It’s no fun battling through the challenges of modern life without a portable solar generator.
This is why we decided today to undertake this Jackery PowerPro 500Wh portable solar generator review.
This review of the Jackery PowerPro 500Wh portable solar generator will, in the most brilliant of manners, expose the strengths and weakness of this portable solar generator and at the end, wind up with an informed and rational verdict that will implicate whether or not you should buy the portable power station or not.
As it is customary with Reviews Mimi, this review will be super thorough and contain all that you need to know about this generator in order to make an informed decision leading to the ultimate reality whether you’ll buy it/or it will serve you when bought.
Time we know, is precious. Let’s proceed to the main business of the day 🙂
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Jackery PowerPro 500Wh Portable Solar Generator Review: A Quick Summary
Few portable solar generators are as thoughtfully manufactured and exceedingly helpful as the Jackery PowerPro 500Wh portable solar generator.
Featuring smart features such as a built in flashlight, a lithium-ion battery, surge protection and an array of other features that are bound to excite even the most conservative backpacker or ‘ordinary’ everyday users, it is sure a unit that all who have come in contact with have loved (with their lives 🙂 )
However, this generator is not for everyone – by the sheer power of its features and paradoxically, the absence of some core features such as the ability to sling the generator right across the back and when the weather changes for worse and its absence to sport such features as waterproof/weatherproof reality.
This is where the alternatives of the generator certainly come in and offer brilliant options that you should consider, if these cons are an issue for you.
In summary, the Jackery PowerPro 500Wh portable solar generator is a smart option if you’re willing to deploy just the bare basics that smart, mobile clean energy ensures.
However, if you’re a user who always appreciates knowing in details what a product can offer and importantly, considering its alternatives before you commit, then, the rest of this article is for you.
Grab a cup of hot coffee (or a mug of very cold beer) and follow us down the page as we ruthlessly take a super thorough and a completely unbiased look at this solar power station.
Jackery PowerPro 500Wh Portable Solar Power Station: First Look
The Jackery PowerPro 500Wh portable power station, on first look, is a relatively small and ordinary looking solar power enabled power generating unit.
From its height of about 10 inches, there is also nothing about the unit to indicate that it can be powered by solar technology.
As a matter of fact, there is absolutely nothing about the unit that indicates that it is a portable solar generator, capable of juicing up electronics and even providing enough power to keep even fridges running.
All that changes when you turn around the unit and pull off the cover that shields the AC port, revealing a nice AC port that is, as a matter of fact, the first giveaway that the unit is capable of providing power or keeping your important electronics juiced up as the need arises.
One will however be completely pardoned for thinking that the unit is not a powerful solar generator that is capable of providing stored electricity on demand: the generator itself is (relatively) small, portable and importantly, brightly colored in a black and orange manner, making it look ‘chic and cute’.
However, before you get ideas that the generator is ‘too cute’ for any serious work, the intimidating power button and a smart LCD display screen are conspicuously positioned as a reminder that the generator is, afterall, capable of serious business – if the need calls.
What’s In The Box?
Usually, the unboxing of a portable solar generator is often clue enough as to how one’s life will be made easier (or tougher) by its use 🙂
For the Jackery PowerPro 500Wh generator, we found the following in the box when we first opened the solar generator:
- 1 pc of Jackery PowerPro 500Wh solar power station (the generator under review here).
- A 102 Watts solar panel (for the unit we chose)
- An AC adapter (for charging the unit by means of a traditional wall socket).
- A user guide (to ensure that you get the process of using the generator straight off without any incident).
- A warranty card. For the piece we’re taking a look at, the warranty implicates an impressive 24 months (2 whole years).
When you buy a brand new Jackery 500Wh unit, this is what you should also expect to see in the box.
Specs Of The Jackery 500Wh Solar Power Station
The specs of the Jackery 500Wh solar power station are impressive enough to catch the attention of the biggest skeptic when it comes to the reality of portable solar power.
Outlined below are the core specs of the generator as we found it:
- Generator dimensions: 6.5 x 12.2 x 10.2 in.
- Solar panel capacity: 102 Watts.
- Battery type: lithium-ion.
- Battery capacity: 500Wh; 26.8Ah; 21.6V.
- Life cycle of battery: 500 cycles.
- Weight of generator: 12.5 lbs.
- Power ports: 2 USB power ports & 1 AC power port.
- Power output: Pure Sine Wave.
We found these specs basic – and enough for emergency use, especially for the occasional/non-heavy user who intends to either use this unit on the road or at home.
Let’s now take a look at its features – the realm where this portable power station truly excelled.
Features Of The Jackery 500Wh Solar Power Station
- Truly hybrid solar generator. We found out that the unit is rechargeable via AC and solar.
- Super fast charging that takes less than 8 hours to charge the battery of the generator from 0-100% irrespective of the fact that solar or AC is deployed.
- Temperature control that sees to it that neither the generator nor the electronics/gadgets plugged to it are exposed to higher than usual temperatures.
