Thursday, July 26, 2018

Fire TV Cube and Cloud Camera Review


Fire TV Cube and Cloud Camera
Amazon Streaming and Surveillance Services

The Amazon Fire Cube and Cloud Cam are a dynamic duo released for relaxing movie or music nights paired with surveillance - mostly aimed toward monitoring a baby’s room. The live surveillance feed could also be used creatively, for example, we wonder if it could monitor your front door or pet? Either way, the Fire Cube supports a ton of different streaming services, such as Netflix, HBO, and Hulu, so whatever services you own should be available!



Features at a Glance:
  • Hands-free streaming media player
  • Live camera feed on cloud camera
  • Almost all Alexa commands



Pros:
  • Notifications when cloud cam registers movement
  • Watch, download, and share up to the last 24 hours of your cloudcam content
  • Night Vision and 2-way audio on cloud cam
  • Cloud cam subscription offers more intricate detection and alert options
  • Alexa can turn on the TV, dim the lights, and play your selected media

Cons:
  • Software Issues (Fixed)




The Fire Cube used to have a lot of software issues and would not stream correctly. When first released, it was often returned for being a very unstable and unreliable product - and Amazon would not allow replacements, only returns. It is likely they implemented such a practice, so a broken product was not replaced with yet another broken product. However, now that time has gone by, it seems the issue has been resolved with further releases of the product. 



Our Opinion:
The Fire TV Cube and Cloud Cam make for a really unique streaming system where the option for a security or surveillance system pairs with Amazon Alexa's commands. This allows for front door surveillance - possibly - or baby monitoring while doing other things. For example, you could watch your child, play music, and cook all at once using these devices.

While bugs were evident in the first releases of this product, they seem to be fixed now. In the future generations of the product, it would be nice to allow multi-room music and Alexa calling and messaging. Mobile Bluetooth connections for music would also be rather nice, but most people own speakers and aux cords nowadays anyway.


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Disclosure: I receive products in exchange for writing reviews. There may be affiliate links in this blog. I'll earn a commission if you buy something through these links.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Acer Spin 3 Laptop-Tablet Combo Review

 
The Acer Spin 3 laptop is a dual-function laptop and tablet. When flipped into a tablet, the keyboard is rendered useless other than as a stand. When flipped into a laptop the keyboard becomes functional and it can be used as a normal laptop. There are four generations of Acer Spins, and this particular one is ‘Amazon’s Choice’.

Features at a Glance:
  • Windows 10
  • 12GB DDR4 RAM
  • 1TB 5400RPM Hard Drive
  • Intel HD 620 Integrated Graphics
  • Intel Core i7 processors
  • 15.6" wide LCD multi-touchscreen
  • Flexibility, can bend into a tablet

Pros:
  • Faster processor than older versions
  • More storage space than older versions
  • Better graphics than older versions
  • 2 processors
  • Up to 9 hrs of battery life
  • 2 USB ports

Cons:
  • Motherboard issues:

This laptop is known for having issues with the motherboard, however, an extended warranty can allow for that to be replaced when necessary. 



Our Opinion:
This Acer laptop is a laptop, a tablet, and everything in-between - i.e., a touch screen PC. This multi functionality allows it to be more comfortable in multiple places. Where it may be awkward to hold a laptop, you could use its function as a tablet. For example, playing music while cooking or studying you could leave it on a table in tablet form. When doing homework or researching you could use it in laptop form on a desk. This functionality is overlooked by most, but can be pretty useful.

The stats of the computer hardware are minimal, and the laptop would not be any good for gaming, however for most normal functions it will perform fine. It will be able to do homework, surf the web, watch youtube videos, and play music. As long as the extended warranty is bought, this multi-function PC should do the trick.


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Disclosure: I receive products in exchange for writing reviews. There may be affiliate links in this blog. I'll earn a commission if you buy something through these links.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Amazon Kindle Oasis Ereader Review




Kindle Oasis
Best Take-Along E-Reader

 Amazon’s new e-reader, the Kindle Oasis, is the next descendant in a line of Kindles.
The creamy screen is more comfortable on the eyes than the bright white of past 
readers, and the glare resistance pairs with multiple lighting adjustments to allow 
you to read anywhere and anytime. It is even waterproof, offering things as relaxing 
as reading on a boat or while having a rejuvenating soak in the tub.


