Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Review: CyberPower UPS

The go-to choice for most IT people has typically been APC when it comes to power equipment.  It's like the saying "No one was ever fired for buying Cisco".  A little while ago I needed a new UPS for some workstations, so I decided to reach out of my comfort zone and try a UPS from CyberPower (  I was pleasantly surprised with it, especially considering how much cheaper it's APC counterpart was.

I purchased the CP850AVRLCD UPS, which is the equivalent (as far as I can tell) to an APC SmartUPS.  Just from looking at it, you can see it has a front display that can show you the typical information: battery capacity, load, input & output voltage, runtime remaining, line status, etc.  Unlike APC SmartUPSs, the power button on the front is an actual real switch: when you push it, it clicks and turns the UPS on.  Push it again, it turns off.  The SmartUPS uses a button that tells a circuit what to do.

The build quality isn't quite as good as APC, but it's good enough.  All the APC SmartUPSs I've owned have been metal cased.  This is wrapped in plastic.  There has to be some metal framing inside just due to it's weight, but the outside is all plastic.  But even though it's all plastic, it surprisingly doesn't feel cheep.  I wouldn't try stacking these like I've stacked SmartUPSs.  Based on their footprint and the top not being perfectly flat, I don't think it'd be a good idea.

Around back you'll find 5 outlets that are surge + battery, and 4 outlets that are surge only.  I'm never happy with the amount of outlets on ANY UPS.  I always seem to need more, and this is no exception.  I put my external hard drives on the UPS, and most of my other accessories, which always needs more then the number of provided outlets.  There's also a USB port for connecting to your PC for monitoring.  The "serial" port isn't really serial, which drives me nuts.  I contacted their support about it, and they said "that's just what most people call that form connector, so that's what we put on it".  It's really just a 9-pin connector that's used for some simple relay connections that are tripped when the UPS goes on battery.

Battery replacement is just as easy as a SmartUPS, and they don't take any special batteries either.  The batteries can be found from just about anywhere APC batteries can be found.

Just like APC equipment, CyberPower provides a warranty on the UPS that covers any equipment plugged into it in the event of a power problem breaking something.  I've never made a claim on these warranties (from any company), nor do I know anyone that has, so I can't really comment on this other then saying "it has it".

There's not must else to really say about the UPS.  It does the job as well as an APC SmartUPS.  It will make sure your output voltage is within range by using it's automatic voltage regulator (like Smart Boost on the APC models).  At, this model sells for $105.99.  A 750VA SmartUPS (SUA750US) is $328.99.  There's clearly a price difference, and is it worth it?  Yea, no one has ever gotten fired for buying APC, but that's a heck of a difference.

Since I bought this UPS about a year ago (and I'm just now OK with reviewing it since it's work well the whole time), I've purchased several more UPSs from CyberPower for workstations at work.  I've also bought a few from their "PFC Sinewave" series, which is very close to the price of the AVR LCD series now, and they work just as well.  The difference is that they are compatible with newer computers that require a pure sine wave to work correctly.

I recommend CyberPower UPSs for use with workstations or small server installations to everyone that asks me!

This was my first product review...I hope you all to like it.  Any comments are welcome and appreciated!

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