This DIY security system looks like an iPad, protects like a Sentri

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Kronosight, a startup composed of Asus, Acer, and HTC alums, launched a Kickstarter campaign in June of 2014 for Sentri, a DIY home security system with a distinct Apple vibe. By the end if its funding period, the tablet-security system hybrid had nearly doubled its original $200,000 goal. Kickstarter contributors were able to snag a Sentri for less, but the retail price has been set at $299 and units will start shipping on November 27.

Sentri doesn't look like an IP camera, but it has a lot of the same features as Icontrol's Piper and Piper NV , two highly rated all-in-one home security cameras and Canary , another comprehensive DIY system that didn't perform quite as well as its Icontrol competitors. The main difference between them and Sentri lies in design execution.

Where Piper and Canary are controlled entirely on their related apps, Sentri adds a home screen interface where you can access details directly, like the current temperature, humidity, weather and air quality. Each Sentri also has a built-in HD camera, motion detector, microphone and speaker, as well as night-vision capabilities, but you can access even more from the Sentri Android or iOS app, including live streaming.

I've spent some hands-on time with Sentri and so far, I'm torn. It definitely looks neat and it's easy to set up -- simply enter in your Wi-Fi details and register with your email address and a password -- but I'm not convinced that the interface has much to offer.

You can use it to check the ambient indoor temperature and the humidity, as well as the air quality and the weather. You can also scroll through any motion-related photos or video clips and set home and away modes. But, the touchscreen does have a slight delay -- it just doesn't have the same responsiveness that you'll find with a standard smartphone or tablet.

There's a question of value there, too. Sure, it sort of looks like an older-gen iPad, but I can actually buy an actual older-gen iPad for less than the $299 Sentri. In that case, maybe it would make even more sense to get the iPad, download the free Manything iOS app and use it in combination with IFTTT to watch over your home instead.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Kronosight says its Sentri units can work as hubs for integration with third-party smart lights, outlets and thermostats, though. Right now, it lists Nest , Belkin WeMo and Philips Hue , as its partnered integrations. But since Sentri is supposed to be able to recognize any device with an open API/SDK, there's potential to add more over time.

It's also supposedly equipped with a learning algorithm similar to the Nest Learning Thermostat and the Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat . That means that it should be able to track your usage patterns and adapt accordingly, sending you alerts when something unexpected happens (e.g., a huge temperature swing or a motion trigger). I haven't tested Sentri's advanced features yet, but I'll be looking at them more over the coming days, so expect a full review in short order.

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Where to Buy

Kronosight Sentri

Part Number: CNETSentri

Typical Price: £117.00

See manufacturer website for availability.