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(Pocket-lint) - USB this, USB that, it seems you can get a USB device that will service any needs and come in any shape or size you require. The Kensington FlyLight 2.0 is hoping to fill the touch-cum-desktop lamp space, but can it light up your work? We turn the lights off to find out.

The light is small and uncomplicated. You plug the USB connector into your USB socket on your laptop and then position the lamp over your keyboard accordingly. The length of the sturdy, but flexible cable is around 40cm (16in) and at the end is the lamp casing. Here there is eight LED’s to light up your work.

On the back of the LED casing is a switch, which Kensington in the blurb on the back say is an On/Off/Dimmer switch. In reality it’s far from it, when it says an On/Off/Dimmer switch, what is actually means is an off switch, four lights on and then eight lights on.

Forgive us, but we always thought that the idea of a dimmer switch is so that you can set the brightness of the light between two set points, not just point A or point B and nothing in between - even if it’s rare to have a cheap electronic device with a proper off switch nowadays.


Get past the On/Off fiasco and FlyLight 2.0 actually does do the job at hand. Working like a front bicycle lamp, there's enough light projected to see what you're doing if your keyboard doesn't already light up for you. As with all these things, the darker the situation, the better the results.

The ability to move the flexible cable around without losing too much tension meant you can position it on accompanying paperwork rather than the keyboard if that's what you need.

Over the couple of weeks we tested it, we didn't notice any major drain in the power or performance of our laptop, most likely thanks to the use of LEDs.

Kensington does suggest that the FlyLight 2.0 will drain around 90 seconds of your battery life per hour of use, to us this number is still small figures when you think of how often you work in the dark. When you're on the move this is at its most useful. When you're at home, any desklamp starting at half the price of the Kensington Lamp from Argos would give superior lighting and help keep your eyes healthy (in addition to breaks).

Writing by Stuart Miles. Originally published on 1 June 2005.