Amazon Updates and Expands Line of Alexa Devices

Amazon Alexa Devices
September 30, 2020

Loyal readers will know that I love the Alexa family of products and use them extensively. A few days ago Amazon announced a list of updated products and I wanted to cover those here. Yes, there are links to purchase the products and I do get a very small commission if you use those links. No, they didn’t provide me with any freebies. Amazon, you can send me freebies and I’d love it! Anyways, let’s talk about the new products.

Amazon Echo Show 10We’ll start with the Echo Show 10. This is one member of the Alexa family I’ve not used myself. It is unique in that it includes a 10 inch HD screen (1280 x 800 pixels) to show you video and other information on the screen. A fun way the screen is interesting to me is that you often get song lyrics displayed when you are playing music. The attached speaker contains 2 1″ tweeters and a 3″ woofer. This gives you stereo playback of content.

Right now I own the Fire TV stick (an older version) and a Fire TV Cube. They serve me very well. While I’m not needing a new Fire TV Stick, it is a great way to stream a wide variety of video to your television. There is a new Fire TV Stick with 50% more power than previous versions. For those who don’t need as much and don’t want to spend as much, they also released the Fire TV Stick Lite. It might be a good way to add streaming to a TV that is not used as often.

Amazon EchoI have two of the original Amazon Echo devices. You’ve probably all seen them as they are cylinders in either white or black. Newer versions had a similar shape with dressed up exteriors. With the latest Amazon Echo, the shape has changed to a sphere. It is available in black, white and twilight blue. Inside the ball is a lot of power, a 3″ woofer and 2 .8″ tweeters.

The Echo Dot has also changed to a small sphere shape. Inside is a single 1.6″ speaker. There is a separate version with an LED clock. Plus there is a kids version that looks like a tiger or a panda. While it is designed for kids, some adults may buy it just because it is so cute.

I’m not ready to update or replace any of my Echo devices, but I’m excited about the features being added and will enjoy the upgrade whenever it takes place.

Amazon has had eero routers for a while now and their new releases upgrade the system to support WiFi 6. Of course, they are still compatible with older Wi-Fi standards. The eero 6 is dual band and covers up to around 1500 square feet. If you buy more than one, you can combine them into a mesh system. For those wanting more power, you’ll want the eero Pro 6. It is tri-band and covers up to 2000 square feet. You can also combine two or more into a mesh system. While I’ve not used their routers, this can be a nice router to upgrade what you have now. If you want to cover a larger area, buy more and build a mesh system. They will definitely be considered when I’m ready for a mesh system.

Last up for today is the Amazon Halo. It is a very lightweight fitness band. As I have a smart watch, it does not interest me. But it is a less-expensive way to get into tracking your fitness and health. There is no screen as you use your phone to get the data. Keep in mind there is also a subscription involved after the first six months.

I’ve covered a number of the Alexa-products, but certainly not all of them. You can view all available Alexa devices on Amazon. There are no immediately plans to expand the products I use, but I know that will change down the road as I continue to make my home smarter.

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Foster D. Coburn III

Foster D. Coburn III

Foster D. Coburn III is author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences. His first Web site was built in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013.

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