Review: Belkin Conserve Smart Power
- — 30 October, 2012 22:00
|Name||Powerboard with auto-off accessory sockets: Belkin Conserve Smart Power|
|At a glance:||4 ‘master-controlled’ sockets turn off when ‘master’ device does,2 uncontrolled sockets for always-on accessories|
|Summary:||Power saving with zero effort beyond the initial purchase and plug-in. Practically perfect.|
This seven-socket powerboard is a bulky 7cm tall, and expensive at $90. However, it possesses the amazing ability to automatically switch off its four ‘master-controlled’ sockets once the device connected to its clearly marked ‘master’ socket stops drawing power. No great feat from an electrical engineering perspective, but hook your PC up using the Conserve Smart Power and it might as well be magic.
Besides plugging in your devices as you would with any other powerboard, there’s no setup process. We connected our test desktop PC to the ‘master’ socket, and our monitor and speaker system to two of the ‘master controlled’ sockets. What happened? Exactly what it says on the box.
A few seconds after turning the PC off, the monitor and speakers would be disconnected from the mains. They’re not left in ‘standby’ – they consume no power at all. More surprisingly, the same thing happened a few seconds after we put the test PC to sleep. Although the PC still drew a little power (around 3.3W, double the 1.2W it consumed while switched off), the powerboard was ‘smart’ enough to consider that an ‘off’ state and shut down the accessories.
The powerboard itself consumed less power than the minimum 0.5 Watts we could measure: it appears to be
With our test system, we saved around 7W of wasted power during PC sleep – the same as we managed with the Conserve Switch (above), and we didn’t have to remember to switch things off ourselves. Again, small savings, but if you have many accessories each with their own power supplies and inefficient ‘sleep’ or ‘standby’ states, it adds up.
Thoroughly recommended for any desktop PC setup, though we’d suggest plugging it in line with a surge protector as it doesn’t provide that functionality itself.