We’ve all been there. You get out to your car one morning, hit the unlock button on your keys and nothing. The doors stay locked. You find it strange, so you manually unlock the doors to discover that your car battery has died.

It could be worse, once my entire car shut down while driving because of a dying battery. There you are stuck in your parking spot, or worse on the side of the road. You can’t get to where you need to go and you can’t go drive somewhere to get a new battery. Your options are limited in what you can do to fix the problem.

This is where jumper cables and helpful citizens come in handy, that is if you can find either one of those. For those stuck on the side of the road the only real help you have is what you have with you.

Cue the Topdon T01 car starter. Packed into a large carrying case, this portable product allows you to jump start nearly any car on the road and help you get to where you are going. Furthermore, its additional functionality for phone and laptop charging allow it to be helpful in other situations.

When you are stuck on a dangerous road, don’t be a sitting duck, but setup the T01 emergency light bar that warns drivers to slow down and helps law enforcement to find you on the side of the road.

Welcome to my review of the Topdon T01 portable car starter. Throughout this review, we will be covering the design, functionality and my final thoughts of the T01. A special thank you goes to Topdon for providing me with this unit.


Beginning with the face of the T01, you immediately notice the embossed metal diamond cut pattern found in the plastic housing. Additionally, the front includes a four red LED flasher bar that pulses with a one second interval.

Around the rest of the plastic housing you’ll find a smooth finish with the rear of the unit containing four rubber feet. As seen in the product pictures, there are two chromed tabs found on the bottom of the T01. They appear to offer no purpose other than aesthetic appearances.

Weighing in at 2.6 pounds, this is not a device that you will want to carry around with you all day. Moreover, the dimensions (6.5 L x 1.3 W x 3.1 H inches) make it a slightly large for carrying around.

Since this is a multipurpose unit, the top I/O contains multiple different lights and controls. From left to right, you have your voltage output meter which gives you control of the output voltage for when starting a car or charging a laptop, a laptop power output, an internal battery meter, a multipurpose power button, a 2.1A USB charging output, the T01 charging input, a master power switch, and finally the engine starter plug.

That is a lot of I/O and a lot of cables that you’ll need to operate it. Luckily, Topdon does include a hard vinyl carrying case that contains everything you’ll need. Inside the carrying case is a placeholder for the T01, your car battery starter cables, an octopus USB cable that includes micro USB, mini USB, lightning and 30-Pin iPhone cables, eight different laptop charging plugs, and a charger for the T01 itself.

In terms of the design for the accessories, everything is extremely well built. I have reviewed these car starter battery packs before in the past, but the T01 comes with some well constructed jumper cables. Likewise, the octopus USB charger allows you to cover most of your bases by giving you a cable for nearly every type of mobile device. For the laptop charger, don’t expect this to work for your laptop as there are many more types of cables than this includes. While it did work on my Dell laptop, it does not have a Lenovo rectangular connector.


Similar products in this field are fairly simple in their functionality, meaning they just start the car and wait until they are needed again. Topdon threw in some additional functionality that I’ve already alluded to above.

This device is not meant to be a daily product. It’s heavy, large, and chances are if you are packing for a trip, you will rather take your dedicated charger for whatever device needs battery power. Where it comes in handy is for emergency situations.

It’s meant for your car and that is where it should be stored for the remainder of its life with you. With a massive 18,000 mAh internal battery, you could jump start an average car about seven to ten times. Results for constant starts will always vary, but I have used it at least twice before a recharge and it still reports 100% battery power.

Unfortunately, Topdon does not mention the unit’s total cranking amps, but does state that it will be able to start a 5L gas or 3.5L diesel engine. For those who are not car enthusiasts, it should be able to turn over most SUVs and sedan cars.

Since this is a car-ready emergency device and in case you are stopped on the side of the road for another car related problem, the built-in red flasher LEDs can literally be a life saver. They are bright and have a good flashing rate. It would be nearly impossible for somebody not to notice, even in bright daylight. If that isn’t enough, the bright single LED flashlight can light up the entire engine if you need to fix something. Furthermore, it includes an SOS and fast flashing mode. The red flashers are activated by a double tap of the power button and the flashlight is turned on by a long press of the same button. Yes, you can have both turned on at the same time.

Something to take note of, if the jumper cables are ever touched together while powered, you will not get the repeated sparks like you see in movies. Instead you will get a quick short of electricity before the internal fuse can burn out. This will then need to be replaced by Topdon.

While I didn’t primarily focus on it, I did try the USB and laptop charging capability. The octopus charging cable was helpful for charging an iPhone and an Android phone while out on the road. Charging times of the phone wasn’t anything special, but the 2.1A does allow tablets to be charged too. For the laptop charging, you need to configure your T01 to output at 19V or 16V depending on your laptop model. My Dell laptop didn’t seem to work at first and told me my laptop was not charging, but then decided otherwise. Your results may vary on this.

Finally, for recharging, the unit’s massive 18,000 mAh will need multiple hours to recover from a discharge. You can either recharge the T01 using the cigarette lighter socket in your car or the included wall charger.

My Final Thoughts

The Topdon T01 is a helpful car emergency device that doubles up as a lifesaver for your other mobile devices. On top of the included accessories and massive 18,000 mAh battery, it will surely come in handy when camping or venturing out to a place without electricity. Priced at $79.99 I find it too expensive for a product that mainly sat around during my review. Even with its above par build quality and more functionality it’s a hard recommendation to make at that price, especially since there are other units out there that will also start your car with ease at a lower price. That said, you will not be disappointed if you do happen to purchase one.

Buy it Now:

© 2016 Justin Vendette