TrippLite’s Unison 1000 UPS
We’ve been on a roll reviewing TrippLite UPSs of late. After the rave review of the 6kVA unit we tested last, we looked forward to testing the new Unison 1000 unit, a lower power and much lower price UPS suitable for most SCO application servers, workstations, and desktops. As the Unison 1000 was rolled in the door and unpacked, two things became obvious right away: first, the box was undamaged thanks to heavy steel plates in the corners, preventing the usual crushed-box appearance of many of these units. The second surprise was when we unpacked the Unison 1000: it’s attractive! Much like Volvo went from box, well-built cars to attractive well-built cars, Tripp-Lite has revamped its lineup from boxy well-built UPSs to attractive well-built UPSs. Gone is the plain old steel beige case of the UPSs from a year ago. Instead, the Unison 1000 is a sleek, black, almost architectural unit.
Let’s start with the physical unit itself. The UPS is 3.5 inches tall, 18 inches wide and seventeen inches deep, finished all in black. The Unison 1000 is designed to be easily rack-mounted and has rack handles on the front, but no ears for the rack. Those are included in the box for those who do want to rack-mount. If you want to keep the unit out of a rack, the handles make an easy job of lugging the UPS around. Instead of forcing you to lay the unit horizontally, TrippLite thoughtfully includes two adapters that the UPS slips into for vertical mounting. In either horizontal or vertical positions, the UPS is one of the smartest looking units we’ve seen. The front panel has two lighted scales for battery power and load, as well as surface-mount panel switches for turning the unit on and off and testing the UPS. A couple of status LEDs finish off the panel. The sliding scales make it easy to see at a glance, even across the room, the current state of the UPS and it’s probably the best implementation of these scales we’ve seen yet.
The back panel of the Unison 1000has six sockets for power cords, all surge protected and arranged in two banks (one of four and one of two) that can be managed separately by the software. There’s a push circuit breaker, an expansion connector for additional battery packs, and a single RS-232 connector for a cable to a PC. An accessory slot is provided for SNMP or Web management cards. A fan on the back keeps things cool. When running, the fan makes a little noise but we found it only runs intermittently and is not objectionable at all.
We tested the Unison 1000 in our lab under light (150kVA), medium (500kVA) and heavy (800kVA) loads. The outputs of the UPS delivered almost perfect sine waves under all loads (we measured a 1.5% variation maximum from pure sinewave), under failed conditions, and under voltage and current variations exceeding those found in household and office power supplies. When power is failed or falls below a trigger level, the Unison 1000 sounds an alarm. Battery power supply for the light load kept us powered for 59 minutes, the medium load kept going for 15 minutes, and the full load had seven minutes of juice. The supplied PowerAlert software has been written about several times before, and remains a wonderful tool to hook into your servers and desktops to both monitor the UPS and incoming power, as well as automate the shutdown of your system.
Although we seem to be getting repetitive here, it bears mentioning yet again that Tripp-Lite’s complete makeover of their UPS appearances has only served to enhance and already great product. The Unison 1000 is attractive, does the job superbly, and is reasonably priced. 1kVA units are suitable for most servers, and you won’t go wrong choosing the Unison 1000.
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Summary: The most attractive and feature-laden 1kVA UPS we’ve tested. Excellent design and excellent power handling make a solid product that we highly recommend.