Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
December 17, 2015

We’ve all been there. Walk out to the car after work, drop into the driver’s seat, and twist the key and—nothing! What the hell? Batteries don’t last forever folks, and in especially hot or cold climates their longevity can be cut in half. Batteries also rarely give you any warning. If you pay attention you might hear the engine crank a little slower in the day or two leading up to the inevitable, but in today’s fast-paced multi-tasking world, who listens to their engine starting? You’re either telling the kids to pipe down and buckle up, or you’re on your cell phone with your spouse or boss.

So what do you do when that dead battery leaves you stranded at the office, mall, or even a car show? You can call for roadside assistance and sit and wait for a good hour or more. Who’s got time for that? If you even carry jumper cables you could pull them out and stand there, cables in hand, hoping someone drives by and is willing to stop and help. While they may be willing to help, do they know how to use jumper cables? Traditional jumper cables are dangerous and if used improperly can create sparks and even cause a battery to explode. A safer and faster way is to carry a hand-held battery jump starter like the Genius Boost from Noco.

Portable jumper packs used to be these huge unwieldy boxes that you’d see on a used car lot to start tired old cars. Perhaps even the roadside assistance program you’ve used in the past had them on their trucks as well. Today, with current battery and electronics technology, it is easy to package a modern jump starter like the Genius Boost in a package several times smaller than those jumper packs of yore. Something that is small enough to fit in some glove boxes, or perhaps a center console bin, or even under the seat. The Lithium battery technology means the Genius Boost will be ready when you need it, holding its charge for a very long time. The built-in safety features include anti-spark technology, reverse polarity protection, and more to make the Genius Boost safe enough for anyone to use. All Genius Boost models feature color-coded battery clamps, internal battery level indicator, a built-in work/emergency light, and the capability to charge USB devices like smart phones and tablets. Some models, like the Genius Boost HD and Pro models, even feature 12-volt in/out ports for faster recharging or to use external 12-volt items like a tire inflator. Give your family peace of mind with a Genius Boost for their ride.

Genius Boost Family

GB20 Genius Boost Sport: 400 amps, 4,650 Joules 3S, 100 lumen dual LED light, 2.1 amp USB output, Red/Black powersport clamps, jump up to 4.0L gas engines (not recommended for diesel applications), $99.95

GB 40 Genius Boost Plus: 1,000 amps, 7,000 Joules 3S, 100 lumen dual LED light, 2.1 amp USB output, Red/Black heavy duty clamps, jump up to 6.0L gas engine or 3.0L diesel, $124.95

GB70 Genius Boost HD: 2,000 amps, 15,700 Joules 3S, 400 lumen eight LED light, 2.1 amp USB output, 12-volt 15 amp output, 12-volt three amp fast charge, Red/Black heavy duty clamps, jumps up to 8.0L gas engine or 6.0L diesel, $249.95

GB 150 Genius Boost Pro: 4,000 amps, 22,500 Joules 3S, 500 lumen ten LED light, 2.1 amp USB output, 12-volt 15 amp output, 12-volt five amp fast charge, built-in voltmeter, Red/Black heavy duty clamps, jumps 10.0L or greater gas or diesel engine, $374.95

We checked out the GB 40 Genius Boost Plus and GB70 HD models for this review, as we felt the Sport would be a little too small to start a V-8 engine and for most of us the Pro is overkill. The Genius Boost Plus includes the jump starter, plug-in cables, USB cable (for both charging the unit or to charge a USB device), a USB power port adapter, storage bag, and printed manuals.
The business end of the Genius Boost Plus you’ll find a 12-volt output under a sealed rubber cap. Noco refers to this connection as X-Connect and offers additional charging cables/accessories under this name.
With the X-Connect heavy duty cables plugged into the Genius Boost Plus you’re ready to jump start your vehicle. Shown here, the Genius Boost Plus is powered on and the cables connected together. No sparks; no blown fuses; no tripped breakers. The built-in technology makes for a low-stress easy to use device for anyone. Try connecting jumper cables like this and watch the sparks fly (and the cables melt!).
The Genius Boost Plus is recharged via a standard micro USB to USB cable, included. This cable can be used in the USB out port to charge any device that uses a micro USB port (smart phone, tablet, GPS, etc.). An included power port adapter allows recharging right in the car.
The built in two LED light features seven different light modes, including three brightness levels, strobe, SOS flash, and more. It easily lit up a dark engine bay in our testing.
The larger Genius Boost HD includes the same accessories as its Genius Boost Plus little brother, but features an additional 12-volt in/out power port adapter system and the heavy duty clamps are permanently attached to the unit.
Under the rubber caps of the Genius Boost HD you’ll find not only the USB in/out ports like the Genius Boost Plus, but 12-volt in/out ports as well. The 12-volt in allows fast recharging of the unit, while the 12-volt out allows use of any power port-powered device, such as a tire inflator, power invertor, and more.
The power port adapters work with a special XGC cable that allows the cable ends to work with the two adapters for either input or output use.
Jump starting your car with any of the Genius Boost line is as simple as connecting the jump starter to your dead battery, pressing the power button, and then turning the key to start the car. Even if your battery has nonstandard cables (red for positive, black for negative) or an inexperienced user hooks the cables up wrong, there’s nothing to fear. You won’t damage the unit, the battery, or your car’s electronics. No sparks and no drama, just carefully reconnect the unit and you’ll be ready to go.