The best gadgets for using Amazon apps and services
Streaming devices, eReaders, and smart speakers to give you access to your favorite content.
More and more, our gadgets are windows to connected services to accomplish tasks like streaming video, downloading audio books, talking to Alexa, and even listening to our favorite music. Amazon’s arsenal of apps does all of that and more, but you’ll need a device to access all of it. Here’s a short list of devices to get you started without spending a ton of money.
If you’re looking for an affordable streaming device, Amazon’s 4K Fire TV Stick is quick to navigate and includes all the higher-end features to show off your fancy TV. For instance, it supports Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HDR10+ so the ‘80s colors in the latest season of Stranger Things will really pop. The stick plugs in via your TV’s HDMI port, lets you watch content from any of your favorite streaming platforms, and comes with an Alexa-enabled voice remote. It’s super compact—it can literally fit in your pocket—so it’s easy to pack in a suitcase to save you from the horrors of basic cable at a hotel. With the new remote and built-in Alexa, you can control smart home devices and control compatible TVs and sound bars.
For reading on the go, Amazon’s Kindle is a seamless option that lets you not only have easy access to Amazon’s ebook story, but also lets you access their Audible audiobook library. This Kindle model holds a charge for up to 6 weeks and features an adjustable front light for reading in the dark. You can even highlight, look-up, or translate things from the page you’re reading. Take that, paper books. If you don’t have time to read, download some Audible titles and hook up a Bluetooth pair of headphones.
At just 1.6-inches tall, this may not look like much, but the Dot is a full-featured smart speaker. Amazon’s cheapest offering is small enough that it won’t be an eyesore in your house, but powerful enough to blast music and hear your voice commands from across the room. The speaker can play music from streaming services like Spotify, Amazon Music, and Apple Music as well as play audiobooks from Audible. If you want, you can pair the speaker with another for stereo sound. There is a 3.5mm input on the back if you want to use it to smarten up your current non-Wifi sound system.
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