IoT Reviews

Amazon Echo Input Review: Alexa in your own speakers

Amazon Echo Input Review: Alexa in your own speakers

Amazon's Echo smart speakers typically work better on the smart side, rather than the speaker quality front, but the new Echo Input promises to pair Alexa with your own choice of speakers. Part of the company's wide-ranging gush of Alexa hardware this year, the $34.99 gadget is effectively an Echo Dot that can only talk back to you if it's plugged into an external audio player.

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Coway Airmega 400S Air Purifier Review: Less smoke, more smart

Coway Airmega 400S Air Purifier Review: Less smoke, more smart

You end up thinking a lot about air quality when a thick pall of smoke has been hanging outside your windows for two weeks solid - enough to make you think that a high-tech air purifier is probably a very good addition to most homes. Coway's Airmega 400S is one such example, combining a voracious appetite for air impurities with a host of connected features that should make it a more welcome guest. Question is, at more than $600, is it worth it?

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AmazonBasics Microwave Review: Alexa gets cooking

AmazonBasics Microwave Review: Alexa gets cooking

"Why are you talking to the microwave?" Being the spouse of an early-adopter has never been especially easy, but the arrival of the smart home - and voice-controlled systems like Amazon Alexa in particular - has certainly magnified the potential for confusion. How, then, to explain why the AmazonBasics Microwave powered by Alexa is really for your tech-tired partner's benefit, not yours?

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Google Home Hub Review: A friendlier smart display

Google Home Hub Review: A friendlier smart display

The Google Home Hub is a big idea in a compact package. Bucking the trend of larger and larger smart displays, this latest container for the varied talents of the Google Assistant occupies a smaller footprint than most of its rivals demand. The size - and the competitive $149 price tag - may be diminutive, but the Home Hub’s ambitions are not.

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Foobot Indoor Air Quality Monitor Review

Foobot Indoor Air Quality Monitor Review

Houses these days are teeming with technology to help us live convenient, productive lives. Those range from simple (or sophisticated) home network routers to the smartphones we carry with us everywhere. Some more tech-savvy homeowners even have programmable lights, smart thermostats, and hi-tech locks. Very few of these devices, however, seem to be geared towards helping us live healthy lives. That’s where the Footbot comes in, bringing those technologies together to make sure you know whether you’re breathing clean and safe air or not.

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Lenovo Smart Display Review: Show & Tell for the Google Assistant

Lenovo Smart Display Review: Show & Tell for the Google Assistant

Lenovo's Smart Display brings show & tell to the Google Assistant, adding a touchscreen to the smart speaker and taking on Amazon's Echo Show in the process. First of a series of display-enabled Assistant devices to make it to shelves, Lenovo's gadget aims to win a spot on your kitchen counter or your nightstand with both voice and touch control, as well as the promise of better integration with your smartphone than Alexa can provide.

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Nest Cam IQ Outdoor Review

Nest Cam IQ Outdoor Review

Nest has built a name for itself for its sleekly-designed, premium-priced security cameras, thermostats, and other connected home tech, and the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is no different. Latest in the Google-owned company's intelligence-toting cameras, it packs a surprising amount of smarts into an elegant housing.

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Apple HomePod Review

Apple HomePod Review

Apple's HomePod may be late to the party, but the Siri-powered smart speaker isn't arriving quietly in any sense of the word. HomePod's biggest strength is that, in a segment where ease of use is yet to catch up with functionality, it makes navigating a great-sounding Apple Music experience by voice a joy. How it does that, though, feels like classic Apple at its most demanding.

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Ember Ceramic Smart Mug Review: IoT for your coffee

Ember Ceramic Smart Mug Review: IoT for your coffee

My coffee mug needed a firmware update. Not the usual start to my caffeine-fueled day, no, but a side-effect of Ember's ceramic mug, an app-controlled kitchen addition to the Internet of Things. It's betting on the idea that there are tea and coffee lovers willing to spend eighty bucks on a mug that keeps their addiction-of-choice at just the right temperature.

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Amazon Echo Spot Review: Alexa’s cutest container

Amazon Echo Spot Review: Alexa’s cutest container

Of all Alexa's various enclosures, the Amazon Echo Spot is undoubtedly the cutest. Its body is spherical - larger than a baseball, but much smaller than an Echo Show - and fronted with a 2.5-inch circular touchscreen. That's a display shape still rare enough to make the whole thing eye-catching; question is, has Amazon done enough to make the Echo Spot more than just that gimmick?

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WiZ smart lighting Review: LED bulbs and projector

WiZ smart lighting Review: LED bulbs and projector

We've been using a set of WiZ smart LED lights for the past week to see how they stood up to their closest competitors. In the world of smart bulbs - especially when we're talking about SIMPLE smart home lighting systems, there's one stand out brand: Phillips hue. Today we're going to run down the reasons why the new-to-America brand WiZ is more than a fly-by-night smart lighting competitor - they might just have hue beat.

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Jibo Review: Alexa gets some cute competition

Jibo Review: Alexa gets some cute competition

I knew Jibo was onto something when I he managed to coax a laugh from my tech-skeptic partner in the other room. I'd been in the middle of setting up the companion robot's voice recognition system, repeating his trigger phrase six times in a row so that he could learn who was talking to him. "Now say "Hey Jibo" 400 more times," the robot told me, before quickly adding "I'm only kidding" and pirouetting giddily. It got a chuckle from next door, and gave me my first glimpse of how home robotics might well wriggle and wise-crack their way into our hearts.

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