Sunday, October 30, 2011

For When A Ballpark Will Do, The Health O' Meter HDM560DQ-05 Weight Tracking Scale Delivers.

The Good: Weight tracking function works, Inexpensive, Battery lasts a long time
The Bad: Terribly inconsistent, Large footprint.
The Basics: The Health O' Meter HDM560DQ-05 Weight Tracking Scale works when stuck very firmly in one place, but even the most minor movements lead to very different results.

What happened to the simple, functional things? Yeah, I've become one of those cranks who no longer sees every technological advancement as a good or, at least, worthwhile thing. Yes, I'm about to utter the words "When I was a kid . . ." When I was a kid we had bathroom scales that actually worked. I know, it might seem like a strange diatribe to begin my review of the Health O' Meter HDM560DQ-05 Weight Tracking Scale, but the truth is that after six months of use, I would gladly trade the gimmicks for the functionality scale companies used to deliver.

Back when I was young, electronic scales were not even on the market. The mechanics of the physical, mechanical scales were somewhat clunkier than the new electronic scales, and they required recalibration every few uses. Sure, they were only accurate to about the pound, but they worked. By that, I mean that if I stepped on my home scale, I would get consistent results, even if I was not happy with them. The same cannot be said of the Health O' Meter HDM560DQ-05 Weight Tracking Scale.

The Health O' Meter HDM560DQ-05 Weight Tracking Scale is an electronic scale that measures 12 3/8" wide by 11 3/8" deep by 1 1/4" tall. It has four feet that are rubber to prevent skidding on tile or linoleum floors and that is a nice touch. Even so, this has a surprisingly large footprint for the bathroom floor. Unless one has a very large bathroom and can afford to give up the space - a little over a foot square - then one is likely to be moving it and that led to the biggest issue I had with this scale (see below).

The scale features a large (1" by 3") LCD display. The display is activated when the scale is turned on. Activating the scale is very easy; simply press the lower right corner of the top of the scale. When that happens and the scale turns on, the LCD will flash "0.0" which is followed by flashing lines that indicate the tracking scale has calibrated itself. The Health O' Meter HDM560DQ-05 Weight Tracking Scale may then be used, so long as one steps on it within thirty seconds. Waiting longer than thirty seconds will cause the scale to turn itself off.

The first feature I actually liked about the Health O' Meter HDM560DQ-05 Weight Tracking Scale is the size of the LCD screen. It is bright enough that it is visible when one is standing atop the scale and it is very clear in its readout. This scale reads pounds to the tenth of the pound and may be calibrated for kilograms, though all of my testing was done with the scale on pounds. No matter the problems with the scale, its results may be very clearly discerned.

That brings me to the issue I have with the Health O' Meter HDM560DQ-05 Weight Tracking Scale. The scale changes its mind far too often to be considered at all reliable. So, for example, just now, I stripped down and weighed myself (it's night, so go easy on me!). Weighing myself three times about a minute apart, with the scale securely on the floor and my feet placed exactly the same place on top of it, I got 173.2, 173.8, and 173.0 lbs. I am pretty sure that I did not gain that much weight and lose it in the course of a three minute period. The scale's directions recommend weighing yourself at the same time and conditions each day. That's fine advice, because apparently if you're a minute off, your results can vary quite significantly!

Why this is an issue is the big selling point of the Health O' Meter HDM560DQ-05 Weight Tracking Scale. The weight tracking function is a memory that allows a user to record their weight by tapping the "on/calibrate" portion of the scale. This allows the user who has their weight recorded to step on the scale and after the reading, have an evaluation of that made relative to the last recorded weight. So, for example, if I used this function, I would tap the scale with my toe after it was calibrated and tonight, it would sat 173.0. Tomorrow, if it said 172.5, that reading would be followed by the screen flashing -.5 That seems like an exciting and worthwhile function.

Unfortunately, all experiences I've had with the Health O' Meter HDM560DQ-05 Weight Tracking Scale indicate that moving the scale even a little gives different readings. But more than that, if I got different readings within three minutes of one another, it lessens the presumed accuracy of the scale when it comes to how much weight one has actually lost. This is not the scale one ought to use when one has bets or challenges going over their weight. As one who was working with someone else to lose weight, this is not the ideal tool to keep accurate scored. I know that both of us got frustrated with the fluctuations and it's pretty rotten to have to do a weigh in where one either gets three chances or bets on which weight it going to be the most advantageous to keep and quitting with the weighing, as opposed to weighing ourselves with confidence and being able to trust the results.

Ultimately, the lack of consistency makes the Health O' Meter HDM560DQ-05 Weight Tracking Scale the wrong scale for those looking to lose or monitor their weight reliably, no matter how inexpensive it is.

For other appliances for around the house, please check out my reviews of:
Cuisinart Grind Central Coffee Grinder
Dave Lennox Signature Collection Brentwood SP EPA-approved Wood-burning Fireplace
Dyson Air Multiplier fan


For other home and garden products, be sure to visit my index page on the subject by clicking here!

© 2011 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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