Honeywell Tuxedo Touch

By Ethan Ace, Published Feb 20, 2012, 07:00pm EST

For the past few months, Honeywell has been heavily marketing their Tuxedo Touch, their lastest generation touchscreen keypads. This model features integration to Z-Wave devices, such as lights and thermostats, features which Honeywell claims may save users up to 20% in energy costs. The question is: is this all marketing hype, or is there substance to these claims? In this update, we look at the features of the Tuxedo Touch, potential for home and commercial use, and comparison to competitive offerings from DMP and 2gig.

Overview

The Tuxedo Touch [link no longer available] is a graphic touchscreen keypad compatible with most of its line of VISTA control panels, with the following key features:

  • 7" touchscreen, 800x480 resolution
  • Icon-based interface
  • Built-in Z-Wave controller
  • Built-in webserver

The Tuxedo Touch is currently shipping, in white and silver models. It has an estimated street price of approximately $400, available from Honeywell commercial dealers. Compared to the 6160 [link no longer available], Honeywell's most common non-graphic keypad, this is about 3x the cost. It is much closer in price to their previous graphic keypad, the 6280 [link no longer available], which sells online for about $300, making the Z-Wave and webserver capabilities about a $100 add-on.

Below is Honeywell's marketing promo video that shows the product in action:

Graphic Touchscreen

The touchscreen of the device provides two key benefits:

  • Simpler operation: Traditional, non-graphic keypads may be more difficult for some users to operate, especially infrequent users, as their functions are not often clearly labeled or intuitive. This leads to nuisance alarms when users are unable to disarm a system quickly, or at all. Touchscreen interfaces, such as the Tuxedo Touch, are icon-driven, with the user touching the mode they wish to arm in (away, stay, night, etc.) and entering their code. No other training is required.
  • Slideshow/movie player: The 7" screen may also be used as a digital photo frame/media player. This may be useful to some small businesses for displaying advertisements, logos, or announcements.

Z-Wave Integration

The built-in Z-Wave controller of the Tuxedo Touch allows it to be used for basic monitoring control of Z-Wave-enabled lights, thermostats, locks, and more. Devices may be controlled individually or in coordination with each other. For example, a business owner arming the system in away mode may lock all doors, shut off all lights, and set the thermostat back. Entering a code to unlock a Z-Wave deadbolt may turn on lights, disarm the alarm system, and turn A/C on. 

Ultimately, this may save business and homeowners on energy costs, since lights and HVAC systems may be shut down when the building is unoccupied. It also allows some peace of mind, locking doors when a user may have forgotten. 

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Built-In Webserver

The Tuxedo Touch contains a built-in webserver which is accessible from any web browser, as well as smartphones and tablet devices. The web interface essentially mirrors the keypad's main interface, allowing users to to control all functions remotely. This may reduce the number of keypads installed on a system, with smartphones and tablets being nearly ubiquitous. For users who may typically request a keypad at both front and back doors, a mobile device may suffice instead.

Positioning

Though it is costly compared to a non-graphic keypad, those desiring touchscreen functionality and Z-Wave integration will likely find the Tuxedo Touch appealing. With a 6280 touchscreen costing about $300, and Honeywell's 5800ZBRIDGE Z-Wave module adding another $60-70, the Tuxedo Touch is only marginally more expensive. The 6280 and 5800ZBRIDGE also do not integrate to Z-Wave locksets, allow graphic monitoring of device status, or webserver access.

For business owners, the decision is not as simple. While the Z-Wave integration is beneficial for lighting and HVAC control, commercial-rated Z-Wave locks are currently lacking. Kwikset and Yale [link no longer available] are the two most commonly named Z-Wave lock manufacturers. Both of these options are more intended for home use, however, with only deadbolt and cylindrical options. This may be suitable for interior commercial doors, but exterior doors more often use mortise or rim panic hardware. We know of no Z-Wave options for these types of hardware. 

Competitive Options

There are few products which offer the combination of features of the Tuxedo Touch. Z-Wave integration has typically been accomplished through third party devices or external modules, and not allowed for the tighter integration the Tuxedo Touch features in its automation interface. Few products offer the built-in webserver functions of the Tuxedo Touch, instead requiring proprietary mobile apps or software to communicate with the panel.

DMP and 2gig both offer Z-Wave enabled products. Both of these competitors offer remote access and Z-Wave control, though by different means:

  • The 2gig Go!Control panel features many of the same options as the Tuxedo Touch, albeit with a smaller touchscreen interface. However, the Go!Control is a full-featured self-contained alarm system with 48 wireless zones and two hardwired zones, whereas the Tuxedo Touch is simply a keypad, used with Honeywell's VISTA control panels. 
  • DMP offers Z-Wave control and monitoring via its Virtual Keypad app and 738Z Z-Wave module. This solution only offers control and monitoring of Z-Wave devices via the app, not through system keypads.

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