Surge protectors are some of the hardest working devices in the home armada of electronics, and it’s a general rule that you should upgrade this component when expanding your home entertainment or passion-built desktop arrangements. APC (by Schneider Electric) has been in the power supply game for over three decades, so they know a thing about protecting your expensive devices from destructive overload. This is where the Back-UPS Pro 1500VA earns its keep among the living room corner.
Not all power supplies are created equal. If you’re thinking about a unit like this you already know that this isn’t some cheap and disposable strip, oh this is so much more and crucial. This is a uninterruptible type (UPS) meant for power users, small businesses, and the occasional homemade server designed to output a stepped SineWave waveform for reduced energy and heat generation. Basically, a more efficient power plant in your home.
Before that let’s dive into the APC Back-UPS Pro’s appearance. Upon initial looks it is immediately clear this is a tasteful doorstop styled by a top angled front, and professional looking with a glossy face and tactful matte black finish of heavy plastic. It is also quite big measuring in at 10.24″ x 3.94″ x 14.49″, and carries a lot of weight at a solid 27.56lbs — with much of it being isolated within the large batteries. On an unrelated note, you could also do some physical damage with this thing if burglars are invading your house.
There isn’t much to do on the Back-UPS Pro 1500VA besides charging anything that utilizes USB (Type-A) and USB-C, but the LCD display beams with info once everything is powered on. There are just three buttons that control power (I/O), alarm muting, and a readout that allows you to cycle through various stats such as wattage load, active voltage, and remaining UPS battery charge/time to name a few. It’s nice enough for micromanaging and knowing exactly what’s going on but we doubt normal people will obsessively monitor this screen — or at all — evident by the fact that it hides away after 10 seconds of non-use and only the power button remaining lit afterwards.
Around back, we’re confident that nobody will go wanting for more connectivity, because there are ports for practically every interface which may be susceptible to surges. The obvious ones are ten standard 3-prong ports, count divided in half for surge only and the other half optimized for battery backup. Others niceties include two Ethernet ports and two coaxial ports, along with a supplemental serial port for expanding the runtime capacity of Back-UPS Pro 1500VA through optional software.
This UPS is intended for intermediate users or home servers, having no problem carrying loads of electronics throughout our long-term testing. My apartment is peculiar in that it’s older and outages can happen irregularly, with the power saving feature of the UPS automatically activating and tapping into battery pack. During one evening where I was without power the 1500AV kicked in and bought me roughly 28-33 minutes of extra time. This is clearly less than the projected 1 hour 17 minutes, but results would vary since I did have a lot of devices plugged in at one time that included a BenQ TK800 DLP projector, Xbox One S, Apple TV 4K, Nintendo Switch, a Linksys router, cable modem, and two custom-built desktop PCs.
Battery life aside, the UPS Pro 1500VA correctly detected the time remaining signal to allow proper shutdown of whatever’s plugged in. for added assurance, APC recommends downloading their PowerChute Personal Edition software which allows users to perform monitoring, diagnostics, and other functions. Truth be told, you’ll probably be fine if you don’t get this program unless you really want to manually adjust voltage regulation, or sensitivity of electrical noise for equipment damage prevention.
This UPS is beyond adequate as an everyday power supply, but when something abnormal is detected this thing definitely lets you know. Advanced users will appreciate the audible alerts but casual type may grow tired of how loud the alarms set off, and you’ll want to immediately mute this because it makes an obscene amount of noise anytime performance operates out of its normal parameters. This is less of a problem if the electricity in your dwelling is modernized, but every little occurrence sets this thing off. It would be an understatement to say that this feature is incredibly annoying as a basic surge protector, but this is like no other.
APC is a common brand among enterprise and industrial solutions, so anticipating anything less from the Back-UPS Pro 1500VA was an unlikely bet. For its purpose this UPS worked flawlessly and the accompanying features offer a good hardware solution for protecting computing/home AV devices. Power saving on the Pro 1500VA Pro is a secondary perk that might have this UPS paying for itself over the long period. It’s not affordable but peace of mind makes APC worth the money here as any advantage that protects your current gear is a welcome one.