Blueti AC180

Adrian Kingsley Hughes/ZDNET

Key Takeaways for ZDNET

  • theBlueti AC180 Available from Amazon for $579, which is a whopping $420 off the retail price.
  • Its design provides simple functionality that delivers exceptional power performance.
  • It’s fairly heavy considering its capacity, weighing in at 37.4 pounds.

You can divide power stations into three broad categories – there are the small, easy-to-carry units, the massive units that roll on wheels, and in between you have the massive but still portable units that you can carry, but not too far!

I absolutely love this midrange because I can throw one in the back of the car or truck when I go camping or on photo/video/drone trips, and it will provide all the power I need for a few days.

also: The best portable power stations you can buy: Tested by experts

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been using and abusing the Bluetti AC180, and this unit ticks everything I want from a power station that can keep me going when I’m off the grid for a few days.

View on Amazon

Technical specifications of Blueti AC180

  • power: Rated power 1,800 watts/lifting power 2,700 watts (increase)
  • capacity: 1,152 watt-hours
  • AC charging: 1440W Turbo charging, 60 minutes to 100% (300W silent charging also available)
  • Solar charging: 500W solar fast charging, fully charged in 2.8 – 3.3 hours
  • Outputs: AC: 4 x 120V, total 1800W | USB-C: 1 x 100W max | USB-A: 4 x 5VDC/3A 15W total | 15W Wireless Charging Pad | 12V DC: 1 x 12V/10A
  • battery: LiFePO4, rated for over 3,500 charge cycles
  • program: Smart remote control via BLUETTI app
  • UPS reaction time: 20 ms
  • Weight: 35.3 lbs/16 kg
  • Dimensions: 13.4 x 9.7 x 12.5 inches / 340 x 246 x 318 mm
  • a guarantee: five years

Note that the unit in the pictures is the UK version of the AC180, but apart from differences regarding the AC outlets, it is functionally identical to the US version.

The Bluetti AC180 is a beast!

Adrian Kingsley Hughes/ZDNET

When testing a power station for review, there are a few key aspects I check.

First, I check that the device lives up to the claims on its spec sheet, which, for power stations, includes the battery capacity and loads the device can handle. I’m also keen to see how the power station handles loads beyond its rated capacity, and I’m looking forward to shutting it down in a tidy manner, because no one wants a box full of high-powered batteries to start sparking, spitting and burning. Cause a commotion.

The AC180 passed all my tests with flying colors. It is a finely crafted, expertly designed unit that delivers exactly what it promises.

Easy to use wireless charging pad

Easy to use wireless charging pad

Adrian Kingsley Hughes/ZDNET

also: I tested one of the cheapest power stations that made getting on the road a breeze (and it’s $250 off)

Another strong aspect of the AC180 is its longevity. Bluetti builds these power stations around LiFePO4 (lithium iron phosphate) batteries, and they’re known for their durability. The cells used in this unit are rated for 3,500 charge cycles before they are considered exhausted, which greatly outperforms the typical 500-800 recharge cycles of standard lithium-ion batteries.

I also tested the charging claims, and plugged this into an AC outlet, solar panels, and a car’s 12V outlet.

For solar charging, I used Bluetie panel 120 watts, which delivered exceptional performance even in the weak UK spring sun, keeping the power station close to maximum rated power. This powerful IP68 rated solar panel is the most cost effective way to keep your power station supplied with power when off the grid.

The Bluetti AC180 is connected to a 120W solar panel

The Bluetti AC180 is connected to a 120W solar panel

Adrian Kingsley Hughes/ZDNET

Safety, both in terms of electricity and in terms of heat management, is a major concern. While most power plants go through without issue, some are hot garbage that you don’t want to be anywhere near while they’re running. The AC180 unit, as with all Bluetti power stations, works perfectly, and I have no concerns about using this unit in the house, car or tent.

Durability is a deciding factor in my ratings. Despite the challenges inherent in standardizing real-world testing, I subject all power plants to intense conditions over several weeks. This rigorous testing regimen includes extensive use, transportation in cars and trucks, and intentional drops on hard surfaces to thoroughly evaluate their durability.

The AC180 excelled, and I laughed at all the durability tests I ran on it.

Finally, there is ease of use. I mean it’s no good if you can’t actually use the power plant! I look for easy-to-use controls, accompanied by a screen that displays all the necessary information without clutter or confusion.

The AC180, as with all the Bluetti units I’ve tested recently, absolutely excels in this area as well. The display is bright and clear, complemented by just three backlit buttons, striking the perfect balance between simplicity and functionality.

The interface is clear and easy to read

The interface is clear and easy to read

Adrian Kingsley Hughes/ZDNET

ZDNET Buying Advice

If I had to summarize Blueti AC180 In a sentence, I can do it in three words – it does not disappoint. It’s a great powerhouse, and exactly what I expect from a Bluetti product.

For $579, you get a top-tier power station at an amazing price.

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