Kensington iPad keyboard case to charge phones while you type

If you live on your tablet and use it like a laptop, you probably find it a little frustrating that you can’t charge your phone from a spare port like you can a notebook’s USB port, but peripheral maker Kensington is making a fix for that.

Taking advantage of the battery in its Bluetooth keyboards, Kensington’s latest iPad keyboard case is the KeyFolio Thin X3 for the iPad Air, and it will do more than just provide a power source for your that wireless keyboard, also offering you a way to charge up that phone of yours.

“Three quarters of Aussies are using a smartphone and nearly half are using a tablet, which is a significant number of the population,” said Sam Goldstein, Marketing and Business Development Manager at Kensington Australia.

“This is why we’ve developed the brand new PowerLift technology for the new KeyFolio Thin X3,” he said, adding that “now our customers don’t need to worry about running out of battery, or the dreaded 10% low battery warning, that can threaten their working day.”

From what we can tell, the KeyFolio Thin X3 will work by utilising what the company called “PowerLift,” which from our point of view, looks to provide a microUSB to USB converter plug, essentially changing the microUSB port on the keyboard case to a full-size USB port, which you can plug your phone charger and phone into.

The keyboard can still be used during this time, and when you’re done typing on the keyboard and finished charging, Kensington’s “KeySense” technology will switch the keyboard off, keeping as much charge in the keyboard’s battery as possible.

Given that tablet keyboard case batteries often last over a month, Kensington’s use of the keyboard battery makes a lot of sense, and will offer a power bank in the case tablet owners are using.

Unfortunately, though, this case technology is only available for iPad Air owners, with iPad 2 through 4 owners not catered for with the Thin X3, which also only comes in black.

Other tablets also miss out — we asked — though Kensington did tell GadgetGuy that while the case and PowerLift technology are currently only available for the iPad Air, “Kensington is always exploring market opportunities and extending its tablet case ranges.”

Will this mean other tablets are around the corner? We sure hope so, as charging would be a nice feature to have on thin productivity machines.

Kensington’s KeyFolio Thin X3 for iPad Air is available from September 17 in black for a recommended retail price of $119.95.