A new travel adapter which includes built-in grounding and a reset button has charged past its Kickstarter goal. The Passport Pro also includes fast charging using USB-C Power delivery.
The device includes one USB-C port and three USB-A ports. It's compatible with UK, EU, Australian and American plug sockets, and should work in 200 countries or so. It includes "press and slide" buttons to select the prongs needed wherever it is you are. Between the USB ports and its plug socket, the adapter can be used to charge up to five devices at once. It also includes a detachable world-to-Europe adapter when you don't need the USB and grounding features.
The Passport Pro's 18 W fast charging is claimed to be 70 percent faster than a 5 W charger (and some rudimentary math would seem to bear that out), and can charge an iPhone X to half-charge in half an hour.
According to the makers, Zendure, 99 percent of travel adapters don't include grounding (or earthing, if you're from a part of the world that calls it that).
Grounding is a useful safety feature common to many electrics, which, in the event of a fault, routes potentially-hazardous electrical current safely to earth rather than via you and your gadgets.
As an extra safety feature, the Passport Pro includes a "child-safe design" which prevents small objects being inserted. Similar to a safety lid, both sides of the device need to be pressed at once to plug things in.
These features combined, Zendure claims the Passport Pro is the safest travel adapter current-ly on the market, and is the first travel adapter to meet European standard IEC60884-2-5 and British standard BS8546, if you can believe such a thing.
The other key feature is its resettable circuit breaker (which isn't strictly a fuse, though the makers do call it that) which means that, in the event of a trip, you can quickly get back to "streaming" some "media." The device can apparently be reset 10,000 times.
The Passport Pro is in fact an update of 2017's Passport which had an "auto-resetting fuse" that would take around a minute to return to working order after tripping. The Passport was also without the grounding technology in this year's model. The Passport won the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design's Good Design Award.
Previously resettable breakers were too big to use as adapters, but Zendure teamed up with a manufacturer in Taiwan and came up with what's claimed to be the world's smallest circuit breaker. Despite this new technology, the Pro is actually 16 percent smaller than last year's Passport – shocking.
The Passport Pro is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. Although it's reached its target three times over, the limited US$35 Pro can still be snapped up. You can also pledge for two at $59. Zendure aims to deliver units this October, if all goes to plan.
Travel adapters may not be the most Earth-shattering gadget in the world, but this looks like a useful and good-quality bit of kit.
You can see a video on the Passport Pro below.
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