By Chris Wedel published February 18, 2022
(Image: © Chris Wedel / Android Central)
Bottom line: The BLUETTI AC200MAX offers excellent power output and capacity to run nearly anything you plug into it. From standard AC outlets to the 30A RV plug and the 12V DC outlets and built-in wireless charging pads, this solar generator has plenty of power options. Just remember to allow plenty of time to recharge with the included 500W AC adapter.
- Excellent power output
- Great build quality
- Integrated port covers
- Lots of outlets and ports
- Expandable power
- Included adapter only charges at 500W
- Display is hard to see in direct sunlight
- Could be hard to move around for some
Finding a really great high-capacity power bank has become much easier in the past few years. But finding a large power station that can power much more power-hungry appliances like a full-sized refrigerator, air conditioner, heater, or other essential appliances when the power is out is a little more tricky. When you start looking into high-wattage output and the devices you want to plug up, a few things come into play. One such product to make it easier is the BLUETTI AC200MAX power station.
The AC200MAX is not a power station that you will take everywhere with you, but it is great to have around for travel, camping, or emergencies at home. This 2,048Wh battery pack has some major output from its fourteen different ports and two wireless charging pads. While it has a lot going for it on paper, how does it handle real-world usage? I spent a few months with the BLUETTI AC200MAX and tested it in a lot of different ways so I could answer that question.
BLUETTI AC200MAX: PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
BLUETTI announced the AC200MAX in August 2021 alongside its AC300 power station. The AC200MAX got a launch price of $1,699 but has since reached a regular price of $2,099 through the BLUETTI store. The power station is also available from other retailers such as Walmart and Amazon, which currently sell it for $1,999.Sponsored LinksDo You Speak English? You can work remotely from Pakistan for a USA employerUSA Job from Home | Search Ads
BLUETTI AC200MAX: WHAT’S GOOD
In our world, where seemingly everything requires electricity in some form or another, being without power can range from an annoying inconvenience to a full-on emergency. This is why it’s good to have one of the best battery packs or a mid-size power station like the Anker Powerhouse II 400 available to power phones and laptops. But when it comes to running a device with higher wattage requirements, or you need a really long run time on something, that’s where the BLUETTI AC200MAX fits in.RECOMMENDED VIDEOS FOR YOU…CLOSEhttps://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.516.0_en.html#goog_12928216340 seconds of 18 minutes, 14 secondsVolume 0% PLAY SOUND
BLUETTI implemented some great design ideas into the AC200MAX.
At nearly 62 pounds, the AC200MAX is not light by any means, but it is relatively compact. The unit has two integrated handles on the top for carrying it around. The build quality of the power station is solid. There is no creaking of plastic or rattling of components, and the built-in port covers are great to have.
The output ports are right on the front, flanking the 4-inch LCD touchscreen display. To some, going with a resistive touchscreen rather than capacitive like smartphones could seem negative. However, from a practical perspective, it’s great. This is because it means you’ll be able to use it even if you have gloves on or wet fingers — the controls will still work.
On the left end of the unit are the input ports. You’ll find one for the AC adapter to plug into and another that uses a locking style plug for charging via solar or a DC car adapter. There are two more plugs above the two input ports for attaching expansion battery packs. The AC200MAX is compatible with the B230 or B300 batteries from BLUETTI to offer a potential maximum total capacity of 8192Wh.
|Dimensions||16.5 x 11 x 15.2 inches|
|Battery||LFP 2048Wh, 36V|
3500+ cycles to 80%+ capacity
|Display||4-inch LCD Touchscreen|
Pure Sine Wave, 2200W total (surge 4800W), 120V~ (60Hz)
|Car Charger Output||1|
12V/30A Super DC
|USB-A Fast Charge Output||2|
5V 3A, 18W Max per port
PD 100W Max
|Wireless Charging||15W QI|
|AC Input||120V 500W Max|
|Solar Charger Input||10-145V 15A Max, 900W Max|
|Car Charger Input||Supports 11.5-14.5V; 23-29V, 7.9-8.4A|
|EV Station Charging Input||✔️ (adapter sold separately)|
|Maximum Charging Input||1400W|
Over Voltage Protection
Short Circuit Protection
The BLUETTI AC200MAX uses lithium iron phosphate for its battery cell chemistry rather than the more common lithium-ion or lead-acid. This battery tech makes for more energy-dense batteries that are safer and have a longer lifecycle. BLUETTI says that when charging the power station to 80%, you can expect over 3,500 cycles and over 6,000 when charging to 50%.
