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NOCO Genius vs. CTEK MXS 5.0: Design vs. Technology

Your car’s battery has run dead – again.

A battery charger will get your vehicle’s engine running. However, a battery charger with multiple functions can revive and recondition your battery back to full health.

In this article, we’ll compare NOCO’s Genius1, Genius10, and C-TEK’s MXS 5.0 to help you buy the best one for your needs.

CTEK vs. NOCO Genius: Detailed comparison and review

A battery charger is a battery charger. NOCO’s Genius10 and Genius1 and the C-TEK MXS 5.0 are indeed lithium-ion battery packs suitable for jump-starting vehicles and charging other 12V devices. However, these three units in our comparison review are best suited for different uses and users. In this section of the article, we’ll jump right into their design and technology details.

 NOCO Genius1
NOCO Genius1
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NOCO Genius10
NOCO Genius10
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CTEK MXS 5.0<br />
CTEK MXS 5.0

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Customer Rating
4.6
4.7
4.8
Pricenoco genius1 pricenoco genius10 pricectek mxs 5.0 price
Battery Charge Modes6V, 12V lead-acid, 12V lithium-ion6V, 12V lead-acid, 12V lithium-ion12V lead-acid
Output Power15W150W135W
Battery Capacity30 Ah230 Ah110 Ah
Output Current1A10A5A
Operating Temperatures-4°F to 104°F-4°F to 104°F-4°F to 122°F
Supply ModeNoYesNo
Our Score9.59.08.5

Key things in common of MXS 5.0, Genius10, and Genius1

In evaluating the C-TEK and two NOCO devices, we discovered these battery chargers share some specifications. These units are:

  • Compatible with charging 12V lead-acid batteries
  • Equipped with functions for battery desulfation and maintenance
  • Easy to charge from a wall socket for 100 to 120VAC charging
  • Spark-proof
  • Reverse-polarity protected
  • Equipped with microprocessors for the best charging performance

It is no surprise that the NOCO models are similar in design (although the Genius10 is near twice the size of the Genius1). The C-TEK MXS 5.0 features the same rectangular design with an on/off button, mode button, and LED display. All three units feature large battery clamps.

Key differences between MXS 5.0, Genius10, and Genius1

Design and specifications

As we’ve mentioned, Genius1, Genius10, and MXS 5.0 share similar designs and specifications. In their different specifications and technology, you’re able to define their uses and suitable users better.

NOCO’s famously great designs & good looks need no introduction here – Image: NOCO

The NOCO Genius1 and Genius10 are ruggedly handsome, with a robust case, thick battery clamp cords, and large battery clamps. These devices’ buttons are large and easy to use, even with gloves on, and their LED displays are also easy to read. You can disconnect the AC charging cable and battery clamps from these units for storage.

On the other hand, C-TEK’s MXS 5.0 has a sleeker design with a clearer LED display. You can’t disconnect this device’s battery clamp cable and AC charging cable – they remain attached to the device. For storage, a user needs to tie up the cables. While the MXS 5.0 is jump-starting a vehicle, the AC charging cable doesn’t need to be plugged into a power supply, though.

Technical Specifications:

In terms of physical dimensions, the Genius10 is the largest of the three:

  • The Genius10 measures 7.1” x 3.6” x 2.3” and weighs 3.33 lbs.
  • C-TEK’s MXS 5.0 has dimensions of 11.0” x 5.91” x 2.36” and has a weight of 1.78 lbs.
  • The Genius1 measures 3.5” x 2.3” x 1.3” and weighs 0.77 lbs.

The C-TEK unit has one extra feature that sets it apart from the NOCO versions: a unique 8-step charging program. This procedure carries out desulfation, soft start tests, analyzes its capacity, reconditions the deep cycle function, and pulse charges the battery to 100% capacity. Only once all 8 steps are complete is the battery charged and ready for use once more.

General uses

The NOCO Genius1 is a battery charger and maintainer, perfect for daily use. The compact size, simplified functions, and price make this handy for your garage and camping. To jump-start your car, this would suffice – but it wouldn’t be able to boost your vehicle a third or fourth time. Its 30 Ah capacity limits it – and focuses its uses. For average family hatchbacks and sedans, motorbikes, golf carts, and boat engines with 12V lithium-ion, lead-acid, and 6V batteries. It can also power your occasional 12V camping equipment.

