If you work in an environment where it’s important to keep the computers running even during a power outage, you may want to check out a couple of new offerings from
American Power Conversion
(APC). APC today announced the Back-UPS CS 350VA and 500VA, two new models of uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) designed for small business and corporate users who need reliable battery backup for their computers. APC says the new Back-UPS models feature a “smaller, sleeker form factor.”
Featuring serial and USB interfaces, the devices can be controlled by either PCs running various flavors of Windows or by Macs running Mac OS 9.0.4 or higher. Each unit sports six outlets, optimized alarm indicators, and fax/modem and DSL surge protection. Two of the six outlets feature special spacing to accept transformer blocks without blocking other outlets.
The new Back-UPS models come with power management software that makes it possible for computers to save files and automatically shut down before the onboard Back-UPS batteries are drained. The new CS models also sport user-replaceable batteries. This means that if the batteries need to be replaced, you won’t have to send the whole unit in to the factory to be serviced.
APC says the new CS models are the first to feature support for both serial and USB communications in the same unit. The new CS models sport an RJ-45 to USB connector standard, so it should be pretty much plug-and-play for the Mac; if you’re using an older PC, you can request a free serial port cable from APC using an included card.
The design includes a push-button circuit breaker, self-diagnostics, and visual and audible alarms. The CS units are also Home Phone-line Networking Alliance (HPNA) compatible, so if you’re using computers that are networked with phone lines, they can still be protected from phone-line-related power surges.
The BackUPS CS350 and 500 models carry suggested retail prices of US$84.99 and $129.99 respectively. Look for them from APC retailers and distributors worldwide in Q2.