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Customer Review

203 of 244 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simpler and easier to use than a Kill-A-Watt, October 3, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The Belkin Conserve Insight is a very nice piece of hardware and has a number of advantages over the Kill-A-Watt. Firstly, there are three outputs.
1) lbs/CO2 per year (or month)
2) $/year (or month)
3) Watts
Both the CO2 and $ setting can be adjusted to account for the cost and CO2 intensity for your local utility.

Averaging. One very nice feature is that after 45 minutes, the Conserve Insight goes in to averaging mode and displays the projected CO2 and $ per year. This is excellent for appliances that are turned on and off like a laptop or a refrigerator. The Watt display, however does not average. It shows the realtime updates.

Location, Location, Location: The small display for the Conserve Insight is located on the end of a 5 foot long cord. This is much better than the Kill-A-Watt that requires you to crawl on your hands and knees to get a reading. Also, the Conserve Insight is very nicely styled and looks great on a desktop. The Kill-A-Watt is much more utilitarian.

Simple: The Conserve Insight is very simple and easy to use. Personally, I do not have any problem with the Kill-A-Watts ease of use, but I have had trouble explaining it to other people.

Range: The Insight Conserve goes down to a much lower range than the Kill-A-Watt. Whereas the Kill-A-Watt bottoms out at 1 Watt, the Conserve Insight goes down to 0.5 Watts. This is a great help when trying to understand the power usage of wall hanging bricks (AC/DC converters). I am always frustrated with the Kill-A-Watt reading either 0,1, or 2. With the Conserve Insight, I can see the difference between 1.0 and 1.2. Nice.

There are a couple of things I do not like.

Jumping Display: The watt reading updates a little to frequently. When reading the power to my laptop it jumps quickly from 30 watts to 40 watts and back again. This makes it impossible to get a sense of average power consumption.

KWH?: There is no KWH measurement. However, this can be back calculated from the $ reading and the $/KWH setting you applied to it.

Highly recommend this product.
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Tracked by 5 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 21 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 8, 2010 1:45:50 PM PST
Ima Reviewer says:
Lack of kWh was a point made by a 4-Star reviewer also. They wanted to determine the cost of a load of laundry and use of the TV for an hour but could not get it directly with this product. With their Kill-A-Watt they could. Having neither of the products, I'm still unsure which to buy.

Posted on Mar 9, 2011 3:11:37 PM PST
YL says:
When you mention the the outputs this device displays (co2/year; $/year), is this the total co2 and $ if the unit stayed on constantly throughout the year?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 9, 2011 4:31:19 PM PST
Yes, that is right. The device is estimating the total C02 or $ per year based on the usage it has seen so far. It gets more accurate the longer you leave it connected. Perhaps leaving it connected for a week would be appropriate for appliances that go on and off like computers or refrigerators.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 24, 2011 9:08:15 PM PDT
Joe Gunn says:
While the meter does not directly provide accumulated power use readings, you can set the cost per KWH to ten cents and convert the cost number to a power use number in your head. Power companies are constantly adjusting their rates, so this is probably the best use of the cost readout feature in any case.

Posted on Jul 4, 2011 10:33:24 AM PDT
B. Altman says:
Sounds like this has only 2 benefits over a kill-a-watt:
1. The display is located on a cable so that it is easier to see.
2. It has measurements down to .5W instead of 1W on the kill-a-watt.

Number 1 is a convenience thing. Number 2 might be helpful but in light of its cons it sounds like the kill-a-watt is better overall because it is a more flexible device.

Also, how can it know about the CO2 production as I would have thought different power plants are going to have different efficiencies etc. and produce different amounts anyway?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 4, 2011 11:30:40 AM PDT
The CO2 calculation on the Belkin work like other such devices. They rely on the user to input the number of pounds (or kilograms or tons) of carbon per KWH. As you suggest, this depends on the energy mix in your area. Some areas of the USA have lots of coal (higher pounds/KWH) some areas have lots of hydro (lower pounds/KWH). There are websites that let you track such things.

Clearly CO2 measurement is a little tricky, but it is of interest to a lot of people.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 27, 2011 9:07:45 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 27, 2011 9:09:55 AM PDT
consumer says:
The kill-a-watt p4460 does calculate actual electricity usage only when a device is on. It is inconvenient to read if you need to get down on hands and knees at the outlet where the kill-a-watt is plugged in. It is also large enough to block use of the second outlet in standard wall outlet. The only problem I've had with the kill-a-watt was when measuring electricity use by a space heater over several days. On one p4460 it actually melted the plastic around the prong spaces and on another it destroyed the read out. P3 International replaced the first without charge. After the second failure I assumed the device simply would not safely measure a high wattage device (even though the space heaters operating specs were within the p4460 allowable measuring range).

Posted on Jun 1, 2012 5:20:08 AM PDT
Diane R says:
Bending down to read a Kill-A-Watt? You can always put the Kill-A-Watt monitor and device to be measured at the end of an extension cord.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2012 5:52:00 AM PDT
Great point. In fact my Kill-A-Watt is always attached to a power strip for that very reason.

However, using the Kill-A-Watt in this way means bring one big heavy power cord up to the top of the desk (or top of the counter, or where-ever) and then a second big heavy power cord back behind the desk. Very cumbersome. Also, the display will not necessarily even be rightside up, and the power cord is often blocking the display and the buttons.

By contrast, the Belkin Conserve has one single small computer mouse sized cord leading to the display which makes it easy to locate. Also the display is easily placed rightside up with no cord to block your view.

Again, advantages and disadvantages to each device. But usability is definitely better with the Belkin Conserve.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2012 6:03:35 AM PDT
Diane R says:
Hi John,
A kill-a-watt user could always go to the hardware store and buy a plastic electrical box configured in such a way that when the meter is plugged into the extension cord (inside the box) it sits on top of the box opening creating a convenient desktop holder.
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Location: Lexington, MA USA

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