Recently in the state of Tamil Nadu in India we had a change in the ruling government party. I am not sure whether the mistake is in the part of previous government or the current government but our state has been suffering from extreme shortage of power for the past few months. Sometimes we get 8-10 hours of power cuts per day. Such rolling blackouts are intolerable especially in the summer where outside temperature has the tendency to reach 40 degree Celsius. But we have nothing to do except hope that the situation will get better with time. The AC can wait but the computers cannot, so the time to buy a nice computer UPS had come.
I already had a UPS which would have a backup of 10-15 minutes but now I needed a 1 hour plus backup solution. I started hunting for various solutions. From many forums I found out that APC was the best UPS solution for sensitive electronic equipments like computers and also their service was good. At the time of buying, I was not exactly clear about the terminology used in backup power solutions. I blindly believed that higher the VA rating of the UPS, the better it is because it would give a longer backup.
I ended up buying 1100VA APC Back-UPS which became a nightmare for me. The problem was that it would always run the fan at full speed and it was extremely noisy. I called APC technical support and they said it wasn’t normal and I got the UPS replaced. The second one had the same noise problem. I replaced it again and the third one also had the same problem. Then I was forced the believe that this kind of fan sound was normal in this model. I was really frustrated. One could not concentrate on anything with such a noisy UPS near the computer. So the purchase was a failure. I wasted Rs.5,500 on this. Though it had a 30 minute backup capacity, it was impossible to use such an UPS.
I did some research further and decided to buy a little more premium range of UPS from APC. The dealer suggested me to go with APC BackUPS Pro 1000VA. It had some really cool features in it (which I will talk about later). He quoted Rs.7,500 and it is supposed to have a higher backup time than my previous UPS because it had a 18Ah (2x9Ah) internal maintenance free battery. I ordered it and got it delivered within a day.
APC Back-UPS Pro 1000VA (BR1000G-IN) Review
Now let us cut to the chase and come to the actual review of the UPS. The UPS is full black in color and the overall look is quite neat. One of my friends mistook it for a slender small form factor CPU when he first saw it. There is a digital display on the top which displays various metrics such as input voltage, current watts being consumed from the output, % of watts consumed, minutes remaining with current battery backup and current watts.
You can also see a 5 bar battery capacity indicator and above it the load from input. In my case the input load is always at 1 point and that’s good because overload is not good
If you are wondering what’s the relationship between VA and Watts that can be consumed… the relationship is simple.
1000 VA UPS can handle upto 600 Watts.
Usually it is a factor of x0.6 but some UPS units will have lower efficiency and you multiply it by a factor of 0.5… or let us put it like this – hald the VA capacity is the watts that can be consumed. Usually these details are available in the specifications sheet of the system.
Software and USB Connectivity
One big USP of this UPS (love the way it rhymes!) is that it comes with a software which you can install on your windows machine (Sorry mac guys) and you can configure auto shutdown when the battery is critically low so that your OS is safe from getting corrupted. You can also have a look at the battery capacity remaining and the health of the battery through the software. The UPS connects to the computer via a USB cable.
This software/feature is useless if you are keeping your UPS in an another room like I have, or if you use iMac/Mac Mini.
The Backup Battery for APC Back-UPS Pro 1000VA
One of the biggest advantages of this particulat UPS unit apart from it being absolutely stunning in looks is that it supports backup battery. You cannot connect any external battery to it, but only the backup battery unit that APC provides for this model. I bought the backup unit to increase my backup time from 50 minutes to probably 2 hours or so… but to my surprise, I am getting 3-4 times extra backup time from the additional battery. The extra battery costed me Rs.6,300 including shipping.
The backup battery unit has the same dimensions as that of the original UPS and has a single connecting wire at the back which you can use to connect to the UPS. Once connected, it will calculate the battery capacity in total and the numbers in the display will be consolidated.
Let us recap:
- Stunning Looks
- Affordable Cost
- Displays cool stuff like minutes remaining and watts being consumed.
- Can connect similar awesome looking battery pack
- Relatively silent run than other UPSs in the market
- Comes with auto shutdown software
- Can switch off beeping sound
- No pure sinewave – stepped approximation to sine wave only
- Not 100% silent, will have fan noise during charging and discharging
- Battery life is only 2.5-3 years according to what I have heard.
- When you switch off beeping sound, it will not beep even when the battery is critical. I would love to have it in such a way that it does not beep as long as we keep working on battery but beeps at least when the battery is in critical stage so that I can shut down my PC when the battery is about to breathe its last.
Overall this is a great power backup solution for people who need battery backup for a few hours and are not ready to invest heavily in pure sine wave UPSs with external maintenance type batteries. Also it is sleek and does not occupy much space so it is well suited for people who are very paticular about interior aesthetics.
Hope you found my review useful. Leave your feedback.