Features at a Glance: 

  • Large resolution
  • Lighter tablet

  • Glare resistant

  • Waterproof

  • Bluetooth

  • Audible - audiobook experience

  • Adaptive front light
  • 32G storage





Pros
  • Minimal glare
  • Long battery life, short charging period

  • Can read or listen to books
  • Excessive storage space
  • Easy access to translations and definitions
  • Library sharing
  • Free Wi-Fi at AT&T hotspots


Cons:
  
  • No headphone jack, but you can use Bluetooth headphones to listen to audiobooks 



While the Kindle Oasis doesn’t come with a standard Amazon charger, one can be 
bought separately for about ten dollars. The USB charger charges it in about 3 hours, 
which is fine, but the standard charger would only take 2 hours. Depending on how 
avid you are about reading digital books, the charger may or may not be worth the purchase.

Our Opinion:
We're excited about the new Kindle Oasis! What's not to love? It's portable, travel-safe, 
durable, waterproof, lightweight, slim... I'll be soaking in the tub reading my favorite books. 
Plus, minimal glare for when I want to go outside and read. The extended battery life for 
day trips. Plus, I can fit my entire eBook library on the 32GB of space with this Kindle.
The easy access to Wi-Fi at any AT&T hotspot is impressive, and the convenience of 

getting translations and definitions creates a whole new reading experience 
(I love being able to check a definition!). And due to library back-up on the cloud, 
reading virtual books becomes a lot easier and more convenient.

Click Here To Buy

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Disclosure: I receive products in exchange for writing reviews. There may be affiliate links in this blog. I'll earn a commission if you buy something through these links.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Amazon Echo Show Review



Alexa, smarter and improved


The Echo Show was introduced as a useful extension of Alexa’s AI for your home and daily life. 
It is the descendant of a line of Amazon devices created for the same purpose.


Features at a Glance:

  • Weather, photos, shopping list
  • Calendar, alarms, timers, music
  • Front door camera viewing
  • Calling and “drop-ins.”
  • “Smart” lights, fans, thermostats, etc
  • Uber
  • Web surfing


Pros:

  • Video calling, a.k.a. “Drop-ins,” seem to work very well
  • Calling phone numbers via your own phone number but on the Echo device
  • Adding to or viewing your shopping list is easier, more accessible
  • Simple alarms, reminders, and tasks like asking about the weather can be done by voice


Cons:

  • YouTube not available due to a corporate disagreement between Google and Amazon, 
    which is considered frustrating and petty, and causing them both to lose a lot of 
    customer support and satisfaction (also means no free music)
  • Uses keywords to search for what you are asking, and often doesn’t pull up the right thing 
    (voice recognition is super buggy)


The Echo Show has been found highly useful among people who take care of elderly relatives, 
for the “drop-in” feature and the ability to access a front door camera. 
The Show doesn’t automatically access the camera when the doorbell rings, however. 
You must initiate the connection yourself, via a command, which limits its usefulness in elderly care. Also, specific features of this Amazon home device can prove creepy or annoying when Alexa mishears, listens in, or pops up frighteningly. Therefore, while the drop-in feature 
and camera connection is useful, the idea can be better carried out by other means, such as a 
microcontroller front door livestream and/or a tablet.


Our Opinion:

The Amazon Echo Show fulfills its main function as an extension of the Alexa AI, 
however not as well as previous versions of this device. Many functions are finicky or 
don’t work altogether. Using the device proves annoying as well, with many functions being 
difficult and far from optimal.


While this Amazon home product is a good idea, it is widely thought that the previous home 
Alexa devices were better than this “upgrade”. Though loyal and avid fans might have stayed 
along for the ride, Amazon topped off the cake when they caused YouTube to be unavailable 
as well - which was a promised feature of the app when it came out.




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Disclosure: I receive products in exchange for writing reviews. 
There may be affiliate links in this blog. I'll earn a commission if you buy something through 
these links.