Top positive review
Solidly built, very nearly perfect sine wave, needs external fuse
May 16, 2019
Most inverters output "modified sine wave", which is essentially a stepped square wave approximation of a sine wave. This is perfectly satisfactory for many purposes, like lighting, electronics that use switching power supplies (laptops, phone chargers, etc.), but may cause problems for devices that are quite sensitive to the quality of power they get such as motors, some medical devices, etc. Such devices need a "pure sine wave" inverter, which delivers a smoothly-varying sine wave much like that provided by the electric utility.
This inverter is just such a "pure sine wave" model, and outputs a rather nice sine wave (see attached photos). It's a pretty typical sinusoidal wave with a frequency of 59.5 Hz (utility power in North America is 60 Hz, and 59.5 Hz is perfectly acceptable). The peak-to-peak voltage of my unit was 158 V, which corresponds to an RMS voltage of 111 V. This is within the nominal range of 110-120V found in North America, and should be universally compatible with any device.
If one zooms in on the waveform, one can see the 24.3 kHz switching steps of about 10 V that the device produces. This is an unavoidable consequence of converting DC to AC, and it's at such a high frequency that it should have no effect whatsoever on any device connected to it. Ideally, I'd like to see some sort of low-pass filter applied to the output of the inverter to filter that 24.3 kHz noise, but then I remembered that this is a $40 item and that such noise isn't going to affect anything.
The 12V cord is thick and looks to be the 11 AWG (4mm^2) cable Bestek uses for their battery clamps-to-lighter-socket set. This is perfectly fine for this power level. The 12V plug is spring-loaded and fits snugly into the receptacle.
A small fan comes on as needed and isn't terribly loud. Still, it comes on periodically when the unit is idle with no load attached, for which I'm deducting one star from "noise level".
The quality of the circuit board on my unit looked fine, with no assembly problems, bad solder joints, etc.
There's two small downsides that I've noticed:
1. The fuses are inside the unit, require its disassembly (pop off the rubber feet, unscrew the four screws there, then unscrew the circuit board inside from the supporting posts), and the fuses (two 25A automotive "Mini" size fuses wired in parallel) are soldered to the board. Again, I realized it's built to a price point, but having the fuses soldered to the board rather than being in sockets and preferably accessible from the outside of the unit is incredibly inconvenient. Having an in-line fuse in the cord or 12V lighter plug would be fine as well, but having them be internal and soldered down is annoying.
2. The cord is not detachable. While Bestek offers a nice battery clamps-to-lighter-socket set, it sure would be handy to simply be able to unplug the lighter cord and replace it with a cord with battery clamps that's connected directly to the unit. It'd also make the unit more compact for storage.
In short, my initial impression is that the inverter is a perfectly serviceable pure sine wave inverter that is far superior to modified sine wave inverters at only a slight price premium. While it's bulkier than some other inverters for its power level, it's not excessively large. The power it outputs is quite acceptable and makes my home UPSs (which are normally very sensitive to power quality) happy. The lack of easily-replaceable fuses is annoying enough to warrant the deduction of a star; it wouldn't be hard for them to have a higher-rated internal fuse that's there to prevent fires in the event of a major fault and a fuse for the rated current in-line with the cable or in the plug to prevent overheating in the event of a normal overload. Other than the fuse issue, I'm perfectly happy with the unit so far.