TP-Link Kasa Smart KP401 review: not a good value

The Kasa Smart KP401 Single Outlet Outdoor Smart Plug from TP-Link has something going for it – it’s TP-Link’s most affordable outdoor smart plug. Not a bad product by any means, it’s just the Wyze Plug Outdoor features double plugs and costs only $ 1 more. If you don’t want to get out of the Kasa Smart ecosystem, the dual-outlet Kasa Smart EP40 costs just $ 8 more than the single-outlet KP401.

Practice time with the KP401 reveals hardware and software that is decidedly familiar. The IP64 weather resistance is solid, though again the rubber cover on the outlet doesn’t feel strong enough. An LED-illuminated button on the top of the device provides manual on / off control; the LED can be disabled in the control app if you prefer. The maximum power allowed is 15 amps / 1875 watts or up to a ½ horsepower motor. As with its other Kasa products, TP-Link claims to have a wireless range of up to 300 feet.

This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best smart plugs, where you will find reviews of competing offerings, as well as a buyer’s guide on the features to consider when purchasing this type of product.

TP-Link’s Kasa Smart app is used for setup, only on a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi network, as with all Kasa Smart products, and even though I ran into an issue with the app that refused to accept a name for it newly configured plug, rebooted the setup process completed a second time without incident. (I had a similar problem with the EP40). Performance is fine, but not dazzling; the plug frequently took several seconds to respond to commands, although the usual features of the Kasa Smart, including its randomized mode, scheduling system, and off countdown timer, mostly worked fine (albeit slowly).

smart app kasa 3 Christopher Null / IDG

The Kasa Smart app stalled when calculating the run time for the week and month.

As with other Kasa smart plugs, the KP401 includes a runtime monitor that tells you how long the plug has been powered on during the last day, week, and month. Interestingly, with this plug I noticed a bug that was not correctly calculating the total runtime for the week and month, unless you can somehow use the device more in a day than you can in a week. (This is definitely a small software issue that will be fixed soon enough.) Support for voice assistants Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Samsung Bixby remains standard on the device.

If you’re immersed in the Kasa Smart ecosystem and in need of an outdoor smart plug, the $ 24 Kasa Smart EP40 Dual Socket is a much better value. If you’re platform independent, the $ 18 Wyze Plug Outdoor Dual Socket is an even better deal.

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