Most likely the cheapest 2000W inverter generator on the market, the A-iPower SUA2000iV has been receiving a lot of attention. When a sophisticated inverter generator is this cheap, questions always arise. Is the A-iPower SUA2000iV any good? Where is this generator made? What kind of service does A-iPower offer? Our A-iPower SUA2000iV review aims to reveal the mystery behind this lesser known brand. The big question around cheap generators, especially inverter generators, is if they are any good. This A-iPower SUA2000i reveiw provides the answer.
Before all the fanfare around the A-iPower SUA2000iV, I had absolutely no knowledge about the brand. So, before reviewing the generator, I embarked on a mission to learn more about the A-iPower brand. I also needed to know what customers thought about their purchase. I ended up doing hours of research to bring you this review. I doubt you’ll find a more comprehensive lowdown on the brand and the A-iPower SUA2000iV inverter generator anywhere.
It’s always good to have an alternative when shopping for a generator. This is especially true when you’re looking for a cheap product. Buying cheap can be fraught with uncertainty. When considering an inverter generator in this class, the Honda EU2200i is the benchmark by which I measure all others. It is to my mind the best quiet inverter generator with an output of around 2000W. However, the Honda EU2200i is one of the most expensive and this wouldn’t make for a realistic comparative review to the A-iPower SUA2000iV. Looking for something that is in a similar price range, I settled on the Westinghouse WH2200iXLT as an excellent alternative. It doesn’t cost too much more than the A-iPower SUA2000iV and is, in my opinion, the best cheap inverter generator.
Now it’s time to get on with the A-iPower SUA2000iV review, starting with the brand. Since most of you reading this article may have no idea about A-iPower products, I think it would be wise to get some background knowledge.
The A-iPower Brand
Like so many, my first question upon hearing about the A-iPower SUA2000iV was: Who are these guys? This took me on a fairly long and complicated journey into the corporate structure of this company. A visit to the A-iPower website didn’t offer much clarity. Their rather vague blurb states that A-iPower stands for American Innovation. Company headquarters are in Ontario, California. They have a technical distribution center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and an engineering office in Charlotte, North Carolina. The company received accreditation from the Better Business Bureau in February of 2017. The company was incorporated in 2011. All this would lead one to believe this is a new US company.
Not satisfied with the information I had uncovered, I embarked on a deeper search. Mostly, I wanted to know where A-iPower generators are made. It turns out than A-iPower is owned by a Chinese company, by the name of Senci. The USA incorporated division of Senci (Senci USA) imports 100% of their products from the parent company in Chonqing, China. Senci have been manufacturing portable generators since 1990.
All this gives me the impression that the A-iPower are trying to hide their true identity as a manufacturer of cheap Chinese generators. Even their branding is a little deceptive. At a glance, you could easily mistake the A-iPower SUA2000iV for the Honda EU2200i. The color is identical, and the design quite similar. This generator is also available with a Yamaha engine (A-iPower SC2000iV). The SC2000iV is pretty much the same generator as the A-iPower SUA2000iV. The only difference being the choice of engine. The A-iPower SC2000iV is fitted with a Yamaha engine. This model has the Yamaha branding boldly displayed and is the same color as the popular Yamaha EF2000iS. Once again, all this seems a little misleading. I can’t help thinking that A-iPower is making a rather weak attempt at pulling the wool over our eyes. Trying to imitate recognized generator brands and then passing them off as American made products.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have no issue with Chinese products. Not even cheap ones. Hell, most of what we buy these days comes from China. Even generators advertised as being made in the USA have components originating from Asia. Most established US and European brands have licensed manufacturing plants in China and other Asian countries. What gets me, is the fact that A-iPower don’t just come out and say it as it is: this is a cheap Chinese generator.
Okay, I can keep harping on about my opinions of the brand, but let’s get to the point. This is a cheap generator and that makes it very attractive. Regardless of who makes the A-iPower SUA2000iv, what we really want to know is whether it’s worth spending our hard earned cash on this generator. I’ll let the review speak for itself.
A-iPower SUA2000iV ǀ The Full Review
• Revised intuitive control panel
• 2000 starting watts; 1600 running watts
• CARB certified
• Safe for sensitive electronics
• 79cc Senci engine
• 58dBA @ 50% load from 21’ (7M)
• 2-year residential warranty
For a remarkably cheap inverter generator, the A-iPower SUA2000iV appears to be a decent machine. A little underwhelming in some respects but hey, this is a cheap generator. Then there are a few pleasant surprises – stuff you won’t normally find on other generators in this class. An initial impression indicates that the overall quality quite acceptable.
I can’t say much about the Senci 79cc Senci engine that powers the A-iPower SUA2000iV. This is simply because I know precious little about the brand. Engine quality and durability can only be assessed over time, making my limited experience with this generator rather useless. Going by customer reviews, it seems to be a reliable powerplant and is easy to start using the recoil starter. Like any generator of this size, you don’t have the luxury of an electric starter. The engine is CARB certified, indicating that emissions are up to modern standards.
Fuel consumption is fairly average, actually better than I’d have expected from such a cheap generator. The 1.1 gallon gas tank is pretty standard for a generator for this size and has a fuel gauge on the tank. This is something you don’t find on many small generators, quite a pleasant surprise. With the tank filled, you can expect around 7-hours runtime at 50% load.
