Amazon Launch Event Live Blog – Alexa, Echo devices, Fire TV, Ring and more


Rumored Amazon Kindle Scribe

(Image credit: SnoopyTech)

While there are usually few leaks before an Amazon event, it seems there was only one an hour before the event itself. The Twitter account Snoopy Tech (opens in a new tab) just leaked a ton of information about potential products. We can’t verify anything, but we should know pretty quickly if it was accurate.

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The biggest surprise seems to be a massive 10.2-inch Kindle Scribe, an E-Ink tablet that comes with a stylus. It resembles the reMarkable tablet and would be the first Kindle with this type of input. According to SnoopyTech, it will have a resolution of 300ppi; the pen will be included.

Other leaks from SnoopyTech include a redesigned Amazon FireTV Cube, which appears to have both HDMI in and out ports, and a 5th Gen Echo Dot, which will come in multiple colors including a dark blue.

Stay tuned to see if these are legit!

echo dot

(Image credit: future)

The gateway device, so to speak, for Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant has been the Echo Dot smart speaker, which typically retails for $50 but can often be found for much less, or bundled with another smart home device.

First introduced in 2016, the Echo Dot was originally made of hard plastic and looked like a hockey puck. In 2018, the third-gen Echo Dot was tweaked to have fabric covering its sides, making it a bit more user-friendly, albeit more like the Nest Mini smart speaker.

Two years ago, Amazon redesigned the Echo Dot into a spherical design, which allowed the company to add a larger speaker inside, which improved audio quality.

The Echo Dot with Clock, which first launched in 2019, was also replaced in 2020 by the new spherical design. In some ways, we prefer the Clock model, because the thumbnail display really adds a lot of functionality. If you just need a smart speaker tucked away in a room, get the Echo Dot (3rd Gen) while you still can — its puck-like design makes it a whole lot less obtrusive, and you can now get it for less than $30.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

(Image credit: Ben Rothstein/Prime Video)

It’s not just about devices; Amazon has also made a bigger push into streaming content this year. One of his biggest shows is The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, a prequel to Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. In some ways, Rings of Power is Amazon’s answer to HBO Max’s House of Dragon, itself a prequel to the hugely popular Game of Thrones.

While Rings of Power has been criticized by some – including our own staff – for not adhering to Tokien’s original vision, people are watching it, according to Parrot Analytics (opens in a new tab).

Amazon’s other big acquisition this year is Thursday Night Football, for which it paid the NFL $1 billion for the exclusive rights. The investment appears to be paying off – a memo from Amazon says the company saw a record number of Amazon Prime signups in a three-hour window, according to CNBC (opens in a new tab).

fire stick

(Image credit: Scenic Japan/Shutterstock)

Another big Black Friday seller is Amazon’s Fire TV devices, which include some of the best streaming sticks as well as some of the best budget TVs. We’ve seen Amazon’s Fire TV built into a bunch of sets, albeit mostly Amazon-branded ones themselves (Roku seems to have gained wider adoption, having made its way into Hisense and TCL sets).

But it was the streaming sticks that remained very popular, probably due to their low price. The cheapest model – the Fire TV Stick Lite – costs just $29.99, and the most expensive device is the $119.99 Fire TV Cube. During the holidays, these devices are often on sale or bundled with other Amazon gadgets.

The newest of the bunch was the Fire TV Stick 4K Max, which launched around this time last year, so it wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility that we might see a newer device today. Of all its streaming sticks, the Fire TV Cube is the longest in the tooth – it was last released in 2019.

Ring always at home Cam

(Image credit: Ring)

While Apple hasn’t done “one more thing” at its launch events in years, Amazon tends to have a distant product at each of its events, which may not always be the best. more practical, but which gets people talking.

Several years ago it was a microwave you could control with Alexa. Then there was an Alexa smart ring, and more recently the Ring Always Home Cam and the Amazon Astro.

Each of these products has been used to extend Alexa further into your home in an innovative, if not entirely practical way. So we’re curious to see what kind of crazy device is being announced today.

Ring Video Doorbell with Halloween Faceplate

(Image credit: Ring)

Amazon, being the huge international conglomerate that it is, also owns a number of other companies, some of which also make smart home devices. Ring, Blink and Eero are three of the most notable names; at these events, they often announce new devices alongside products from Amazon. Although Ring usually saves its video doorbells for separate events, it wouldn’t be impossible to hear about other products.

Ring and Blink compete in similar areas – both make some of the best video doorbells and home security cameras – although Blink’s offerings tend to focus on the budget market. Ring also has a larger device ecosystem that also includes DIY home security systems, solar lights, and even mailbox sensors.

Amazon Echo Dot with Clock

(Image credit: future)

While Amazon will focus on new hardware, we really hope it introduces some smart new features for Alexa.

Alexa has picked up a lot of “skills” over the past few years, arguably making the virtual assistant a great controller of smart home features. But more integrations and better capabilities, plus the ability to better handle all sorts of regional accents and natural speech would be a welcome upgrade.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition

(Image credit: Henry T. Casey)

Kindle fans, we’re concerned that Amazon is unlikely to announce any new e-readers at today’s event. And arguably its tablets can serve as a perfectly good platform for digital books and magazines.

But we know some people like a Kindle as a dedicated reading device, so in that case, check out our list of the best Kindles you can buy right now. By the way, an updated Kindle app would be appreciated, perhaps with more intuitive controls.

Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids review

(Image credit: future)

Last week, Amazon launched four new Fire HD 8 tablets. It is possible that the company will remind us of the announcement or add some updates to the Fire HD tablet.

Additionally, last year’s Amazon event featured Amazon Kids Plus programming announcements for those who own Kids Editions of Fire tablets. New shows and games could again be highlighted during the event.

Amazon Echo Show 15

(Image credit: Amazon)

If there’s one thing you can expect from today’s Amazon event, it’s a lot of announcements. Here’s a quick recap of the biggest announcements from the company’s 2021 event:

Amazon Prime

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

It’s important to note that today’s Amazon event is separate from the Amazon Prime Early Access Sale event which will take place on October 11 and 12.

That said, it’s possible that some of the new devices will be discounted for the first time during the deals event, which is dubbed the second Prime Day. At the very least, we should see older versions of Amazon devices go on sale as the online retailer clears inventory.

Amazon Astro made its debut at the Amazon event

(Image credit: Amazon)

At past hardware events, Amazon has unveiled inventive devices through Day 1 Editions programs. A Day 1 Edition program is a test of sorts, with users able to request invitations to test new products. Some of these products eventually progress to full availability, while others don’t make the cut.

The two devices currently being offered by invite-only through the Day 1 Edition programs are the Amazon Astro robot and the Ring Always Home Cam security drone. At today’s event, we were able to get availability updates for both of these products as well as announcements for the new Day 1 Edition devices.

Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen)

(Image credit: future)

Will new Echo speakers be announced today? It’s been two years since Amazon released the Amazon Echo (4th Gen) and Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen)who are part of best alexa speakers and best smart speakers globally.

It’s possible we’ll see these popular smart home devices refreshed, although it’s unclear what new features they might offer.

So what do we expect to see this year?

Let’s start with what won’t be there: Last week, Amazon announced four Fire 8 HD tablets, which start at $100 and feature “Tap to Alexa,” so you don’t have to say the magic word to summon the voice assistant from Amazon. All are available for pre-order and will ship in October. We’re testing them to see where they rank on our list of the best Amazon Fire tablets and to see if a rate is high enough for our top tablet picks.

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