C-TEK’s MXS 5.0’s 110 Ah means they extend its uses over those of the Genius1. It can jump many 12V lead-acid batteries, but not 6V or 12 lithium-ion varieties. With more juice, the MXS 5.0 can recharge dead car batteries quicker at 5A. This one is ideal for people who’d use their battery chargers to maintain their family’s cars.

As the biggest of the tested units here, the Genius10’s Repair Mode, generous 230 Ah capacity, and 10A output enable this battery charger to jump-start even large farm or construction vehicles – and boost them quicker, too.

Extra features/functions

There is one feature that stands out – and we found this feature on only 1 unit. CTEK MXS 5.0’s 8-step reconditioning mode uses a microprocessor to revive, charge, condition, desulfate, and maintain a battery automatically and continuously monitors the condition of the battery to keep its peak capacity. This function also “soft starts” the battery to test whether it is accepting a charge and analyzes it to determine its capacity retention rate.

The fully automatic reconditioning mode makes MXS 5.0 truly stand out among the popular battery charger – Image: CTEK

How long do they take to fully charge?

The average 12V battery used in vehicles has a battery capacity of around 50A. The NOCO Genius1 has an output current of 1A, which would take about 50 hours to charge fully.

The C-TEK MXS 5.0 has an output current of 5A to charge a battery fully in 10 hours.

NOCO’s Genius10 can fully charge a battery in 5 hours, thanks to its 10A output current.

Their prices

The most affordable unit of our three test models is the NOCO Genius1. It is an inexpensive battery charger that would meet the needs of many customers. C-TEK’s MXS 5.0 is nearly three times the price of the Genius1, but it offers three times the features. Genius10 is the most expensive of this trio – almost as expensive as C-TEK and Genius1 combined –, but it is the best overall.

Pros & Cons

NOCO Genius1

NOCO Genius1: Simple, versatile, and with a competitive price – Image: NOCO

Pros

  • Compact
  • Easy to store
  • Extremely good for its low price

Cons

  • Slow charging time

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In our research into each of these three battery chargers, we have come to these conclusions. As we mentioned earlier, not all battery chargers are created equal.
We found the NOCO Genius1 compact and easy to store, but it has a slow charging time of 50 hours for a vehicle battery. This battery charger is an ideal battery tender, though. For its price, we can’t fault this unit. We gave it a score of 8.5 out of 10.

CTEK MXS 5.0

CTEK MXS 5.0 with its unique reconditioning mode makes it quite an appealing choice for a battery charger – Image: CTEK

Pros

  • 8-step charging process
  • Unique reconditioning mode

Cons

  • Non-detachable cables

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C-TEK’s MXS 5.0’s clever 8-step charging process – all automated – is a fantastic inclusion on this battery charger. This device simplifies charging, maintaining, and desulfating a battery with a handy and informative LED display. It is priced closer to the NOCO Genius10 but offers more than double the power and juice of the Genius1. It has scored a very competitive score of 9.0 out of 10.

NOCO Genius10

NOCO Genius10, a premium charger but also comes with a premium price. It is worth considering if you need the top of the top battery charger and don’t mind its hefty price – Image: NOCO

Pros

  • Large battery capacitys
  • Extraordinary powers
  • Stacked with extra useful features

Cons

  • Quite pricey
  • An overkill if you don’t use battery charger very often

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The NOCO Genius10 couldn’t be found wanting for technology, power, or features in our tests. We marked it down for its bulky size, though. This price, which is nearly as much as a Genius1 and MXS 5.0 combined, is worth it. It is incomparable for uses in this comparison review, and we rated it 9.5 out of 10.

Recommendations

In our review article, we have investigated each of these three models individually and compared with one another. We can recommend all three units as a worthy purchase. However, we can go one step further and categorize them accordingly to your needs.

If you want the best general battery charger

NOCO GENIUS1
NOCO GENIUS1
4.6
NOCO Genius1 is ideal for general battery charging and battery maintenance tasks for the average car owner

If you value the extra features & functions

CTEK 40 206 MXS 5.0
CTEK MXS 5.0
4.8
C-TEK’s MXS 5.0 is a fantastic, all-rounder ideally suited for those buyers seeking more functions and features

UNLIMITED POWER!!!

NOCO GENIUS10
NOCO GENIUS10
4.7
Not that much more expensive than the previous entry. This is a battery charger that can handle anything and everything that you throw its ways

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