updated 10:10 am EDT, Tue October 2, 2012
Second-gen Nest thermostat gets sleeker design, internal changes, new software
Nest has introduced its second-generation Learning Thermostat that's much thinner and has more advanced features. Compared to the original, the new one is 20 percent thinner, lacks the sensor grille on the front, and has a solid stainless steel perimeter ring. There are changes under the skin as well, with the mounting screw holes now at the top and bottom of the thermostat.
Hooking up hardware is easier thanks to new wire connectors, with a new connector that can take on W3, E, HUM, or DEHUM connectors. The built-in level of the original is retained. More heating and cooling systems can be controlled by the device, with 95 percent of low-voltage systems, including 2nd- and 3rd-stage cooling, 3rd-stage heating, dual fuel, emergency heat, and whole-home humidifiers and dehumidifiers.
There is also new software onboard, though owners of the original Nest will get the update as well when they connect to the web over Wi-Fi. The software can now detect the type of system it's connected to and issue reminders about filter change intervals.
Through compatible Android apps, owners of Nexus 7, Kindle Fire, and other Android apps can control their Nest thermostat over Wi-Fi.
The new thermostat can now be pre-ordered for $250, with shipping due to start on October 15.