Arlec Plug In Heater Controls [1]

Arlec is an old established Australian brand of electrical products (such as extension cords and plugboxes, timers etc) that has been available in NZ for many years – at least 40 to my recollection, their innovative designs and features continue to the present day.
With plug in electric heaters sometimes certain desirable features that would be easy to fit for a wired in heater, such as a time delay switchoff or a thermostat, are not always easy to find. I can recall various brands having come and gone, for example countdown timers from BenQ and HPM come to mind. Likewise various brands of plug in thermostat. Arlec is now making both types of product and selling them through Bunnings. (I also remember Kambrook plug in timers with some affection from my youth but they have diversified more into household appliances nowadays). I do have still a Honeywell plug in thermostat fitted with a cord and interrupted phase tapon plug which can be mounted on a wall some distance from the heater and this is still going strong more than 30 years later.
The Arlec PC900 plug in countdown timer is a mechanical timer giving 2 hours delay and simply plugs into a 3 pin outlet and the heater or other device plugs into it.
The timer appears to do what is expected of it. However due to its design, it will block an adjacent outlet in a plugbox or multi outlet wallplate. This appears to be a design factor with Arlec products in this range (several different types of timer including the PC697 digital 7 day timer).
Newly available from Bunnings is the THP401 which is clumsily described as a “temperature controlled programmable timer”.
So far as I can ascertain (it wasn’t on the shelf at the Bunnings store I visited today) this should really be described as a digital plug in thermostat. Because Arlec do not appear to have added this model to their website yet and because there was not one on the shelf at Bunnings I was unable to verify the description of the unit.