Recently, Joyzis sent me a portable power station to review and keep. Like most portable power stations, it’s capable of being charged from solar power, from a car, or from a standard home power outlet. Unlike the others I’ve reviewed, it’s also got some extra features that make it ideal for camping, emergencies, and jobsite use.
Specifications & Features
First, let’s talk about the specifications. The power station has a 300 watt-hour lithium battery, and has an inverter that can provide up to 300 watts of power. So, it can power a 300 watt device for a little under an hour (conversion losses and inefficiencies keep it from being a perfect hour). It has one fast-charge USB-A port, two 5-volt USB-A ports, a USB-C port with USB-PD up to 60 watts (for laptops, phones, tablets, etc.) that can also be used to charge the power bank, and two DC power ports (one in and one out) for solar power and powering other DC power devices. It also has a cigarette lighter-style 12-volt plug and one 120-volt US house plug.
At home, the unit can be charged with the included USB-C charger (the USB-C port is two-way), and it also includes a DC charger to power it from a car’s cigarette lighter plug. It doesn’t include a solar panel, but solar panels with a compatible plug are widely available on shopping sites. A 100 watt rated panel would be a good choice for this unit.
One cool feature it has that I haven’t seen in other power stations is a built-in wireless device charging pad on top of the station. This can charge phones, tablets, watches, and any other device that supports the Qi charging standard. This may seem like a hokey feature, but in an emergency it’s likely a lot easier to just place a device on top than it is to make sure you have the right USB cable on hand. Handles swing up from the front and back of the unit (the green parts), allowing for easy carry without getting in the way of the charging pad.
Another cool feature that makes this unit great for emergencies and camping are the two built-in lights. Some of the Jackery units I’ve reviewed in the past had a built-in flashlight, but this one comes with both a flashlight that directs light forward and a diffused light that can act as a lantern to light an area. Once again, this is a small feature, but it can make it a lot more useful for some users.
Comparison To Other Charging Stations
Overall, it’s very comparable to the Jackery Explorer 300 I reviewed.
On the upside, it’s a little lighter, is more compact with the handles folded down, and has some features that the Jackery lacks (the lights and wireless charging pad on top). On the downside, it only has one 120-volt plug and has a different solar charging port. Perhaps the biggest downside is that it has a simple charging display with four bars indicating 25, 50, 75, and 100% charge. The Jackery 300 gives you more information (current power draw, percentage).
For my personal uses, I prefer having the information so I can know if I’m charging or depleting the power station while it’s getting a solar charge, and I like being able to do some quick math to determine how long it will run with my use of it. I can take the overall capacity, multiply it by the percentage, and then know roughly how many watt-hours are left, and then divide that number by the watts being drawn to arrive at the number of hours remaining. Higher-end Jackery units (like the Explorer 1500) do this math for you, but the 300 at least gives you the numbers you need to be able to do these estimations.
But, if I wasn’t wanting to be able to do the math, the charging plate and lights on the Joyzis, combined with its more compact design, make it a very compelling option.
I did my usual testing to check the unit’s longevity, voltage, etc.. From what I’ve seen, the unit works as advertised and has the capacity they say it does.
To put it through its paces, I plugged in my Dell laptop computer and a bunch of 12 volt devices for amateur radio. At idle/monitoring, this setup pulls between 20 and 40 watts. That means it will drain the unit in about 7 hours from full at full power, or 14 hours at idle/monitoring. If I could get 70 watts into the thing during daylight hours (a 100 watt rated panel would do this), then it would probably be able to run 24/7 and have a little room to charge phones and other devices here and there.
According to my Yaesu FT-818 radio, the power supply put out a solid 12.8 volts when monitoring. The Jackery units tend to put out 13.1 volts, but both units are far above the voltage needed for 12 volt equipment (usually around 11 volts). Even when transmitting and pulling the full 40 watts, the power supply always stayed above 12 volts, even as it depleted. So, even at low battery levels, you can count on the Joyzis to put out decent voltage for anything you’re running.
But What Can You Really Do With A Small & Weak Power Station Like This?
You’re not going to be able to power a microwave, a toaster oven, or anything but the smallest of space heaters with this (you’ll want the Jackery 1000 or Jackery 1500 for something like that), but you can still do a lot to make life better off-grid with one of these, especially if you add a solar panel to keep the power up.
Charging smartphones, tablets, laptop computers, and radios is the obvious use case for this, and you’d get a lot of charging out of this. Running LED lamps and work lights is another obvious use case. If you have a radio setup like mine, you could get global communications. Even charging batteries for power tools is possible.
If you’ve got a medical condition that requires electrical equipment, this could be a literal lifesaver. For example, CPAP machines only pull 30-60 watts. If fully charged, that could help you rest a lot easier when camping or during an emergency. If you’ve got asthma and need a nebulizer, that pulls 200 watts. That wouldn’t last terribly long, but you usually only need to run those for a few minutes.
In other words, this could do a world of good, even though it’s small and weak compared to the big power stations and solar generators out there.
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