APC Smart-UPS 1500 LCD review

Price when reviewed

Tipping the scales at 24kg, APC’s Smart-UPS 1500 LCD is no lightweight, and for good reason: it has a longer runtime than any other 1,500VA model we’ve seen. In fact, it’s the only UPS we’ve tested that even comes close to delivering its claimed battery runtimes.

APC Smart-UPS 1500 LCD review

This makes it a fine choice for small businesses that want their critical servers running for as long as possible in a blackout. The 1500 LCD is a line-interactive model, so it provides a faster switching time than a cheap offline UPS, but isn’t as expensive as an online version. It has eight battery-protected outlets but no RJ-11/RJ-45 surge-protected ports. For local monitoring it has USB and RJ-45 serial ports, and both cables are included.

The power ports can be placed in two groups, with the main group functioning as the master, which always has priority. The Switched group can be powered down first in a blackout to ensure critical systems on the main group get the most battery power.

APC Smart-UPS 1500 LCD

For monitoring, APC’s PowerChute Business Edition sees a substantial redesign over the previous version. An agent provides local and remote access to the UPS and handles all shutdown procedures on the systems it’s running on.

A server component is also provided for the central management of all agents, but you can’t load an agent on a system that doesn’t have a UPS attached, since it expects to see one on its USB or serial port. Lastly, the PowerChute console is for managing the server and agents. From it you can view reports about power status, problems and outages, program the two port groups, and create a host of shutdown procedures and pager and email alerts. It even includes additional options for safely closing business apps such as Exchange, IIS and SQL Server.

We used our standard Dell PowerEdge R515 server to test battery runtimes. This draws around 140W in idle, and the APC kept it going for an amazing 1hr 45mins – more than twice as long as any other 1,500VA UPS we’ve tested.

You pay a small premium for an APC UPS, but we think it’s well worth the extra outlay. Its unbeatable features and enormous battery runtime put it firmly in pole position on the A-List.


UPS mains power outputs8

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