Tuesday June 18, 2024

P3 International 4460 Kill-A-Watt Electricity Usage Monitor Review

Build Quality
One thing that I did notice, as some other people have mentioned, is the plastic housing of the Kill-A-Watt seems cheap. When removing it from a tight outlet sometimes it feels like the plastic casing is going to split in half at the seam. I usually try to support it with my other hand & grab it towards the back, or if it feels like it's pulling weird I'll stop and try another way. I've also had the plugs bend some when attempting to plug it into a tigher outlet. Usually you realize when it's not fitting in right, but for $40 you'd think it would feel pretty solid and not like you were going to crack something. After all, the whole purpose of the device is to plug it into outlets & remove it multiple times.. if it was a one-time thing it would be acceptable if it didn't feel all that stable.

Other Short-comings
There are a few other short-comings that would be great to see addressed in a future model. Unfortunately the display does not light up, so if you plug the Kill-A-Watt in behind an appliance, reading the display can be a difficult or impossible task. Why have the convenience of having it automatically calculate energy costs if you can't read the display? When plugged into the wall, the Kill-A-Watt covers both electrical outlets -- the manual explains that you can use an approved extension cord if you don't want to cover both outlets. Why not have a small cord coming out of the Kill-O-Watt and solve the problem of the plug feeling chintsy and also the problem of covering both electrical outlets?

Overall Thoughts
There's not much competition in the market of measuring electricity costs -- which is why P3 International is able to charge $40 for a gadget that doesn't feel extremely well-built. Fortunately, it is a very useful gadget and still well-worth the cost if it can help save you the $40 it costs within a short period of time. Many people don't realize just how much electricity an appliance is costing them and haven't had the need to worry about such things. Hopefully as the need to trim monthly expenses increases, there will be more demand for devices like the Kill-A-Watt and the competition will drive prices for these electricity monitors lower.

The Kill-A-Watt is a straight-forward electricity usage monitor, and it does the job well. If you don't have many appliances, you're probably not going to find it very useful after the first few days. It's not a videogame, it's not going to walk the dog, and it's not meant to be "fun" in the sense of entertaining. The Kill-A-Watt is a great device for gadget-crazy consumers who have more electronics plugged in than they can count on four hands and it's great to have a way to put an end to those "electronic vampires" that keep making an appearance on your monthly electric bill.

Ease of Use: 4.5/5.0
Build Quality: 3.0/5.0
Usefulness: 4.5/5.0

Final Rating: 4.0/5.0

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