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Lifewire / Tony Mitera
Very strong ability to jump start a vehicle
The flashlight provides a lot of light at a wide angle
Very flexible in both providing power and charging via DC
Weak USB charging, both for input and output
Large and relatively heavy
The NOCO Genius Boost Pro GB150 is a fantastic jump starter, but its high price doesn’t quite align with its value.
Everything about the NOCO Genius Boost Pro GB150 is big—its size, its promises, and its price. To see just how handy the unit is compared to all this heft, we tested it on a 2011 Hyundai Elantra with a discharged battery.
As noted previously, the NOCO Genius Boost Pro GB150 is very large. It comes in a cardboard carton with the unit itself nestled among a bunch of foam padding. Its grey and black case has the device's charge level, voltage display, and buttons on one of the larger faces. On one end of the case there's a large flashlight, and on the other the device’s input and output ports.
It makes sense that one of the outputs is USB to allow for the ease of charging most portable devices. What makes a bit less sense is that the unit itself can also charge via USB but doesn’t come with a wall charger of its own. You can use just about any, but the speed at which it charges varies anywhere from 2-3 hours (using a 5A charger) to 11 hours (using a more common 2A charger) depending on which one you use. This is a pretty annoying omission for a charger that retails for almost $300.
You can also charge the device with the included 12V power plug, as the device comes with both a male and a female 12V power port and a cable to connect whichever one you need. Use the male one to plug into the DC power port of a running vehicle to charge the unit, or conversely use the female port and the cable to provide power from the device to other equipment, like tire pumps, inverters, etc.
To use the device to provide a jump start to a car with a beleaguered battery you need to pop the hood and set the NOCO Genius Boost Pro GB150 atop the engine bay. After unclamping the two clamps from either side of the case you can unfurl the cables and connect them to the battery starting with the positive (red) clamp. Once both clamps are connected, the current battery voltage is shown on the voltmeter display and the car should be able to start.
If it's your portable devices that could use some juice, you simply uncover the output ports and plug in. Between the USB port and the DC port adapters, you should be able to easily plug in and provide reliable power to most of your devices.
The NOCO Genius Boost Pro GB150 was able to jump the Elantra right away in multiple tests. Getting the cables connected properly was the only difficult part, as the clamps are large and it can be hard to find a good position to attach them. When they were in place, however, the jump starter allowed for the car to start more readily than with any other model that we recently tested. Even with the car’s battery drained down to 10 volts the car fired up immediately.
The jump starter allowed for the car to start more readily than with any other model that we recently tested.
Less impressive was the USB charging. The GB150's USB output provides a mere 450mAh of charging current, which will charge a phone but at a much slower rate than anyone stranded roadside would likely prefer. More power can be pulled from the DC output using a car charger in the female DC port, but that is relying on yet another device to do the charging for you.
It’s worth noting that while seemingly all jump starters have a flashlight built into their case, the one found in the NOCO Genius Boost Pro GB150 is exemplary. The light projected by the flashlight is both bright and very wide-angle, and will easily light up an entire engine bay. The light also has six different settings; three different light intensity levels as well as blink, strobe, and SOS modes.
At an MSRP of $299, the NOCO Genius Boost Pro GB150 is by far the most expensive jump starter we’ve tested. For that price, you are getting a device that, apart from its lackluster USB charging, is really excellent. That said, it's difficult to justify a price point nearly three times higher than competing models.
STANLEY J5C09: It may not have a built-in air compressor or a carrying handle, but the NOCO Genius Boost Pro GB150 does edge out this offering from STANLEY. It may cost nearly three times as much, but the GB150 is smaller size, packs a far better flashlight, and will jump a vehicle much more quickly. It’s also just plain easier to find a place for it within a vehicle.
DBPOWER 600A Peak 18000mAh Portable Car Jump Starter: This is where the high asking price of the NOCO Genius Boost Pro GB150 really comes back to haunt it. Though the DBPOWER 600A has a lower quality flashlight, its entire case is about the same size as just the main unit of the NOCO Genius Boost Pro GB150. Both provide great jump-starting functionality, but the DBPOWER unit is better at charging USB devices and is less than a quarter of the price. In this pairing, it’s really hard to justify the NOCO Genius Boost Pro GB150’s higher price.
Interested in reading more reviews? Check out our guide to the best portable jump starters.
A great performer at a very high price.
It’s large and has a similarly sized asking price, but the NOCO Genius Boost Pro GB150 is one of the better jump starters on the market. Issues with some of its charging methods aside, the unit did the best job at starting a vehicle out of all the ones we tested. With only a cloth bag to keep it in, you’ll have to carefully stash it in your vehicle, but it will serve as a reliable means of power in an emergency.
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