CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter! Smart speakers are all kinds of awesome but, man, some of them are ugly. (I'm looking at you, Apple HomePod.) Indeed, I'd say most of them stick out: "I'm a piece of tech, not a part of your decor." If you own a first-gen Amazon Echo or second-gen Echo Dot, the folks at Toast have a fix: real-wood sleeves that turn Alexa from ugly duckling to beautiful swan. Interested? Today and tomorrow only, Cheapskate readers can save 30 percent on any Toast for Echo or Dot with coupon code CNETSK8TST18 -- and bag free shipping to boot! That means a Dot sleeve will run you just $13.30, while the Echo sleeve drops to $23.80. Each one is available in four different grains: walnut, ash, bamboo and ebony. These are truly lovely. I … [Read more...] about Give your Amazon Echo or Dot a makeover for 30 percent off
Amazon echo or dot
This is not an easy choice. On the one hand, you have the original and champion home audio computer, the Amazon Echo. On the other, the new kid on the block and contender, the Google Home. I've used an Echo for almost a year now and the Home for a few weeks. Here's what I found. First, they're both useful. I don't have review units of these. I bought both of them: The Echo for $179 and the Home for $129. Both will be on sale for $20 to $40 less on Black Friday. Special Feature Cloud - How to Do SaaS Right Software as a Service offers irresistible benefits for organizations of all sizes — from cost savings to scalability to mobile accessibility. Read More I have both because -- spoiler alert -- I'm a tech geek, and they're both useful. Both are cylinder-shaped speakers that listen to your commands. They get their smarts from their respective cloud services. To connect with the cloud they both use Wi-Fi. Considering their size, both do a remarkably good job of playing … [Read more...] about Which smart speaker should you buy? Amazon Echo or Google Home?
Alexa, the voice inside your Amazon Echo or Dot, is very helpful and always accommodating. So are Siri, Cortana, and the various other artificially intelligent assistants available today. But none can seemingly compare with the experience provided by Azuma Hikari, the holographic character who lives inside the Gatebox, Japan’s sort-of-but-not-really answer to the Amazon Echo.Instead of a simple, cylindrical speaker design, Gatebox has a screen and a projector, which brings Hikari — her name, appropriately, means “light” — to life inside the gadget. On the outside are microphones, cameras, and sensors to detect temperature and motion, so she can interact with you on a more personal level, rather than being a voice on your phone.The result is a fully interactive virtual girl, who at her most basic can control your smart home equipment. The sensors mean she can recognize your face and your voice, and is designed to be a companion who can wake you up in the … [Read more...] about A holographic virtual girl lives inside Japan’s answer to the Amazon Echo
You no long have to be locked in to the sound that comes out of your Amazon Echo or Echo Dot. That's because you can connect Bluetooth speakers to the smart home devices to listen to streaming music from a greater distance away from Alexa.Credit: AmazonBluetooth speaker that you want to try to connect, check Amazon's website for speakers that are compatible with Echo devices before you buy one.1. Make sure your Echo and Bluetooth speaker are at least three feet apart.2. Disconnect any Bluetooth devices from your Echo. It can only handle a connection to one Bluetooth device at a time.Open your Alexa app and select Settings.5. Select the Echo device that you want to pair with your Bluetooth speaker.6. Under Bluetooth, select Pair a New Device. Your Echo will start pairing mode.7. In pairing mode, your Echo will discover your Bluetooth speaker and list it as an available device.8. Select your speaker, and your Alexa voice assistant will tell you when the connection is complete.If you run … [Read more...] about How to Connect Your Amazon Echo to a Bluetooth Speaker
Amazon recently announced an Echo with a built in camera called the Echo Look. Soon, it could be launching a device with a camera and a touchscreen. Credit: EVLeaks If rumors are to be believed, a small image found by AFTVnews on Amazon's servers is the first look we're getting at the company's newest Alexa-enabled device. EVLeaks also found some higher-resolution images, which show the device in more detail, as well as the fact that it will come in white or black. MORE: Help Me, Tom's Guide: Should I Get Amazon Echo or Google Home?The image appears to show a wedge-shaped device with a speaker, a rectangular touchscreen and possibly a small camera along the top. There's good reason to believe that this photo is the real deal. AFTVnews found a photo of the Echo Look in a similar manner, by crawling Amazon's site for information about upcoming products. Also, Cnet reported in late April that Amazon could launch an Echo with a screen in … [Read more...] about Is This the Touchscreen Amazon Echo?
