A UPS (uninterrupted power supply) for gaming feels like an obvious choice. It helps keep your games running if there are interruptions in power and will help prevent surges that could cause harm to your expensive gear. When you are playing online in a high stakes match, or just trying to finish a last segment in the latest Souls game, there is nothing worse than a power outage taking you out of the game. This is why the APC 1500VA Gaming UPS just makes sense, bringing you uninterrupted power, a gaming look, and RGB lights, but that all will come at a price.
The APC 1500VA Gaming UPS is built to keep the games running even after there is an interruption in the power. Be it from the weather, a black-out, or just a brief outage, the APC is built to give you enough time to save or finish a match and then shut down safely without losing progress. This keeps your hardware running, and the valuable components safe, since no one wants to see their latest PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X taken out due to power issues.
Testing the APC 1500VA Gaming UPS, I was immediately impressed with the design and build. It feels built to last, with enough modern ‘gamer’ flare to let it fit nicely in most setups. The APC comes in two optional colours, midnight, and arctic, and features an LCD display, ringed by an RGB reactor circle that doubles as an indicator light. The APC clearly displays all the details at a glance, so you will know the load, battery level, and how much time you have remaining should a situation arise.
The front RGB can be customised to match the RGB lighting you may currently have, making it possible to add it to a current setup without too much trouble. There is also an LED light at the back, making it easy to plug new devices into the APC, even in the dark. To change the front light, there is a simple button that lets you cycle through the RGB options, although since the light at the front doubles as an indicator, it will change based on conditions such as low power, or when running on battery.
“Testing the APC 1500VA Gaming UPS, I was immediately impressed with the design and build. It feels built to last, with enough modern ‘gamer’ flare to let it fit nicely in most setups.”
The LCD display is positioned at an angle to let you see it even when it is flush against a wall, and you are on the couch. This is fantastic, and makes it a pleasure to use, especially during testing. When I tried pushing the battery, it was a breeze to see how much time was left, along with what the load was on the system. There is a selection of buttons on the front, one for power, the menu, mute, and the button to change the RGB lighting, along with three charging ports that can be used for phones or controllers. The back is where you will find the aforementioned LED to give a soft light to see the ports, along with the plugs to plug in all your gear.
The APC 1500VA Gaming UPS is not a small device, standing at 11.4 inches tall and 4.2 inches wide, so you should ensure you have the space, or a place to put it close to your gear before you purchase. It is also very heavy at 26 pounds, so this is not something you would want to sit on the side of a glass table or to move it around constantly for obvious reasons. But beyond that, APC has delivered a great design, and one that iterates on the classic battery backup design with some great looks and features.
Featuring a total of 10 outlets, the APC 1500VA has the ports you would hope for to replace the current assortment of surge protectors in use. Six of the ports provide battery backup power, with the rest having standard surge protection. If you do not look beforehand, it can be a bit confusing, since only one side of the ports provides the battery backup, so you will need to plan what you want backup power for as you plug everything in.
“Featuring a total of 10 outlets, the APC 1500VA has the ports you would hope for to replace the current assortment of surge protectors in use.”
While it may seem frustrating to not have everything protected by the battery backup, it makes sense when considering that every additional thing will put an extra load on the battery. I would much rather have the current setup than there being either too few ports or everything protected and having no real time with the battery should an emergency happen. While not ideal, the current setup makes sense, at least once you nail down what you want powered and what you want just surge protected.
As mentioned before, the APC 1500VA Gaming UPS also features three charging ports on the front. These include one USB-C and two USB-A, making it perfect for easy access charging of your phone, controller, or anything else needed without the frustration of extra adaptors. The APC 1500VA also includes connections for 1 GB data line, so even your LAN cable will be protected, since there is nothing worse than having working hardware with the Ethernet port burnt out.
The setup process for the APC 1500VA Gaming UPS was a bit more complex than your standard power bar, but if you have ever used a UPS before, it shouldn’t be too different. You need to ensure you plug in the battery before you get the rest of the APC ready to go. This is as easy as opening the back and following the instructions, but it can be a bit fickle if this is your first time.
Beyond that, the APC 1500VA Gaming UPS is relatively limited in terms of smart features, so you just need to set everything up how you want it, considering the different types of plugs, and you should be good to go. The cord is long enough that it should give you freedom to place it in the optimal location, and the design makes it easy to slide in and feel a part of the current assortment of gear.
“The APC 1500VA also includes connections for 1 GB data line, so even your LAN cable will be protected…”
There is also the option to use the PowerChute Software for PC. This software lets you adjust some of the more advanced features of the APC 1500VA Gaming UPS. While not necessary, with the system running perfectly fine without ever touching the software, it does let you use self-testing, hibernation, and the option to have the software shut your PC down should there be a power outage. Something that is very important should you be using the APC to keep important work safe on the same PC you game with.
After the 14-hour charge time, the system is ready to protect your gear. When I was set up, I got to see what the APC could really do. Once ready, the APC 1500Va gives around enough power to have a console, TV, and internet connection plugged into the backup, with around 10-20 minutes’ worth of power depending on your setup. While not ideal, and for the price I was hoping for a bit more, it should be more than enough to save or finish a segment without feeling crushing pressure. It was also more than enough to keep things running should there be a brief brownout, so nothing would be lost in the brief interruption.
“Once ready, the APC 1500VA gives around enough power to have a console, TV and internet connection plugged into the backup, with around 10-20 minutes’ worth of power depending on your setup.”
The LCD screen worked well at giving a clear picture of the power level, what was left and what the load on the APC is at any given time. It also gives an easy read out to help you plan what gear you should plug in. The more components you have attached, the less time you will have, so the screen helps sort out what makes most sense, and what you can afford to not run while the power is out. When you hit around 90 percent, don’t expect more than 5 minutes of time to get everything shut down and saved.
The APC 1500VA Gaming UPS also features SineWave and AVR (automatic voltage regulation). This is something seen on higher end surge protectors, and keeps the power as clean as possible, reducing the strain on expensive and sensitive equipment. This is great when considering the price of computers, consoles and displays, so I am very happy to see it included in a gamer centric UPS solution.
This brings me to the price, and while it does exactly what it claims, it is also one of the more expensive home APC solutions. Costing $399, this is a more expensive option even compared to the company’s own APC 1500VA devices. That being said, the design, RGB and overall gamer centric features make sense for the premium cost. While it does work well, you will need to ask yourself if the ‘gamer’ looks are worth the price, as I would have loved to see more smart features at that price-point. Hopefully, the company will take note if they have plans to iterate on the concept.
As it stands, the APC 1500VA Gaming UPS is a great option for people that game or work and need that extra layer of protection. While it comes at a higher price, the look and lights will help it feel like a part of your current gaming gear. Delivering the protection and power required with a stylish design, if you crave only the best while gaming, the APC 1500VA Gaming UPS will give you the protection you need and look the part while it does so.