Yale to offer new keyless smart locks

Newer, smaller models are said to be available as soon as this month.

Ry Crist

Ry Crist

Senior Editor / Reviews - Appliances

Originally hailing from Troy, Ohio, Ry Crist is a text-based adventure connoisseur, a lover of terrible movies and an enthusiastic yet mediocre cook. A CNET editor since 2013, Ry's beats include smart home tech, lighting, appliances, and home networking.

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Editors' Note: Updated July 24, 2014 with additional pricing and availability information.

Yale will soon be expanding its lineup of keyless smart locks, the Connecticut-based company announced today. Available by next month, the new locks are promising a smaller design, simplified installation, and "one-button enrollment" into existing Z-Wave networks.

Along with a new touchscreen model similar to the one we reviewed last year , Yale is putting out a less-extravagant push-button variation, too. That's a first from the Yale Real Living line of keyless locks, which up until now have been touchscreen only.

Sacrificing that touchscreen seems like a sensible way to bring the price point down, and that's exactly what you get with the push-button model, which will retail for $200. That's $75 less than the previous, touchscreen-only generation's MSRP, and about $20 less than what you'll spend on the Kwikset Kevo .

Still, the touch-to-enter Kevo has an undeniably higher "cool factor," so it would have been nice to see Yale push the price of its comparatively less exciting lock down further still.

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Coded entry brings some pretty intriguing functionality to your front door. Setting temporary codes for guests and house workers seems like an especially good idea, as you can easily delete the code as soon as you don't need it anymore.

Some home-automation networks might even regulate the specific dates and times when specific codes will be accepted. Another potential perk is the ability to automate smart devices simply by locking or unlocking the deadbolt -- a great way of turning on connected lights or appliances as soon as you get home.

A decent home-automation system should also be able to give you alerts if the lock's batteries are starting to run low, so that you can replace them before getting locked out. Even if you're using no such network, Yale's lock will flash you warnings when the battery is about drained. Should you ignore them and get locked out anyway, you'll still be able to connect a 9V battery to the exterior of the lock, giving it just enough juice for you to enter your code and get inside.

Yale tells us that the push-button model (B1L) will be available as soon as this month, with the touchscreen model (T1L) following a few weeks later at a price of $240. Yale sells locks in Australia and the UK, but tells us that neither of the two new models will be made available outside of the US.