Netflix running, stilled plugged in); the Note 4 actually drained 4% in 30min and the 5S stayed the same in the same time frame.
It’s a nice looking battery pack with an aluminum finish and minimal display for easy use everything is on one side and easy to read.
I used the Kensington 5200 power bank about eight times and performance wise I found it slow and lacking in what I needed; on long commutes, it took a lengthy time to charge my device, even though I get a decent charge out of it. Other than that nothing about the 5200 performance stood out. And in the end it’s a standard charger with no A/C adapter! Why? I realize you’re trying to reach a global market and it might not be cost effective but at least have some sort of wall outlet attachment packed inside (Valkor’s Note: Most portable packs don’t come with wall adapters). If you think of killing two birds with one stone by charging the power bank and phone at the same time, definitely don’t, it will overheat. Finally, I went on the Kensington website and I see that I could purchase the step up – the 10,400 power bank - for $10.00USD more. I think you’d get more bang for your buck by spending the extra ten bucks. My honest opinion, if the Kensington 5200 came out two years ago it would be considered average and priced right, but in today’s market whilst competing against others in performance, this device fares poorly.
I have used other Kensington products before and they’ve performed very well. However the 5200 Power Bank failed in quality and performance. At the time of this review the 10400 is 49.99usd and the 5200 is 39.99. The only advantage of buying the smaller one is if you’re in desperate need of space. Other than that the 10$ in savings is completely worthless. If you’re set on buying a Kensington buy the 10400 because I feel the 5200 is overpriced for its size. And out of TOV 5 stars, I give the Kensington 5200 portable charger a 1.