Nest unveils new, lower priced thermostat

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Nest Labs is taking aim at a wider audience with its first new smart thermostat in 6 years.

According to Nest Labs, the Nest Thermostat E is a simpler version of the original Nest Learning Thermostat, which remains in production. The Thermostat E also is less expensive, at $169, compared with $249 for the Learning Thermostat.

The new model has a few notable design differences. In addition to being about one-eighth of an inch smaller in diameter than is the Learning Thermostat, the Thermostat E comes only in white and includes a frosted display that produces soft text and images that have a slight glow. This allows the thermostat to blend into the background, Nest Labs says, as do typical thermostats. (The latest version of the Learning Thermostat was notable for its new capability to allow you to read the display easily even when you’re across the room—a feature that the new model doesn’t have.)

The Thermostat E also has a preset energy-management schedule, or it can learn your schedule, as the Learning Thermostat does.

In addition, the new model turns off automatically when you’re away, can be controlled by a mobile app or your voice via a digital assistant and can be connected so it works with other products—all features that are found on the Learning Thermostat.