Power output is 2000W peak (surge) power, with a rated capacity of 1600W (running power). This makes it a handy little portable generator for camping and basic home backup power. With an inverter, Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) is minimal, making the A-iPower SUA2000iV a safe power supply for electronic equipment. Inverter power also means parallel connection ports, allowing you to use another A-Power SUA2000iV generator to double your power output.
In line with modern inverter generator design, the A-iPower SUA200iV is enclosed in a plastic, sound insulated housing. Durable plastics have been used and the generator doesn’t feel all that cheap, contrary to what the price may suggest. However, the sound insulation is not the best, nor is the engine the quietest. While 58dBA at 50% load isn’t particularly noisy, it is one of the louder generators in this class of quiet inverter generators.
This is a lightweight, wonderfully portable generator. A weight of 46 pounds is easily manageable and it has a comfortable molded handle, allowing you to carry the generator like a suitcase. I’m more than impressed with the user panel. For starters, the A-iPower has a 120V 30A (RV ready) outlet. Most small inverter generators only supply a 30A RV outlet as part of the parallel kit. Admittedly, this is a 2KW generator, so the maximum output for running load is only 13.3A. Even though you don’t have the full power output to supply a 30A RV panel, the inclusion of the 30A outlet is a nice convenience. It also has an 8.3A 12VDC battery charging port, along with the obvious 120V 20A conventional household outlet. All the normal safety features are there: overload circuit breakers and a low oil shutdown, along with the expected warning lights.
Despite my snobbish apprehension for cheap products, I’m quite impressed with the little A-iPower SUA2000iV. My concern is more with the brand than the generator itself – this is actually a great little machine… For its price. To gain a better understanding of the A-iPower experience, I’ve had to rely on customer reviews. To this end, I did some extensive research into verified customer reviews on a number of trusted websites. These really just confirmed what I’ve already come to understand.
The majority of customers are happy with their purchase, the A-iPower SUA2000iV is a decent inverter generator. Complaints have mainly centered around customer service. This concerns me a great deal. You’re not going to find a certified A-iPower dealership anywhere. At least, I haven’t been able to find any. If you read about customer experiences, they all ended up corresponding by email with the A-iPower headquarters in California. Many have felt less than satisfied with the service they received. That’s some food for thought. The generator may be excellent value for money, but the aftersales experience seem leave much to be desired.
Check Price on Amazon: A-iPower SUA2000iV
- 2200 peak watts; 1800 running watts
- Fuel efficient – up to 13-hours runtime
- Very quiet – less noise than a normal conversation
- Safe for electronics – inverter technology
- Lightweight – 43LBS
- 3-year warranty
- EPA, CSA, and CARB compliant
- Parallel capable
I could fill the page with my views on the Westinghouse brand. Personally, I think you can’t get more exceptional value than Westinghouse when buying a portable generator. If you want to know more about Westinghouse generators, you can read this post: Westinghouse ǀ Best Value Portable Generators. It’s a long article and makes for quite a read. It explains why I believe Westinghouse is such a great value brand and reviews some of their most popular generators.
For now, I just want to compare the Westinghouse WH2200iXLT to the A-iPower SUA2000iV (reviewed above). A quick inspection of the specs, reveals that the Westinghouse WH2200iXLT is the superior generator. It produces more power than the A-iPower SUA2000iV, it’s quieter, lighter, and (in my opinion) a more durable generator. In my experience, Westinghouse defy their cheap price, with outstanding quality – comparable to any of the more expensive, high-end brands. Best of all, the Westinghouse WH2200iXLT shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg.
The 79cc 4-stroke Westinghouse engine an immaculate work of engineering and is certified for use throughout North America (EPA, CARB, and CSA). As with all Westinghouse engines, fuel economy is about the best. This means the 1.3 gallon gas tank will supply the generator for around 13-hours at 25% load. Noise levels are also quite sublime. They say as low as 52dBA, I presume this would be at around 25% load.
The generator is beautifully crafted, with the typical plastic enclosure to keep noise levels as low as possible. It weighs only 43-pounds and you can carry the Westinghouse in one had. A well-balanced handle at the top makes this easy enough.
Outlets are fairly basic: 2 X 120V 20A household receptacles and a 12VDC battery charging port. It has the usual warning lights, circuit breakers, and low-oil shutdown. The recoil starter is conveniently positioned next a large start dial at the front of the machine. It’s all quite easy and simple to use.
As this is an inverter generator, you’re guaranteed low THD power (<3% THD). All the other inverter benefits are included, like an economy switch to reduce fuel consumption and noise levels, along with the option for connecting a second Westinghouse WH2200iXLT in parallel.
There are those who may be of the opinion, if you’re going to buy a cheap inverter generator, you may as well go for the cheapest. That would obviously make the A-iPower SUA2000iV the first choice for these guys. I, on the other hand, see great value in paying a little extra for a brand known to deliver quality. This, Westinghouse has proven. The company has a massive presence, with well over 600 dealerships throughout the US. Obtaining professional service and spare parts will never be an issue. Furthermore, the Westinghouse 3-year warranty is comparable to any of the major top-rated brands. This all amounts to one important factor: peace of mind. Something that can be of great reassurance when buying a cheap inverter generator.
Check Price on Amazon: Westinghouse WH2200iXLT
Hyundai have been making huge strides into the portable generator market. Before you decide which is the best cheap inverter generator, take look at our recent review of the Hyundai HY2000Si.