ThermoHawk 200 Touchless Thermometer review
The ThermoHawk 200 is pretty small and has a silver-colored metal housing. To measure the temperature of an object you need to pull the cap of the ThermoHawk and push the grey rubber button. Compared to conventional analog or digital thermometers these touchless thermometers are blazing fast. A temperature reading appears almost instantly on the display of your unit.
The LCD display is pretty simple, it shows you the temperature and the temperature scale (Celsius or Fahrenheit) you're using. There's also a two-block battery life indicator.
So how does this thermometer work? Here's a short explanation:
All objects emit infrared energy. If you paid some attention at school you may know that as objects increase in heat their molecules become more active. This increases the amount of emitted infrared energy. The ThermoHawk has an optical sensor that collects the emitted infrared energy and sends it to a detector to convert it to digital reading.
Infrared thermometers have a couple of advantages over contact surface thermometers:
- IR thermometers can measure temperatures of hot, hazardous, sterile or small areas without contact.
- According to Q3 Innovations IR thermometers are much more accurate.
- Infrared thermometers are a lot quicker. Response times are as low as half a second, while conventional thermometers sometimes take up to 30 seconds to get a good reading.
You may wonder how accurate the ThermoHawk 200 is. I compared it to some other thermometers, including a more professional infrared thermometer from 3M and a normal digital thermometer. The readings were pretty similar, in most cases the difference between the readings from the three thermometers was within a 0.5°C to 1.0°C range. It's kinda hard to make a good comparison because without some really expensive equipment you won't know which thermometer is really right. According to Q3 Innovations, the most accurate reading are made in the 0°C to 50°C (32°F to 122°F) range. From 10° to 100°F the accuracy is around 1°F and from 100°F to 230° the accuracy is roughly 2.5%.
I've been using the ThermoHawk 200 for almost a week now and found it to be a really cool gadget. You can easily use this device to measure temperatures in your case and find hot spots. You can quickly measure the temperatures of heatsinks, memory, parts of your graphics card, MOSFETS, your hard drive(s), and much more. The possibilities are endless, when browsing the web for more info about this unit I even came across an article from a fellow reviewer over at TweakNews who used the device to find spots in his house where the cold is coming in. He then fixed these isolation problems and will now be able to save some bucks on his heating bills thanks to the ThermoHawk.
The ThermoHawk 200 and 400 are easy to carry with you and can easily be attached to your keybelt but they do have one design issue. The button is too easily activated, if you carry the unit a lot with you in your pocket this could eat up a lot of your battery life. I've been using this unit for about a week now and couldn't really notice any other big problems. However, one welcome addition would be a backlight for the LCD display. It's easy to read in normal light conditions but a backlight would allow you to use it in darker light conditions.
The ThermoHawk 200 is priced at $39.99, the ThermoHawk 400 sells for $49.99 and the ThermoHawk 400L goes for $79.99.
The Good Stuff:
- Measures temperatures almost instantly
- Very easy to use
- Compact size
- It doesn't feel flimsy
The Bad Stuff:
- Button can be pushed accidentally in your pocket
- No backlight for the display.
- The price may be pretty high for something you won't use a lot.
I give the Q3 Innovations ThermoHAWK 200 a 8.5/10.
Added: February 12th 2007
Product reviewed: ThermoHawk 200 Touchless Thermometer
Reviewer: Thomas De Maesschalck