The Yamaha ef2000is is an example of a 2000 watt inverter generator. These are very quiet and comparable to the Hondas in that respect. Even with it running, you can carry on a conversation - phone or otherwise, within 10 feet of it. This can be very important and well worth the cost when you are using one of these generators while out camping or boating. It is even quieter in Eco mode.
Yamaha EF2000iS 2,000 Watt 79cc OHV 4-Stroke Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator (CARB Compliant)
It is also small and light weight. Here is a photo to give you an idea of the size:
Some examples of what the ef200is can power:
Power tools - drills, grinders, skill saws, table saws anything <16.7 amps, which covers most power tools
Charging batteries - has its own DC receptical and comes with cable.
Hair dryers (1800 watt tested and worked).
10k btu air conditioner
Heavy duty shopvac
Being an inverter generator, it is safe to use on computers, ipods, & phones. You can also get two of them and hook them together for 4000 watts of power generation.
There are two modes - full power and Eco mode. Constant full power mode will run for about 6 hours on the 1 gallon take, Eco more. These are gas powered.
All of the controls, including the starter, are on one side of the simple control panel as you can see in the photo below. The ef2000is also has a fuel gauge.
The weight of the unit is about 50 lbs, fueled up.
This inverter generator is CARB compliant and measures a 3 on California's 10 point emission scale.
note: oil does not come with the Yamaha ef200is, so be sure to pick some up (4 stroke 10w30).