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Case, Power Supply, Fan Reviews
  Product:     Seasonic Power Angel Monitor  
  Price:     $41 (CAN) / $35 (U.S)
  Supplied By:     Seasonic Electronics
  Author:     Skaal-Tel
  Date:     November 9th, 2005
  Rating:     star star star star star star star star

MODTHEBOX would like to thank Celia from Seasonic Electronics for providing the Seasonic Power Angel Monitor for review.

Seasonic Power Angel Monitor

Introduction:

According to Seasonic's website, the Power Angel is nifty little tool designed to be an indispensable 21st Century tool for intelligent consumers, IT departments, hobbyists, and even business or factory managers. The premise behind this product is that it can help reduce electricity costs, minimize energy consumption, and assess the electricity needs of equipment. Displaying a multitude of useful power statistics, and being no larger than a double cd pack, I am very intrigued as to the capabilities of this unit. Today in the MTB Labs, we will be evaluating the Seasonic Power Angel Monitor, a product aimed squarely electronics enthusiasts.

Specifications:

The Seasonic Power Angel Monitor conveiniently allows consumers to examine the energy efficiency of appliances, see how much an always-on device adds to a monthly electricity bill, or determine the total heat generated by a computer. All the information os provided on a simple LCD digital display. Here are some specifications taken directly from the Seasonic Electronics website:

Seasonic Power Angel Monitor - Key Specifications:
Seasonic Power Angel Monitor: Manufactured by Seasonic Electronics
Dimension: 133.6mm (L) x 70.0mm (W) x 39.6mm (H)
Weight: 130 grams
Approvals: ETL for US and Canada
Model number: SSM-1508RA
AC Input: 115 V, 50/60 Hz
Maximum Voltage: 125 V, 50/60 Hz
Maximum Current: 15 A
Maximum Power: 1875 VA
Accuracy: 2%
Warranty: 6 months
Power Consumption: 10 W max
Operating environment: 0~40C, 80% relative humidity
8 precision meter functions: Voltage, Current (V), Power (W), Power Factor, VA, Accumulated KWH, Duration (in time after power on)

Seasonic Power Angel
Click image for larger view
Seasonic Power Angel
Click image for larger view
 

The Seasonic Power Angel Monitor arrived in a standard retail blister package with a moderately educational set of instructions on the back and the usual shiny stuff on the front. I had previously entertained notions of hooking up an ammeter to my computer's power plug just to get an idea of precisely how much of a wattage drain a pretty regular system creates. The Power Angel promised to help me avoid the occasional spark which is always a good thing for safety precautions. Essentially, the Power Angel Monitor is a multimeter with a built in calculator. The device has the three regular North American prongs on the backside, and a socket on the front. You can plug your power bar into the Power Angel Monitor and get a reading on the whole system or just your computer system.

The Power Angel Monitor has 6 buttons on the front, in order to display Voltage, Amperage, Wattage/Volt Amperes, Hz/Power Factor, and Kilowatt Hours/Hours. A second press of each of the dual function buttons will bring up the alternate display for each of them.

Seasonic Power Angel
Click image for larger view
 
Personally, I can't really figure what use a computer technician would have with the Power Angel Monitor and I am a computer technician by trade. The unit displays power factor, for one - useful if your electric company bills you for a variance from their set household pf rating usually fairly near 1.0 Also, it displays a rough estimation of watts and amps draw and I do say rough, because it wasn't sensitive enough to pick up my cell phone charger at all. In any case, the estimation can be useful if you want to know how much your computer system is drawing, wattage wise. The KWH and Hour rating can be useful if you want to see just how long any given item is powered on for any length of time. This gives you something to compare the KWH reading to if, for instance, you are paying electrical bills and are trying to trim expenses.

I plugged my PC power bar which powers a set of 4.1 speakers, a 19" CRT, and my middle tier powered gaming machine into the Power Angel Monitor for a grand total of 380 hours. In that time, I drew 46.04 KW/H of juice at a power factor of 0.66. Even when powered off, my computer read .19 A or 12W, and when powered on the whole shebang drew around 260-290 watts. Can you tell I don't have an SLI setup? That's right, a Radeon 9800 Pro powered PC doesn't even come close to 300 watts which is generally the lowest power supply rating you can find for a desktop.

Seasonic Power Angel
Click image for larger view
 
In any case, the Seasonic Power Angel Monitor certainly lived up to my expectations. It steadfastly displayed all relevant information very clearly. The LCD letters, while not backlit in any fashion, are clear and easily viewable from any angle. As well, whichever statistic is being viewed is displayed on the screen. As far as aesthetics go, I would have preferred that the box be a little less flashy plastic and a little more solid business. The casing can very nearly be pulled apart by hand and contains a fair amount of empty space. Also, when plugged into a wall jack, the rounded bottom prevents anything else being in that same jack. Nonetheless, on the whole, I found the item to be potentially very useful.

Modding the Seasonic Power Angel Monitor:

If you wanted, a quick removal of the three screws holding the back on (and voiding the 6 month warranty) could net you some useful circuitry. If you slap the board into a much smaller case, turn the F->M socket in the bottom into a corded remote and you'd really have something useful on your hands. Of course, you could also always paint it with some nifty colours..

Conclusion:

If you need to know how much power something is costing you, perhaps with a UPS backup, a tight electrical bill, or general idle curiosity, the Seasonic Power Angel Monitor will certainly fill that need. At an approximately $35 U.S / $41 CDN dollar price point, I wouldn't be too surprised to see this product in all kinds of places you might not expect such as Home Depot, Canadian Tire or Walmart. I think that this item has a chance with non-computer usage as well as your dollars. During my evaluation, I never had any serious issues with the Seasonic Power Angel Monitor, and if you yearn to learn your power draw, this is the recommended product to buy. Overall, I'm rating the Seasonic Power Angel Monitor a final rating of 8 out of 10. If you have any questions regarding this review be sure to visit the Seasonic website for more information or discuss them in our forums.

 
Thumbs Up! Pros:
  • Fairly accurate readings
  • Price
  • Multitude of pre-calculated information
  • Easy to use
  • Clear LCD screen
Thumbs Down! Cons:
  • Cheap construction
  • Definitely will not replace a good digital multimeter

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