The Amazon Echo might be hard to come by online, but that doesn't mean all is lost.Amazon's Echo and the Echo Dot are both sold out on the company's online store and won't be in stock until after the holidays. However, the smart home devices are still available at Amazon's three brick-and-mortar book stores, as well as its pop-up stores at malls across the U.S., The Wall Street Journal is reporting after checking in with the stores.The Amazon Echo, the company's smart home appliance that doubles as a smart home controller and portable speaker, has been one of the hottest gifts this holiday season. The device, which is currently on sale at Amazon for $140 (a $40 savings off its regular retail price of $180), is currently available to ship on January 19, according to Amazon. The company's $49 Echo Dot won't be back in stock in its online store until December 27.While Amazon sells Echo devices to other retailers, it generally gives its own marketplace first dibs on new units. So, those … [Read more...] about Here’s Where You Can Still Get the Amazon Echo
There’s no denying that Google Home and Amazon Echo (or the less-expensive Echo Dot, if you’re not using it for music) have changed the way we interact with our homes. Turning on the lights has never been easier, nor has it been simpler to field the latest traffic report or order delivery for dinner. The future is here, and we’re reveling in it!But the proliferation of these devices around our homes leaves room for error. Google’s and Amazon’s connected speakers must always listen for us to utter their magic “wake” words—OK Google or Alexa respectively—in order to perform their tasks. If you don’t configure them properly, you might see random purchases show up at your door.It happened in San Diego when a little girl asked Alexa to deliver her a “dollhouse and some cookies.” She knew the right words to say, and in a few days’ time, she had her goodies. (If you want to have some fun, watch this news clip near … [Read more...] about How to stop Google Home or Amazon Echo from making unwanted online purchases
The Amazon Echo, and the Alexa digital assistant that powered it, were breakthrough products that forever changed how we control our smart homes. The inexpensive Echo Dot that came later made it possible to put Alexa in every room of a home without spending a fortune. The second-generation Echo is better and less expensive than the first full-sized Echo, but it’s not nearly as important as those first three products.The new Echo is roughly 1/4 inch wider than the original, but it’s about three inches shorter. That makes it much less likely to topple over than the too-tall original. The second-generation smart speaker’s cloth grille renders the new model more attractive than the plasticky first-gen device: Where you could buy the original Echo in black or white, the new one is available with your choice of three colors of fabric: charcoal (black) sandstone (tan), or gray.If you don’t mind paying an additional $20, you can get it one in your choice of three hard … [Read more...] about Amazon Echo (2nd generation) review: Better than the original, but not as important
Having an Amazon Echo—or an Alexa compatible device—can be a real time saver. The benefits, however, come with a caveat: You have to customize your experience if you really want it to work for you.An Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, or Echo Tap can do a lot of stuff out of the box but it's the additional skills that make owning an Alexa-enabled product really worthwhile. Adding skills to an Alexa product can be tricky if you don't know where to look, and to make matters worse there is more than one way to add them. Here's how to search for skills, add them to your device, and really make your smart speaker soar.If you've set up your Echo you already know it needs to be tied to an Amazon account, and that account is the one you add apps with. Amazon buried the Alexa Skills page in menus, so if you've had trouble finding it don't feel bad.Click on the link above to open the Alexa Skills page and you'll get a page that looks a lot like any other app store homepage. From there you can … [Read more...] about How to add Alexa skills to your Amazon Echo
Amazon's Echo smart speaker was a game changer when it launched in 2015. Since then it's continued to lead the IoT hub market in spite of increased competition from Google. The Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Tap can be found in homes, offices, businesses, and anywhere else internet connectivity allows Alexa, its onboard digital assistant, to reach the web. The Echo may seem like it's designed for the smart home, but there's no reason it can't be used in a smart office as well. If you've been seeking a hub for an IoT-connected office, it's well worth your time to investigate the Echo to see if it's a good fit, and TechRepublic has all the info you need right here. This Amazon Echo resource guide will be updated periodically as new software is released and new hardware is developed. SEE: All of TechRepublic's smart person's guidesWhat is Amazon Echo? Amazon Echo is an internet-connected smart speaker that comes with Alexa, Amazon's digital assistant. It is able to serve as an IoT … [Read more...] about Amazon Echo: The smart person’s guide