Top critical review
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critical comparison TS836A vs. Kill-a-watt P4400
on January 2, 2015
I got this the other day. I already own 2 P3 International P4400 Kill-a-watt meters which are very similar in function.
Here's why the TS836A is better:
The display has three lines instead of one. more info at a time. Not well used though...
The plug is lower on the unit and does not block the second outlet of a duplex outlet receptacle
The unit remembers min and max power levels.
The unit has an internal NiMH battery and keeps the accumulated time and KWH and min/max Power info in the event of power failure or just moving the unit.
The unit enables cost per KWH entry to calculate actual cost rather than just KWH
Current is displayed xx.xxx vs. xx.xx for the P4400. One more decimal of resolution. Too bad the current reading is much worse accuracy than the P4400!
Here's why the Kill-a-watt P4400 is better:
2% error on current and watts vs 5% error on current and watts for the TS386A (spec was 3% for the TS386A so its out of spec)
Display is easier to read, the segments of the numbers are bolder and much easier to read in dim light and off-angle. esp. when the unit is wall mounted down low.
Individual buttons chose one or two functions only - easier to chose.
The line frequency is displayed with xx.x digits vs. just xx (no decimal) for the TS386A Better frequency resolution is nice if you are using a generator for example.
Ultimately it is a little harder on the TS836A to find the info you want due to the function button having so many functions. The units that show what the numbers are is very small and hard to read. On the P4400 I can just push the button for the function I want and I know what units the number displayed is in.
Picture shows accurately the contrast difference in the displays. (picture here: http://www.amazon.com/review/R2GZM7RIYIITWK/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00009MDBU)
Instructions with the TS836A are a little hard to understand. I don't have the P4400 instructions at hand but I don't recall having such a hard time with them.
Final opinion: I think I like the Kill-a-watt a little better.
P.S. 9 months later, The display is dimmed out and all but unreadable. Definitely a loser now. P4400s all still working and much older. Changing my rating to one star!
And by the way, it doesn't have VA (reactive power) and Power factor of the P4400. something I miss.