The perfect power bank to keep in your car in case of emergency

Describe what is shown in the image.

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Key points of ZDNET

  • The AstroAI 2000A 12V jump starter is available from Amazon for $49.
  • The screen is easy to use, bright, clear, powerful enough to perform more than a dozen jump starts.
  • There is no USB-C output port.

It’s summer and car batteries are at their best. The weather is warm and there is no ice, frost or snow. But wait a few months and that’s when you’ll know if your car battery is ready for another winter.

If you’re lucky, your car might run rough in the morning while you’re at home or somewhere where you can get emergency help on the road. However, if you’re unlucky – and you should plan for when luck isn’t on your side – your car will stall at night when it’s cold and wet.

Also: The best power banks you can buy: Tested by experts

This concern is why it’s always good to be willing to help yourself (or others, since most of the times I need a starter, it’s for someone else’s car that’s broken). In short, I think AstroAI 2000A 12V jump starter belongs in the glove box or trunk of every car.

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Specifications of the AstroAI 2000A 12V jump starter

  • Capacity: 48.84Wh
  • Maximum output current: 2000 amps
  • Product dimensions: 3.8 x 6.7 x 1.6 inches
  • Output port
    USB-A 3.0
    : 5V⎓3A or 9V⎓2A
    USB-A 2.0: 5V⎓2.4A
    DC: 15V⎓10A
  • Input
    USB-C port
    : 5V⎓2A or 9V⎓2A
  • Recharge time: 3.5 hours at 9V⎓2A
  • Weight: 2 lbs
  • Compatibility: 7.0L gasoline/3.0L 12V diesel engine

I’m old enough to remember when car starters were giant, heavy devices containing lead-acid batteries. In fact, I can remember when we started our cars with jumper cables. Things have moved on and you can now get a replacement for your car battery, which isn’t much bigger than a power bank.

And since most people don’t need to start their car all the time, this device is essentially a big power bank. It has two USB-A ports for charging devices and a DC output where you can attach a 12V car outlet to powered devices, such as car vacuums, refrigerators, and tire compressors.

Output and input for charging.

Output and input for charging.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

There’s a USB-C port built into the jump starter, though it’s only used to charge the device. That approach is a bit unfortunate because USB-C is now the standard almost everywhere, and charging modern devices with USB-A is slow. However, having USB-C for charging jump starters is a huge advantage over devices that still use micro USB.

Also: This powerful power bank is perfect if you charge multiple devices

At the end of the jump starter there is a compass. While I’m not sure what I’d use it for, the compass points north, which is a nice change from some other compasses I’ve seen built into things like backup charger.


Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

No jump starter would be complete without an LED flashlight, and this one offers four modes: flashlight, strobe, SOS, and red flashing warning light. It’s a cool feature, especially when you’re trying to start the car at night in the rain.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

The large LCD display is clear and easy to read at night and in bright sunlight, giving you a quick view of your jump starter’s operation.

Around the screen are three tactile buttons for activating jump start, turning on the flashlight, and enabling boost mode. There is also an indicator light when the jump starter is being charged.

LED screen and buttons.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

But the main purpose of the starter, as the name suggests, is to start cars with dead batteries. Can it do this? You bet it can. I tested the device multiple times and found that each reboot caused the battery life to decrease by about 5%. If I switch to boost mode, necessary if the car battery is running low, each start-up takes twice that speed.

Also: Does a car charger damage your iPhone?

Everything about the jump starter is good, easy and simple. And that’s exactly what you need because, as I mentioned earlier, chances are you won’t be using your jump starter on a bright, sunny day. It can be dark, cold and wet, so the simpler the equipment, the better.

AstroAI 2000A 12V jump starter in action.

AstroAI 2000A 12V jump starter in action.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

The process is very simple. Connect the jumper leads to the starter, attach the alligator clips to the appropriate terminals on your car’s battery, apply power to the starter, and start the vehicle as normal. When you’re done, you can pack everything into a handy little bag, ready for the next time you need gear.

ZDNET Buying Tips

The AstroAI 2000A 12V jump starter is a neat, easy-to-use yet powerful set of tools. And for $49, it’s hard to go wrong. Whether you want to charge your phone or jump-start your car, this jump starter is up to the job. All you need to do is pop the hood, find your car’s battery, and the jump starter will guide you through the rest.

This device is the epitome of an emergency tool. A jump starter is something you can use every day to charge your smartphones and tablets, instead of something you throw in the trunk and forget about until your car breaks down.

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