Review: Portable Weego JS12 can jump your car's battery

I'm obsessed with power.

Not the king-of-the-world kind of power. I mean the keep-your-phone- charged power.

Sooner or later, the world is going to run on .

Cars are sure headed that way. My guess is that most cars will be electric in 50 years.

Solar power relies on batteries to store the energy for later use.

And I can't think of too many people who don't plug in at least a cellphone each day to charge up its battery.

Rechargeable batteries and external battery packs have really taken advantage of advances in technology. Batteries are smaller and more powerful than ever, and consumers are starting to see some real benefits.

I'm not sure anyone realized how big a part would play in our daily lives.

I've been using and testing various external rechargeable batteries the last few years. I'll admit I'm a battery geek.

I've also been carrying jumper cables in my car for 35 years or so.

Well, there was a year or two a decade ago when I carried a self-contained jump-starter, but it was almost as big as a , it weighed a ton, and it didn't keep a charge very long.

Today we have batteries that will fit in your back pocket that can charge your cellphone or jump-start your car.

I've been testing the Weego JS12 Jump Starter ($129.99,, which Weego touts as its heavy-duty model.

The JS12 is the midsize version of Weego's line of jump-starters.

It holds 12,000 milliamp-hours of battery power, and it can jump-start any gas engine up to 6.4 liters and diesel engines up to 3.2 liters.

It will start all but the biggest cars and trucks.

If you have a greater need, Weego makes a professional model called the JS18 that can start gas engines up to 9.6 liters and up to 4.8 liters.

The JS12 has a starting current of 200 amps and peak current of 400 amps.

It looks like most other external battery packs. It's a black box that's 6.25 inches by 3 inches by 1 inch. It weighs just under 1 pound.

There's a port under a rubber cover that's used to connect the included red and black clamps to your vehicle's battery.

The cables are not very long, so you'll be resting the JS12 on top or very near your car's battery when you use it.

The JS12 gets its power from an included wall plug or 12-volt car adapter, and it takes about three hours to charge.

Weego says the battery is good for 1,000 charge cycles, and it loses 2 percent to 5 percent of the charge per month while in storage.

It can provide power in temperatures from -4 to 140 degrees.

That's not all.

The JS12 is also an external battery that can charge your smartphone, tablet or any other device powered by USB. Weego includes a 3-in-1 charging cable that has Apple Lightning, Apple 30-pin and microUSB connectors.

The JS12 also has a 19-volt output, which is enough power to charge most laptops. There are eight laptop charging tips included, but there was not a tip for my Apple Macbook Pro.

The JS12 has enough to charge my iPhone 6S seven times.

Weego also included a flashlight, which is handy for jumping a battery at night. The light also has a strobe mode and can blink SOS in Morse code for emergency signaling.

I think the JS12 is useful enough that I'm going keep one in my car's tool kit for its jump-starting ability. I don't often need a jump, but I've been asked to provide one on more than a few occasions. This would make the process almost painless.

I carry smaller and lighter external batteries in my computer bag for charging my phone, but it's good to know the JS12 can do that as well.


Pros: Powerful . Stores easily. Charge lasts months. Lots of cables included.

Cons: A tad expensive. No tip for charging my Apple laptop.

Bottom line: This one earns a spot in my permanent collection. I love being prepared, and the JS12 provides peace of mind.

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©2016 The Dallas Morning News
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