Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you that I love tech and gadgets. My wife has given my illness an official diagnosis of SmartphoneADD (SpADD). So needless to say, a lot of stuff goes through my tech backpack, but it takes something special to earn a permanent place. The Chamberlain Automotive Jump Starter has earned itself a spot in Pocket 3 of my backpack.
NOTE (October 14, 2015): It has come to our attention that there has been a voluntary recall on this Jump Starter from Chamberlain Automotive. You can find out all the information on the recall on Chamberlain Automotive’s website.
The Chamberlain Portable Jump Starter is a double-duty tool. It can charge your phone and tablet, and still have enough juice to jumpstart your car. Some of the features include:
- Sleek and Compact – Weighs one pound and measures 3×5 inches
- Emergency flashlight – integrated with SOS and strobe functions
- Digital display – Indicates battery power level. Chamberlain states that the unit battery level needs to be at least 40% to jumpstart a car.
In The Box:
- Chamberlain Portable Jump Starter
- Wall Charger
- Car Charger (for topping it off in the car)
- Jumper Cables
The device is light, and maintains a nice small footprint, approximately 3×5 inches. On the top it has the flashlight, two 5V USB ports, one 1 amp and one 2.1 amp.
Ease of Use
The Chamberlain unit came precharged with about 67% on it. I went ahead and plugged it in overnight to give it a full charge. What I didn’t realize is that the power switch needs to be on in order to charge.
To use the Jump Starter simply turn on the side switch. The flashlight will automatically turn on. If you don’t want it on, you’ll need to cycle through the light, strobe, and SOS functions with the silver button on top. The digital display lets you know what the Jump Starter battery level is at.
I did manage to find one friend who needed a jump. The Chamberlain unit couldn’t have been easier to use. Attach the jumper cables to the dead battery terminals, plug the cable into the Chamberlain unit, and fire up said dead vehicle. However I was so excited about the chance to use it that I forgot to see how much it drained the battery.
While the device will need to be charged periodically to make sure it maintains a full charge, I found that I got about 2 weeks out of a charge while using it periodically to top off tablets and phones. While writing this up, I used it to charge an iphone 5S from 20% up to 90%. It only took about an hour or so, and the Jump Starter dropped from 100% down to 91%. Obviously differences in usage will cause your results to vary.
While sitting in the Miami airport waiting for my flight, I used the unit to power my iPad, which was streaming an MLB game using my phone’s hotspot. I also had the phone plugged into the Jump Starter unit. Both the phone and iPad stayed fully charged while sitting in the terminal, and I got on the plane with full batteries in both, which made for a nice flight. The unit even saved the day when a child a couple seats over ran the battery out of his mom’s tablet and then began to cry. I graciously offered to let her plug the tablet in and charge it, much to the delight of those seated around us.
The Jump Starter comes with the wall charger, jumper cables, and even a car charger. I suppose you could charge it from the car, then use it to jump the car when you run your battery out. You know, the whole circle of life thing.
The Chamberlain Jump Starter is available on Chamberlain’s website for $109, in Target stores for $99, and on Amazon for a few bucks less than that. That seems to be a little higher than some that we’ve reviewed here on Techaeris. However, you are getting the trusted Chamberlain name on this unit, and I’m sure that equals a few more dollars. It’s definitely not a “no name knockoff.”
I’ve really enjoyed using this device. It’s kept my devices charged while spending a lot of time at a nursing home over the last month, and has earned its spot in my backpack.