Tripp Lite Smart 1500XL UPS
May 05 2010

Absolute Power

This UPS keeps your equipment running without draining your wallet.

Boasting a 1500 voltage-amp payload and a price tag under $500, the Tripp Lite Smart 1500XL UPS delivers the functionality expected of an enterprise uninterruptible power supply — at a reasonable price.

The Smart 1500XL is a full-featured 1500VA UPS system, bundled with powerful management software, a two-year warranty and a $250,000 connected-equipment guarantee.


The Tripp Lite has a long battery life. In my test environment, the connected server and peripherals drew less than 20 percent power and managed to stay online for more than 20 minutes before the critical alarm was tripped, allowing the server to gracefully shut itself down.

The included PowerAlert management adds its own value, providing vital information in a comprehensive, easy-to-understand format. Systems administrators can monitor everything from battery strength and system temperature to output load from one interface. The software can be programmed to send e-mail alerts to any number of administrators in the event of a power failure, allowing for a swift response to power emergencies.

Additionally, the ability to wall-mount the 1500XL, combined with its snug size, makes it an ideal solution for any environment that requires redundant power in a tight space. If you need more battery life, there is a port for an external battery.

66 square inches

The space-saving footprint of the Tripp Lite Smart 1500XL uninterruptible power supply

Why It Works for IT

The Smart 1500XL is versatile. The management software offers a wealth of useful information, and it also empowers administrators to tweak UPS behavior. For example, sysadmins have the option of assigning a lower priority to a given power outlet so that during an outage, devices connected to that outlet will shut down before other, more important devices. By staggering the length of time that devices stay online, you can preserve the UPS battery for mission-critical equipment plugged into other ports.

By default, the PowerAlert Agent console sends all open programs on client machines a “save” command as it forces them to close during shutdown.

The 1500XL is compliant with the Trade Agreements Act, which makes it a good fit for government. Given the increase in oversight and the hefty penalties associated with noncompliant products, TAA-certified equipment is a must for government users.


Although the software is replete with value-added features, I had a few minor issues. The console’s menu system is a bit unusual: Instead of the typical nested-hierarchy menu structure, Tripp Lite uses a three-section, linear menu bar at the top of the window. Rather than drilling down through menus, you click either “Status,” “Action” or “Settings” on the left side of the bar, and then click the desired category in the middle of the bar to perform relevant tasks. Because of this unfamiliar format, users may need a little time to adapt to its look and feel.

Also, the PowerAlert Console’s help system could be improved. Although there is a “Help” link, clicking on it yields little more than version information and copyright notices. All of the really useful help information resides in the documentation provided on CD. If administrators want access to reference material while using the software, they will need to manually copy this documentation onto whatever system they use to run the program.

But those are minor complaints. The Smart 1500XL UPS can deliver peace of mind, reliable power protection and redundancy at an affordable price.