- An LCD screen that shows vital operational stats of the generator, keeping you informed about both charge and charge deployment.
- Pure Sine Wave deployment of AC power that sees to it that the power you get is of the same variant as the traditional, stable AC from the grid. This minimizes the chances of compromising delicate gadgets or electronics.
- Splash proof. This helps protect the unit from accidental splashes like rain or tea. However, kindly note that this does not make the unit waterproof. If you would appreciate a waterproof solar generator, kindly consider these waterproof solar power stations instead.
- Finally, the unit is equipped with a powerful LED flashlight. This comes in handy when good visibility is required and no other source is available to ensure service.
Let’s now see to the design and durability of this 500Wh solar power station.
Design And Durability Of The Jackery PowerPro 500Wh Portable Power Station
The design of the PowerPro is a conscious attempt at many things – especially, aesthetics, space saving and an impressive, lightweight reality.
The generator, first and foremost, is designed to be deliberately colorful and positioned with curves that do not only make it beautiful but also ensure that it also appeals to users who behold it.
This makes it easier to take the generator out with pride where it is intended to be used and easily makes the generator fit into ornamental purposes or roles (when not in use).
The deliberate slim nature of the generator and importantly, the stylish slashes by its sides on their own part, ensure that the unit does not only save space when in use but also winds up light weight – a perfect precondition for solar generators that are ideal for camping and hiking.
The side curves of the generator are also classic and are a smartly thought-out concept that is perfect when it comes to housing the sockets, ports and other options of the generator in a smart and clean manner like the flashlight that is mounted on the unit as a plus.
However, when it comes to the core durability of this piece of technology, we are a little hesitant if it can hold its own like the Kalisaya KP601 or the more resilient and super sturdy Suaoki 220Wh portable solar generator.
The reason for our doubt is simple: the generator is essentially, made up of plastic.
What this means is that, a careless fall of the unit from a simple height or an accidental drop may cause the outer casing of the unit to damage – if you’re not very lucky.
However, other portable solar generators like the Yeti 1400 lithium and the Goal Zero Yeti 400 made of plastic casings have, in the past, proved their worth and as a matter of fact, lived to serve their buyers for many years.
We would thus conclude that the durability of the PowerPro so far as its outer casing is concerned is fair enough – if you do not push its limit in a careless, daring or stupid manner.
Power Options Of The Jackery PowerPro 500Wh Portable Power Station
The Jackery PowerPro is meant to power a diverse array of gadgets and electronics – a fact that is evidenced by the very diversity of its power options (or ports, if you may).
These ports range from the traditional socket type of ports to the USB and all the options and flexibility that are obtainable in-between.
Let’s take a detailed look.
1. Regular Socket Port
This portable solar generator is designed with a smart power socket by the side of the unit that has a cover over it.
This single socket is capable of producing 110V steady, clean pure sine wave AC power that caps up at 500W.
This steady and consistent power source is enough to power all electronics and gadgets within the 500W range.
However, since it is a solitary unit, you would need an extension cord if you’re interested in charging or powering more than one AC powered unit at a time.
2. USB Ports
At the other end of the AC socket are the USB ports – 2 in all.
These ports are a smart means of powering USB devices like phones and tablets – if you are not inclined to use the traditional AC ports or would not want to use the an extension cord if you’re interested in charging more than one phone, for instance.
Unfortunately, these UBS ports are only 2 – making multi-USB charging in a truly mobile fashion a challenge that you must overcome if the generator is to be truly enjoyed.
3. 12V DC 6MM Ports
This power station also features 2 12V DC 6MM ports.
These ports come in handy when you are desirous of using a gadget or device that deploys or makes use of only DC and the applicable port is of the 6MM, 12V variant.
Gadgets and electronics that make use of this port are radios, flashlights and other small electronic units that are either exclusively DC or electronics/gadgets that work with both AC and DC in a smart and brilliant manner.
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Having taken a good look at the 3 basic power options of this solar power station, let’s now take a good look at what load the generator is meant to power or the load range that it can power in a brilliant and satisfactory fashion.
What The Jackery PowerPro Solar Power Station Is Meant To Power Or Can Power (Awesomely)
When buying a portable solar generator (or any other generator for that matter), it is usually a smart idea to have a clue as to the rated power of such a generator so that you do not abuse it or (on rare occasions), consciously under use it to your detriment.
This is when terminologies like Watt Hours (Wh); Watts and Amperes (Amp) comes in.
Sadly however, most of these jargon are completely lost to non-professionals who are simply interested in getting a smart portable power station that will serve their energy needs as they arise.
This is where we distinguish ourselves with this break down – offered in all our solar generator reviews on this site.
So, for the 500Wh PowerPro, what exactly is it good for, power wise?
1. Smart Phones
The very first gadget that this solar power station can juice up in an awesome manner and is in fact meant to power is a smart phone – one of the most indispensable gadgets of the 21st century.
