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PowerAll Element portable jumpstarter review: PowerAll's silver-sided brick is an emergency car jump-starter and phone charger

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The Good With its 12,000mAh battery and two USB ports, the PowerAll Element will fully recharge any smartphone multiple times. Its 400-amp port lets it jump-start a car.

The Bad The jump-starter cable is short, limiting flexibility when hooking it up to a car battery. Weighing in at 2 pounds and measuring 6 inches long, it's too bulky to always carry around in an coat pocket or bag.

The Bottom Line With its jump-start capability and flashlight, the PowerAll Element makes for an excellent addition to any car's emergency kit, and can also recharge phones and tablets.

7.0 Overall

One of the earlier efforts at making a truly portable car jump-starter based on lithium ion batteries came from PowerAll, its original red-and-black brick proving itself a life saver when you found your car stalled with a dead battery. Powerall continues to refine its product, now offering the Element, a new portable jump starter with the same capabilities as the original but built into an anodized aluminum and rubber case.

The PowerAll Element is a power bank storing 12,000mAh of electricity, which you can use to recharge phones, tablets and other devices through the included USB ports. Another port in the Element sends high amperage current, and with the included battery clamp adapter lets you jump start a car with a dead battery.

The top and bottom of the Element are faced with silver anodized-aluminum panels, while rubber with a tire-tread pattern runs around the edges of the device. The result is a rugged and modern feel. At 6 inches long, the Element is a half inch shorter than the original PowerAll. And at only 3 inches wide and 1.25 inches thick, the Element will easily stow in a car's glove compartment, console or trunk. But considering it weighs 2 pounds, you probably won't want to keep the Element in a coat pocket.

Device charging

A rubber panel on one end opens up to reveal two USB ports and a charging port, so you can charge the device up from a wall outlet. At the opposite end, a convenient white LED light works as a flashlight or emergency signal. On one side, another rubber panel opens to reveal the high-amperage battery clamp port. And on top is a power button and charge indicator.

Within the Element's big plastic carrying case, PowerAll includes the battery clamp adapter and a three-way USB cable with plugs for Lightning and 30-pin iOS devices along with a Micro-USB plug, suitable for tablets such as the Nexus 7. A wall adapter lets you charge the Element from any 110-volt AC outlet, while a 12-volt adapter lets you charge it from a power point in your car.

Powerall Element
PowerAll includes cable adapters for iOS and Micro-USB devices, and car battery clamps. Josh Miller/CNET

Most of the Element's mass is a 12,000mAh lithium ion battery. With that capacity you can fully recharge an iPhone 6 six times, or give the latest-generation iPad one full charge. You could recharge a Kindle Paperwhite eight times, which would mean a few months' worth of reading. The two USB ports support a 5-volt, 2.1-amp output, perfectly adequate for smartphones, but allow for a little extra time when charging a tablet.

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