Review: Belkin Conserve Switch
The Conserve Switch is a combination powerboard and surge protector, with two ‘always on’ sockets and six ‘remote switched’ sockets that can be controlled by an included battery-powered remote.
Harley Ogier | Tuesday, November 06 2012
Product type: Surge protector with remote switching
RRP incl GST: $170
- Battery-powered remote switch (up to 20m range)
- Two unswitched sockets, six switched
- Surge protector for mains and phone line (or TV aerial)
Well-designed surge protector with useful remote-switching functionality, good for accessory-heavy PC or home entertainment setups.
The Conserve Switch is a combination powerboard and surge protector, with two ‘always on’ sockets and six ‘remote switched’ sockets that can be controlled by an included battery-powered remote. The remote switches all six sockets on or off at once: there’s no individual control.
We tested two versions: the Conserve Switch, and Conserve Switch AV. Both are the same price; the only difference is that the former includes surge protection for a phone line (for your modem or router), and the latter has surge protection for a TV aerial/satellite dish instead.
The remote switch can be mounted a maximum of twenty metres from the powerboard, and includes a cradle for wall-mounting that makes it look much like a large lightswitch.
The board itself consumes about 0.5 Watts – around half that of our test PC’s original surge protector. By switching off the monitor and speakers when our test PC was sleeping or off, we saved approximately 7W of wasted power (around $12.50/year based on those accessories being off 18-hours a day). With my personal gaming PC, I was only able to save around 3W. By the same calculation, that’s only $3.10 saved per year. It’s the kind of saving that matters across a population, but it’s unlikely to provide great benefit to you individually.
It’s very slightly less than you’d save by turning everything off at the wall – but it’s convenient, and allows you to keep always-on gadgets such as your router or NAS connected and surge-protected through its unswitched sockets.
We particularly liked the AV version, which lets you keep the power cabling for your TV, sound system, Blu-ray player, game console and such hidden away in an attractive and child-safe cabinet, whilst still letting you be ‘green’ and switch everything off when you’re done. Mount the switch on the wall next to the couch, and you won’t even have to get up.
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