Whether at home, on the road or in camp/the wild, this portable unit will keep not only your cellphones charged – but that of your partner and friends too.
To keep this into perspective, a fully charged 500Wh PowerPro generator will traditionally power a regular smartphone at least 45 times!
However, this is on the assumption that the generator is not plugged into any source of recharging while it is powering the phones.
If you’re badass and decide to charge your smartphones only when the unit is plugged to the solar panel that ensures that the solar generator itself is recharged while in use, you will certainly have an infinite supply of power from the generator that no number of smartphones will be able to diminish!
This, we must admit, is quite an impressive feat for any solar generator (to achieve).
Thanks to Apple, Amazon and Samsung, tablets are almost as common as smartphones today, with almost every adult who owns a smartphone also owning one.
With such massive acceptance, it only makes sense that portable solar generators cater for them in the best manner possible.
Fortunately, this Jackery PowerPro is prepped to charge tablets (directly, via USB or via the AC port) in a smart and efficient manner.
For regular tablets like Apple’s iPad and Amazon’s Kindle Reader, this Jackery solar generator under review here can recharge them up to 15 times over, without needing a recharge itself.
If the user is smart enough and plugs the generator to the solar panel that supplies power to the generator whilst it recharges, an almost infinite supply of power is guaranteed to the tablets connected.
3. Other Light Gadgets/Devices
It is practically impossible to name all the gadgets and devices that this portable solar generator can recharge or provide enough juice to power.
However, to further guide you (and point you in the right direction), the unit can power:
- 12V/5W lights for 100+ hours.
- A mini fridge for about 10 hours.
- A plasma TV for about 5 hours.
- Recharge a laptop between 4-7 recharges.
- Recharge the batteries of a simple drone upwards of 7 recharges.
- Recharge a digital camera about 30 times and
- Recharge the GoPro about 100 times over.
Please, note that these are general averages that are dependent on the actual power consumption of the unit in question, hence the range (as in the case of a laptop).
Also, it is important to note that loads like the TV and the mini fridge cannot be powered infinitely even with the connection of the solar panel to the generator and actual recharge of the generator’s batteries.
However, this limitation notwithstanding, plugging the loaded unit to an exposed solar panel is one of the smartest way to increase run-time, irrespective of the load in question.
How The Jackery 500Wh PowerPro Is Recharged
There is no portable power station that will be acclaimed, loved or enjoyed if it does not come with more than a single way of charging it.
For the Jackery 500Wh PowerPro, its internal battery is rechargeable by means of two options:
- The traditional AC socket of your home or
- The standard 102W solar panel for this generator.
The good (and commendable thing) about these two charging options is that, they are all fast and none is likely to disappoint you anytime soon.
The traditional wall socket charges the unit from a completely flat state to 100% in just 6 hours.
On the other hand, with an 102W portable solar panel, the generator can be brilliantly (fully) recharged in about 5 hours from a completely flat battery that hitherto stood at 0%.
These charge times are novel in the industry – and super perfect for you (if you are looking for quick mobile power, especially on the go).
Quick Pros Of The 500Wh Jackery Power Pro
- Hybrid charging reality. This ensures that the solar generator can be charged either at home or in the wild – depending on where work or pleasure takes you 🙂
- Super fast charging reality. With less than 7 hours for a full charge with either solar or AC (from a flat battery), this 500Wh power station beats most of its competitors flat.
- The battery of this power station is of the lithium-ion variant – an option that is well better than the lead acid options common in the market at the moment.
- This solar power generator weighs a fair and easy to carry 12.5 lbs. This is super fair for the 500Wh of power that the generator produces and is guaranteed not to give you challenges when you are desirous of moving the unit from place to place.
- The inverter of this portable solar power generator deploys only clean Pure Sine Wave power. This power type is of the same variant with the grade the grid supplies your wall socket at home. You will thus have no issues with powering your sensitive electronics or gadgets at all.
- Jackery also makes sure that this unit is built with a digital ‘vital stats’ LCD display. This ensures that you see all the vital stats of the generator at a glance (and take action accordingly).
- Finally, the flashlight is a smart ‘value added feature’ – one that is most welcome and practical both indoors and during outdoors adventures and thrills.
Quick Cons Of The 500Wh Jackery Power Pro
- The 500Wh Jackery Power Pro solar generator comes with only 2 USB ports. More USB ports on such a solar generator would have been more than welcomed – and certainly useful and practical 🙂
- The generator also comes with only 1 traditional socket option. For multi use thus, a power extension is required.
Having taken a good look look at this power station and written a super detailed review that is well over 3,000 words, we believe it is time to summarize and round up
Overall, the Jackery Power Pro 500Wh solar generator is a portable power station that serves it purpose in an awesome manner – that is, if put to use as the manufacturer intended.
However, before you buy, kindly check out its close competitors: the Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium and the Kalisaya KP601 – they may just provide better value for you than this unit.
Be sure to have a solarful day!