I put the BLUETTI AC200MAX output capacity to the test in multiple environments and with various loads. The first big test that the power station got was for New Year’s when I took it on a family camping trip to the Padre Island National Seashore (PINS) on the Texas gulf coast. My wife and I converted an enclosed trailer into our camper, and to save some money, we packed food and drinks to consume on the 2000-mile round-trip drive. The BLUETTI AC200MAX powered our fridges for that drive.
The battery chemistry that BLUETTI uses in the AC200MAX means more power and a longer lifecycle.
We have two small refrigerators for our camper, so we loaded them with food, drinks, and snacks, then plugged them into the fully-charged power station and hit the road. When we hit the road south from Kansas, the temperature was about 22℉, and the final destination was about 75℉.
I mention this because it means there was a big change in ambient temperature that the solar generator and refrigerators would have to contend with inside of a small enclosed area.This envrioment directly contributed to the frequency of which the fridge’s compressors had to operate and the power requirements during the drive.
These fridges average around 1,100W surge combined when the compressors fire up, and by the time we stopped for the night after approximately 14 hours of driving, the BLUETTI AC200MAX was at about 65% charge remaining. Once we finally reached the beach and set up our spot about 30 hours after starting our journey, the power station was sitting at 20% charge. I was delighted with how well the AC200MAX handled the trip.Advertisement
Back at my home in Kansas, I have used the AC200MAX to run power tools such as my miter saw, circular saw, and drills. Since it is very cold where I live in February, we had to use a heater in the trailer when it was time to clean up the camper from our beach trip. Plugging the camper into the AC200MAX using the 30A RV plug — without an adapter — is so nice. We could power our 1,400W heater and a small ShopVac with no issues.
When it comes time to recharge the AC200MAX, many options are available. As mentioned for the input ports earlier, you can plug the included 500W AC adapter directly into the unit. The DC car adapter will plug directly into the unit with the included cable. But solar will use two cables, both included, to connect to the power station.
The companion is great to have, but I do wish it connected via Wi-Fi along with Bluetooth.
The BLUETTI AC200MAX can take in up to 900W solar power and pair with the 500W AC adapter. You can recharge the unit from zero to full in about 2 hours by combining the two input options for 1,400W. Using the AC alone will take around 5.5 hours to get your BLUETTI AC200MAX back to full.
Controlling the BLUETTI AC200MAX is done in two ways: the unit’s touch panel or the companion app. The power station has to be powered on with the satisfying clicky button beside the display to use either method. Once it is on, you can navigate through the unit’s menu to change various settings and enable the DC and AC output ports.Image 1 of 9
You can use the BLUETTI companion app to update the AC200MAX’s firmware along with some basic unit controls. You can turn on and off the DC or AC power options and turn off the power station itself. Since it uses Bluetooth for connectivity, you won’t be able to control the power station from a long distance as you would if Wi-Fi was an option.
BLUETTI AC200MAX: WHAT’S NOT GOOD
The BLUETTI AC200MAX offers a lot of portable electrical power possibilities. But I’d like to see some improvements in a few areas, and my biggest complaint is in the included AC charging adapter. While 500W AC isn’t anything to sneeze at, it is a bit on the slow side, considering the size of the battery.
I’m all for lightweight power stations, but, at 62 pounds, I don’t think another few pounds would matter if the AC Adapter were built-in.
Sure, you can add solar to speed increase the input, or even buy a second 500W AC from BLUETTI, but that takes more money and space to get a faster charge. Speaking of space, the AC charging adapter is huge and loud. I understand that by keeping this piece of equipment external, BLUETTI can make the power station more compact and lighter, but the adapter is a beast to tote around. The unit is already heavy, so what’re a few more pounds to build the adapter in?
