ProsA simple but brilliant way to save energy; includes extension cable; easy to setup and use
ConsPrice is just a bit high; won't work with PCs that have "sleep issues", overly bright power light
Here at The Tech Buyer's Guru, we receive dozens of e-mails every week, sometimes every day, from companies trying to get coverage for the "next big thing." A lot of these products are in pre-release, typically as part of a crowdfunding campaign, and most of them are clearly (from our point of view) over-promising in order to pull in the pre-sales.
But every so often, a small company comes to us with something truly great. And that's what we have here with the TS1910 USB Motion Sensor from TrickleStar. Is this the most innovative, ground-breaking product ever? No, it's not, but then again, if it claimed to be, you could pretty much be guaranteed that it would fail on multiple counts. No, the TS1910 is a simple, clever, and relatively inexpensive device that just makes sense from the word go. And that's the kind of innovation we love.
So what is the TS1910? Well, it's a motion sensor for your PC. Isn't that a fantastic concept? Really, we've tested a wide range Smart Home gear that purports to automate various aspects of home life, but why not automate your PC? As we mentioned, this is a simple device, and it has one and only one purpose: to put your PC to sleep if no motion is detected over a pre-determined period of time. Sure, that's kind of like the sleep function built into every PC since the turn of the century, but it's also a whole lot better, because ultimately, when do you want your PC to be sleeping? When you aren't using it, and if you're not sitting in front of it, you're typically not using it!
By the way, another reason we were drawn to this product is that it saves energy, something we think everyone should be interested in, whether for environmental or economic reasons. Indeed, TrickleStar's entire product line is directed at saving energy, with most of its products designed around AV equipment, with the goal of reducing "vampire" energy use from devices such as cable boxes, TVs, and DVD players. This is worthy goal, and we're glad that TrickleStar has brought its expertise to the computing community. So let's see how it works, shall we?
Thank you to TrickleStar for providing a sample of the TS1910 USB Motion Sensor for review.
Description and Features
The TS1910 USB Motion Sensor doesn't break any new ground in terms of industrial design, and at first glance, you might recoil a bit at its $40 asking price. It's basically just a little black box (approximately 2.25" wide, 1.5" deep, and 0.5" tall), with a motion sensor embedded in it. It comes packaged with a few pieces of 3M double-stick tape, along with an attached 10" USB cable and a 40" extension cable. It's designed to be mounted to a monitor, although there's no reason you can't attach it to a desk, keyboard, or even a PC itself, assuming it's in visual line of sight of the user. If you have a monitor with a built-in USB hub, simply plugging the TS1910 into your monitor is probably the most straightforward installation method, although you might still need to use the extension cable to avoid having the short attached cable sticking out. And while 40" is quite generous in terms of an extension cable, we imagine there are plenty of users who sit even further from there PCs, such that an additional extension will be necesseary (many keyboard and mice, for example, have 6-foot cables, and typical monitor cables are 6-feet long as well).
There are just two controls on the TS1910, one being the PC/Mac selector (which presumably alters the trigger signal due to the different ways the two systems enter sleep), and the second being a manual sleep button that doubles as a timer selector. Press it once, and it will put your PC to sleep just like hitting the sleep button on a keyboard (or manually sleeping it via the Windows Start menu), hold it down for 10 seconds or so and it will enter a "programming" mode, where you can alter the default 15-minute sleep time delay (10, 20, 25, and 30 minutes are the other options)
So, that's it. Not much too it, right? Well, there's actually more to it than that, as we found in our real-world testing!