When I paid $160 CAN for this unit, I was expecting exceptional design and component quality to justify the price tag for its modest specifications compared to slightly more expensive units. Aside from the great battery and neat movable display though, there are too many important things to dislike about Tripp-Lite's SMART1000LCD:
- high standby power draw due to using the inverter transformer for operating power instead of a power-efficient standby power supply
- high standby temperature due to said high standby power dissipation
- third-tier capacitors
- no breaker
I was originally planning to give this unit to my mother to power her VoIP installation, but with its horrible 12W of standby power, this UPS would waste more power than the modem, router and ATA combined. I would not normally return a tear-down guinea pig to the store out of respect for whoever might end up buying it, but in this case I simply do not want to encourage the manufacturer by keeping it.
By the way, and for comparison’s sake, I wrote in the LX1500 story that it drew 9W. That was actually incorrect: the unit was drawing 9VA while its real power was 4.5W. That includes its built-in USB power supply.
My plan for the next installment? Get the cheapest UPS I can find and see how it fares compared to the SMART. Want to bet on whether the sub-$100 UPS will win?
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