Top critical review
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Decent entry level no-frills UPS
on November 28, 2010
Product: APC Backup-UPS ES 8-Outlet 550VA
Rating: 3/5 (good)
I bought one of these units several years ago at my local computer/electronics stores ... not to protect a PC, but rather to protect my phone answering machine, cable box, and most importantly my new (and then quite expensive) Flatscreen TV. It's done a very admirable job, and I only recently re-gifted it to a family member, after replacing it with a newer model 1300.
* Easy to use, right out of the box.
* Multiple connection types and outlets.
* Low space-saving profile, easily fitting inside or under small cabinets and tables.
* Small battery offers very limited runtime (figure 7-10 mins).
* Lacks built-in digital display showing load and remaining runtime.
* Lacks manual bypass for loud audible power-outtage alarm.
Bottom line: this is a very decent no-frills unit if you're on a budget. However, an increasing array of newer units with status displays are becoming cost competitive. Lastly, if your power blinks frequently, the lack of an alarm bypass can become annoying.
TIP: Most UPSs have limited runtime. For example, the XS-1300 I replaced 550 with only holds 7AH of power (which will run my PC for just under 1 hour). To greatly extend this, I bought a big 55AH sealed marine gel battery, a trickle charger, and a 400W inverter. When the power goes out, that gives me the option of plugging either my UPS/PC or my UPS/TV setups into the 55AH battery for an additional 8+ hours of runtime.