The most important takeaway regarding this inaugural product-review post is that APC makes excellent battery back-up products. Your not-so-humble reviewer has used them for far more years than he would like to admit and ALWAYS has been satisfied.
The second most important aspect of this post on the new 1000 VA/600 watts APC model BR100MS is that a mishap (which is due to no fault by APC) allows tying this article into a classic sitcom. Please stay tuned for that important message.
The real starting point is that the aging and increasingly unreliable US power grid is behind the aforementioned heavy reliance on APC products; this also is the impetus for a back-up generator that was a figurative life-saver for a several days' outage in October 2017 and a major convenience as to several shorter power failures. The rest of the story is that actual computers and electronic devices, such as televisions and 4K players, that heavily rely on computer components do not handle abrupt power surges and outages well.
A related note is that the predecessor of the current APC unit provided especially important backup that the new unit has undertaken. Trying to make a long story short, the battery in a then two-year-old HP laptop losing its ability to recharge resulted in that device frequently shutting down even when operating off of electricity. Efforts to bypass the battery were highly impractical.
Rather than give HP the satisfaction of spending $100 to replace a battery in an a laptop that was going to be mothballed in a couple of years, I pulled out the bad battery and plugged the laptop into the APC. That saved me during one brief outage,
The set up of the BR1000MS was very easy and improved on far-from-fatal flaws in older models. Connecting the battery itself was very intuitive, and literally making the connection was very smooth. MUCH older models sometimes required a bit of wrestling to connect that battery, and one made a very dramatic spark. APC customer service did its usual excellent job regarding that one.
Other peace-of-mind comes from a 3-year warranty on the device itself and a lifetime $250,000 warranty on the connected electronic products.
The way-cool front display has easy-to-see and understand status reports that include the charge level of the battery and the estimated remaining time that you can run your device (or devices) off the battery. The maximum stated time is 92 minutes. As of this writing, this feature remains untested. It would be VERY helpful in case of not getting right back to my desk during a power failure.
There also are two USB charging ports that allow simultaneously using and charging a cell phone or tablet. This feature also is untested.
An easily resolved mishap roughly a week after setting up the BR1000MS relates to the aforementioned sitcom connection. It also is relevant regarding a non-fatal pet peeve with many APC products.
When setting up the BR1000MS, I plugged the laptop and a few other office items into some of the six combination battery and surge-protection outlets. These included a rarely used laser printer.
I was nearing the end of a long and frustrating day when I wanted to print something. I turned on the printer and almost immediately had my laptop, my monitor, and the printer shut down. I also experienced the BR1000MS beeping loudly, the status light going from green to red, and an "F02" error display.
Trying to restore the BR1000MS after unplugging it likely would have been easier had I followed the wise principle of RTFM. Instead, I simply disconnected the battery and then reconnected it.
I called APC tech. support, which has never failed me. The very nice and patient technician was extremely helpful and NEVER made me feel stupid.
He initially explained to me that my device was a 600-watt one that limited the total wattage of devices plugged into a battery/surge outlet to that amount. We determined that my laptop likely drew roughly 200 watts of power, and the tech. went above-and-beyond in looking up the specs. of my laser printer online. He stated that that device drew 525 watts when initially powered up.
We discussed that I incorrectly assumed that the physical size of a UPS always corresponded with its capability. The tech. noted that the next APC model up was an 810-watt UPS, which is the same physical size as the BR1000MS. He also stated that that one would better meet my needs.
Our conversation included the fact that most consumers are not adequately savvy to know the wattage of devices or which UPS best meets their needs.
This discussion evoked thoughts of a scene in an early episode of the '60scom "Green Acres," which revolves around transplanted (pun intended) New York lawyer Oliver Wendell Douglas and his not-so-bright socialite wife Lisa moving to the farming community of Hooterville.
The relevant "sit" that provides the "com" is that Oliver is explaining to Lisa that the generator that provides their dilapidated farmhouse electricity has a limit of seven. He then tells her the number of each kitchen appliance and states that she cannot simultaneously use any combination of these devices that exceeds seven. This leads to a comedic bit involving things such as being able to use the toaster and the coffee pot at the same time but not the dishwasher and the coffee pot, This culminates in an image of the generator harmlessly exploding.
This leads to the pet peeve related to APC; the not-so-fatal flaw of many devices from that company is that the number of battery/surge outlets often create a false expectation regarding the number of devices that you can plug into those outlets. In this case, the six such outlets in the BR1000MS would not allow for plugging in my laptop, my printer, and my monitor. This is not to mention the other four low-wattage items in my work area.
It seems that the BR1000MS back-up outlets can handle my laptop and monitor. That leaves four other outlets for five devices. Another perspective is that four battery/surge outlets are as useful as mammaries on a male bovine. HOWEVER, that imperfection should not preclude purchasing an APC device. It only requires being a little bit more savvy than you would be regarding most other purchases.
It sincerely is hoped that these thoughts are helpful. PLEASE leave any comments or questions below.