My Smart home gets smarter and smarter thanks to the Amazon Echo, but with the Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini by TP-Link, the sky’s the limit.
TP-Link sent over their Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini (HS105) which you can purchase for $49.99. With no hub required, it’s one of the slimmest socket outlets on the market, and one of the few that support the Amazon Echo. In tandem with the third party Kasa app (free on iOS), you can now completely control the appliance you plug into this outlet, regardless of it not being compatible with an Amazon Echo.
When you unbox the TP-Link Mini HS105, you’ll get the set of instructions that come with it, as well as the TP-Link Mini (HS105) included. It’s a very slim looking design that sits landscape in an outlet saving you a huge deal of room. Weighing in at four ounces, it’s super light so even if you decided to move it to another outlet, it will fit perfectly there as well, and has up to 120 volts that it can supply. TP-Link gives it a two-year warranty which was a bit of a shock since most other companies offer five, maybe ten, but honestly I’m not fazed by it at all.
The housing has the output on the front with a button to the right hand side to physically turn appliances on and off if you wish. I personally wish that the outlet would’ve been to the side of the TP-Link Mini so you could plug electronics behind your couch if it sat flush against a wall, which is perfect for home theatre systems, but this shouldn’t be a bother to anyone at all.
Unlike the larger TP-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug, the Mini version of it is slim enough to still leave room at the top or bottom so you can plug any other home appliance next to it without feeling like your outlet is cluttered. So if you happen to have a surge protector and wanted to use this TP-Link Mini Plug, you would still have room as well, which is a welcome change in the newer models that I didn’t quite like about the more rounded version of the original by TP-Link. While the Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini isn’t compatible with Apple’s HomeKit like my other products, the fact that it works with the Amazon Echo is enough to love, especially over the holidays. I received mine a bit after Christmas so my intentions of using it to tell Alexa to turn off my Christmas Tree lights didn’t happen, I opted to use the TP-Link Mini in my Kitchen which is plugged up to the coffee maker.
In efforts to save a bit more energy and lower the bill in in my home, it’s nice to be able to wake up and tell Alexa to turn on the coffee machine. While my Hamilton Beach coffee machine isn’t as bright as the plug that houses it, one thing that I don’t concern myself with now is another appliance pointlessly being plugged in and drawing electricity although it’s not running. And when I’m done, I simply tell Alexa to “turn off the coffee machine” and it does just that.
Jess has gone another step however and managed to schedule the pot to come on exactly when she wants to brew coffee every morning thanks to the TP-Link Mini having scheduling capabilities directly from the Kasa app. When she get home from work in the evening and decides she wants an ice coffee, the Casa is set to schedule every day at a particular time to turn on, and while it won’t brew until she physically does it, once it’s all done, at 11pm, the appliance gets shut off automatically thanks to scheduling. This is just ONE of many features the TP-Link gives you when you are growing a smart home but your appliances are still slowly catching up.
There’s an “Away Mode” for the TP-Link Mini which is perfect if you want to connect lights such as your Phillips Hue when you’re not home to give the impression that you are, or if you just like to have your lights turn on when you arrive in the driveway. The app manages to do this well when I tried it. I set an Away Mode when we were out of town so when the sun went down, the lights came on every day at the same time like clockwork. Felt like Kevin McAllister from Home Alone a bit, but it was pretty neat.
Overall, I personally love the TP-Link Mini, and it’s integration with the Amazon Alexa has even furthered my love for the popular home product that took 2016 by storm. I feel as though I’m running out of appliances in my home to plug into smart outlets, but if you are on a mission of starting your Smart Home, and you just so happen to have an Amazon Echo, I can vouch… THIS is where you should start. You can get the expensive lights a bit further down the line, and still live with using your pre-existing ones, until you are ready.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review unit
What I Like: Super slim and doesn’t take away from second outlet
What Needs Improvement: Would much rather being able to plug in from the side of the device.