AmazonBasics Standby UPS review: Amazon’s affordable standby backup power delivers too little for the price

8 min read

[responsivevoice_button rate=”1″ pitch=”1.2″ volume=”0.8″ voice=”US English Female” buttontext=”Story in Audio”]

AmazonBasics Standby UPS review: Amazon’s affordable standby backup power delivers too little for the price

The AmazonBasics 12-outlet uninterruptible power supply (UPS) supports up to a rated 450 watts of attached equipment, which it can provide with enough battery power to run a tower computer system, monitor, and peripherals for about 3 to 10 minutes. This delay lets a computer shut down automatically using built-in features in the operating systems or software provided for macOS and Windows if electrical power isn’t restored quickly enough.

For a mid-range computer system that consumes about 200 watts, the estimated 10 minutes of runtime at that load is more than enough. For a more power-intensive system with a pull of 400 watts, the roughly three minutes of battery runtime might not provide enough time to complete a full shutdown. Above 400 watts, you need to find a high-capability UPS that can handle the electrical load under normal operation. (Look up the specs on devices or at manufacturers’ sites for all the equipment you want to connect to the battery-backed outlets, and add their wattage together to get a maximum load factor.)

This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best uninterruptible power supplies, where you’ll find reviews of competing products, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping.

Amazon offers a wide array of products in its AmazonBasics line-up that trade a non-Amazon brand-name manufacturer label on the box for ostensibly a lower price for something of high quality. In this case, however, the promise falls short. While the unit works as expected, it isn’t price competitive with brand names that offer more: more features, more power, and a longer warranty. At its introduction, the UPS was nearly $30 cheaper and competitors in the same class were were $10 to $20 more.

amazonbasics ups 450w 12 outlets fleishman Glenn Fleishman / IDG

This AmazonBasics UPS has 12 outlets, six of which are connected to its battery backup.

It also has one flaw that may be a non-starter for some buyers: if the battery runs out entirely during an outage, the UPS won’t restart itself once AC power begins to flow again. This isn’t exclusive to Amazon’s UPS, but it’s another determining factor in making a purchase.

Provides the basics for blips and outages

This is a standby UPS, which kicks in battery power as it’s needed, including when line voltage slumps (a “brownout”) and to provide juice during an outage (a “blackout”). It also includes protection against short leaps in voltage in the same manner as a standalone surge protector.

This kind of UPS is cheaper than a line-interactive model, which conditions power continuously, including removing surges, without leaning on the battery. A standby unit should have the advantage of lower cost and works just fine in most normal conditions, even though it takes longer to kick in power than a line-interactive UPS. If you have frequent power issues and short outages, a line-interactive model is a must and worth the additional cost. (In some online certification filings, Amazon describes this model as line interactive, but all of its marketing and the included manual indicate it’s a standby unit.)

Amazon equips the UPS with 12 outlets, six of which are connected to both surge protection and backup power, while the other six provide just surge protection. This is typical for UPSes, allowing you to get two kinds of benefits in one model.

amazonbasics software shutdown configuration Glenn Fleishman / IDG

This AmazonBasics UPS will provide about three minutes of battery power to a 400-watt load, so be sure you know what your rig will pull.

The outlet pattern is a little close together if you have several devices that rely on the wall-wart style of AC adapter. The UPS has outlets spaced 2.25 inches apart at either end of both six-outlet rows, and four in the middle spaced 1.25 inches apart. Outlets are spaced correctly for standard 2-prong and 3-prong cords used in electronics.

You May Also Like