ThermoHawk 200

Aron Schatz
January 30, 2007
The Thermohawk 200 is a great gadget for reading surface temperature of objects. This is the first of many consumer electronic reviews to come out of ASE Labs.

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ASE Labs is known for its computer specific reviews. It is with great pleasure that I want to announce that ASE Labs will be venturing into the consumer electronics area as well as computers. With that, here is the first of many reviews that will show you interesting new technologies and cool gadgets.

Thermohawk sent a nifty tool that allows you instantly get temperature readings without touching the surface of the object. This technology is known as IR temperature sensing or a laser thermometer. It is very useful for getting a handle of the temperature inside your computer system and different surfaces.



The Thermohawk packaging is descript and boring. It is what is on the inside that counts.



Included in the packaging is the IR temperature sensor, some batteries and the manual. This sensor is actually model 200 which is the weakest model of the three available. Each better model gains increased range of temperature.


The Thermohawk is basically a small laser pointer sized device that has a single button and a pinhole for changing the scale for the temperature.


The sensor itself is under the cap and behind a piece of glass within the unit. Since the unit uses IR to determine the surface temperature, it does not need to contact the surface. But how does this technology actually work?

Remember that the electromagnetic spectrum considers of many different wavelengths of energy and includes visible light that we can see. On the end of the visual light spectrum lies infrared which is past red and occurs between visible red light and radio waves. .7 microns to 1000 microns is about how large the IR band is. IR will act just like visible light would in that surfaces have refractions and reflections based on how much IR energy the material absorbs. Using this, a sensor that can see the IR spectrum can gauge the temperature of objects by looking at the amount of IR energy is being bounced off the object. Interesting, huh?

Either way, the technology is very mature and it is good to see inexpensive units that can give you an insight into how your computer is pushing out heat.


In Use

The unit works as expected... I tested my body temperature which said I was 95.5 F. It was a bit off, but not bad. I tested just holding the unit in the air and it detected 69 degrees which was right on the money. I next used the unit to detect some surface temperatures on my computer and such. It was reading everything relatively correct as well as I can tell. The RAM on the GPU was well over 100 degrees and the northbridge heatsink was at a whopping 115 F. Pretty cool gadget. Testing a temperature takes about a second and the unit will display it for about 15 seconds before turning off. To change into Celsius, push a pin in the pinhole and the display will change.


For $50, it is a very cool gadget. I have seen similar functioning items for about the same price from Radioshack, but this is just sleeker and functions better. It works as expected and if you are looking for an IR temperature sensor; this is a good one to get.


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