That is something else to keep in mind for the BLUETTI AC200MAX — it isn’t light. The AC200MAX weighs nearly 62 pounds, which can be tough to move around for some. I would have loved to have seen some integrated wheels or even an optional cart. Especially if you decide to connect expansion batteries to the power station, which will only make it more immobile.Advertisement
Another area that could use some improvement is the display. Though I like that it uses resistive instead of capacitive technology for the touch screen for practical use, it loses some of that practicality when you can’t read it. In moderate to low-light situations, the screen is easy to read. But once in brighter environments, like outdoors, you’re going to have to use your hand as a visor to see what’s on the screen or make changes to the unit.
BLUETTI AC200MAX: COMPETITION
Large power stations aren’t exactly new, but using lithium iron phosphate for the batteries is a fresh development for power stations. Other units used older lead-acid until recently, leading to heavier power stations with lower lifespans. Aside from other units from BLUETTI like the AC300, one of the biggest competitors to the AC200MAX is EcoFlow with its DELTA Pro.Advertisement
While the EcoFlow DELTA Pro comes in at a higher price, it also has a higher output of 3,600W and a larger capacity of 3,600Wh. This power station is expandable with additional batteries. It can charge up to 1,800W via a wall outlet via the built-in adapter or up to a whopping 6,500W with combined solar, AC, and EV station charging. You won’t get wireless charging from the DELTA Pro, but it does have wheels to move its 99 pounds around.
The large power station is a category that is quickly becoming a crowded space with new players coming in like Mango Power. Those that have been around awhile are starting to take advantage of newer technologies to build new products. Sure, some of the older battery packs that boast large watt-hour capacity are an option, but they will be much heavier and won’t offer the same kinds of long-term lifespans as options like the EcoFlow DELTA Pro and the BLUETTI AC200MAX.
BLUETTI AC200MAX: SHOULD YOU BUY IT?
You should buy this if…
- You want portable power to run large appliances.
- You want high power capacity for long stints without grid support.
- You go camping in an RV or trailer.
- You live in an area that experiences frequent power outages.
You shouldn’t buy this if…
- You want to charge at more than 500W out of the box.
- You struggle with moving heavy things.
The BLUETTI AC200MAX is a great large solar power station that can handle nearly any electrical need for an average person. Being independent of the power grid offers peace of mind knowing you can keep essential appliances running. It’s also a great unit to take camping for off-grid experiences if you can manage the 62-pound battery, with the option to recharge via the sun. However, if you want to power the AC200MAX up quickly, you won’t do that out of the box with the limited 500W adapter.
4 out of 5
BLUETTI’s AC200MAX is in the realm of something that nearly everyone should have. This solar generator can greatly affect how you travel or handle electrical emergencies from a convenience to an essential standpoint. Knowing that regardless of the situation, if you have a BLUETTI AC200MAX, you can power nearly any typical appliance or tool thanks to the capacity and power output.
If you take advantage of all the recharging options available for the AC200MAX, you can power it up very quickly to keep right on going with up to 1,400W of input. But, the 500W AC adapter that comes with the unit is both physically large and a bit on the smaller side for its output. Don’t get me wrong. It gets the job done; it’s just a little slow.
However, as a complete package, the BLUETTI AC200MAX is a winner. On its own, the power station offers excellent performance and is reasonably portable. As a system, the AC200MAX brings a lot to the table with expandable capacity and charging options. These are the reasons that the BLUETTI AC200MAX is worth considering for your home.
Bottom line: From its 2048Wh to the 2,200W of pure sine wave output, the BLUETTI AC200MAX does it all. No matter what you want to power or how you want to recharge the power station, you can do it with the AC200MAX.
Senior Editor – Smart HomeChris Wedel is a fan of all things tech and gadgets. Living in rural Kansas with his wife and two young boys makes finding ways to get and stay online tricky. By utilizing his years of experience with the tech and mobile communications industries — success is assured. When not conquering connectivity challenges and testing new gadgets, he enjoys cruising a gravel road in his UTV with some good tunes.LATESTTop Twitter executives leave amid Elon Musk acquisition and ‘new direction’How to enable the Digital Wellbeing widget on Android 12Does the Garmin vivosmart 5 have GPS?