TotalMount Amazon Fire TV Mounting System review

The TotalMount Fire TV Mounting System is currently on sale for $19.99. This isn’t the cheapest this mounting bracket has ever been, that would be when it was $14.99 for a day in 2014, but this is the first time it’s dropped below $20 in over a year. This mount works for both 1st and 2nd-gen Fire TVs and has great reviews. It attaches with adhesive strips or port hooks to the rear of your TV, or make use of the screw holes to screw it to the wall or furniture. The bracket features venting spacers to keep air flowing round the Fire TV. Here’s your chance to save several bucks on the best Fire TV mounting bracket, if you’ve been desiring to clear up shelf space.

TotalMount attaches Fire TV to the rear of your television for dependable and simple Fire TV installation
Universal mounting system for Amazon Fire TV
Simple to attach with multiple mounting options
Removes the requirement to tunnel an HDMI cable through your wall
Ideal for wall-mounted televisions
Comprises heat management characteristics

TotalMount removes the need to tunnel an HDMI cable via your wall.

TotalMount is ideal for wall-mounted televisions. TotalMount rapidly and reliably attaches Fire TV behind your tv.

The innovative design is tailored to reliably and securely hold Amazon Fire TV.

Cooling air can flow under Fire TV through venting stations. The mount enables effective heat management.

TotalMount comprises three kinds of advanced hooks to securely attach your Fire TV to the vents on the back of most TVs. Each hook type features a unique contour tailored to particular varieties of TV ports.

Adhesive feet flex to attach to the contours of TV backs. TotalMount uses a special adhesive system for bonding to the materials that are unique and raised temperatures of televisions. Instead, utilize the screw holes to mount Fire TV just about anyplace.

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Very satisfied! Wonderful merchandise, works better than anticipated. Pleasant merchandise for a good price. They’re well-designed. A great way to conceal your Amazon Fire neatly and cut down on the wreck of cables. Ideal for reducing litter on your own entertainment console. What I like most is it has a variety of mounting options such as sticky strips, hooks. I’m quite happy with this purchase! Highly recommend this product for anybody with Amazon Fire TV or other televisions.
This mount is a hit for me! I love it. The design is a perfect fit for my Amazon Fire TV.

Build is sturdy and fine. I managed to tuck this behind my TV utilizing the hooks that came with it.

It was a situation that is set and forget and I really like it. I did not need to cope with the sticker component after if I decided to transfer the mount so I went with the hook although it does come with 3M decal.

We have Fire TV Sticks that are several and several Fire TV cartons. Clearly the Sticks are no difficulty because they hang from the HDMI interfaces into or plug. We’d tried bracing up them with twist-ties paper clips and hanging out the TV ports. So along comes the TotalMount, which is a marvel of genius since it enables three ways to mount with no difficult to adapt to use any of those options. We’ve one TV that the ports were not big enough (who puts pinhole vents on a 75″ LED? WTF???) So our selection was the screws or the adhesive. Just as I was about to peel the four adhesive pads off, I realized that I could easily use one of the screws on the rear of the TV, unscrew it, replace it through the TotalMount and VOILA! It’s great to possess options! And writing this review took longer than it took to install six TotalMounts – it’s THAT easy!

Overall: I’d definitely recommend this for people who have a Fire TV!

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Console And pC Gamers: The New Amazon Fire TV Gaming Edition Is For You

Note: I used to work for Amazon and own a gen one Fire TV, so I am probably biased.

Likely people from the console/PC gaming bunch. In the event you had asked me this question two weeks ago, I’d have said “anyone who wants or desires a streaming box,” but since the Apple Keynote, I think it makes sense for the majority of buyers to wait until both the new Fire TV and new Apple TV are outside in late October.

The original Fire TV is an extremely clever device. It’s apparently quicker than every other streaming box on the marketplace; the Amazon Video integration is top-notch; it feels more premium in relation to the $99 price tag. Most of all, for this question: I was truly surprised by the character of the gaming experience. The control beat against my expectations, and also the games I’ve played consistently perform well, with frame rates that appear to stay in the 20-30 range. And there is something awe-inspiring about watching screens like the one below plastered on your 55″ TV coming from a tiny black box, especially when it’s sitting next to my games consoles.

Given, games seem just as great (if a bit smaller) on my iPad Air 2. However, the iPad is hand-held, and while it is possible to make it behave like a sofa console, I don’t think it is worth it. So I gue–oh, right, Apple TV now includes games. That may be a big damn deal if some or the majority of the iOS game library is coming to the family room.

I think what developers do with it, and it’ll come to the controller. The Fire TV benefits from having a normal controller. Anybody who has used a console begin playing intuitively and can pick up a Fire controller. I imagine this simplifies game development and games console porting. The intricacy of the Fire controller allows for the granular control that many game types call for, especially compared to a multi-touch interface.

Some of the buttons are not as responsive as I Had like, and the directional controls have always felt stiff. I am hoping Amazon made developments with the revamped control bundled with the Fire TV Gaming Edition.


The new Apple TV doesn’t get a control. Apple updated to the new “Siri Remote” with a touch-enabled surface, and that is how we’ll interact with our games. Even if their partners as well as Apple do an excellent job, they are going to most likely lag in music genres like actions, FPS, and fighting.

Other thoughts

No SKUs of the original Fire TV shipped with the controller, but Amazon is definitely doubling down on it in generation 2. That gives a stronger signal for how users will interact with their titles to programmers.

I’m confident that both Fire TV and Apple TV will have amazing integration with iOS devices and FireOS, respectively. However there’s a iOS device in the majority of dwellings I know of, and I can just think of a few of families with Fire devices.
As Apple releases more iOS-enabled devices, I picture iOS developers are challenged by the increasing variety of display sizes, interfaces, etc. they must adapt.

Nonetheless, Fire TV has rapidly gained share, and Apple TV is declining. The new variations may alter that, this market is volatile, but that has to shift the choice economics for developers. Amazon gets nearly all major game launches at precisely the same time as Android/iOS, but the total library sizes aren’t similar.


Amazon Kindle Paperwhite review


It is a conservative upgrade but the new display makes this the finest Kindle Paperwhite with a dazzling balance of cost and attributes.

Upgrade: Amazon has released its Kindle Oasis ereader which will cost you quite a bit more in relation to the Paperwhite, but may provide you with a better reading experience. Best sure to read our greatest Kindle article to get a full update on what Amazon ereaders you can buy now.

Its resolution is put by the pixel boost on a par with the Kindle Voyage, which is the main Kindle this year despite not having been upgraded. But using a beginning price of £109.99 (US$119, AU$190) the Kindle Paperwhite (2015) is a lot more affordable than the exuberant £169.99 (US$199, AU$299) Voyage.

The Paperwhite’s price goes up to £119.99 (US$139) if you need it without adverts and up to £179.99 (US$209, AU$260) for a variation with 3G and no adverts, but this is still well below the identical £229.99 (US$289) Voyage model.

On the other hand you can get Amazon’s most basic Kindle from simply £49.99 (US$79), but with a display that is almost twice as sharp and has a built-in light, the organization is certainly hoping buyers will continue to see the worth in its Paperwhite version.

The Kindle Paperwhite (2015) mightn’t get a new name but it does have some new attributes and developments that are worth highlighting, in fact in theory it’s quite a large improvement over the preceding model.

BUY NOW Kindle Paperwhite E-reader

Crystal clear display

Probably the largest reason to consider upgrading to it if you already have an earlier version, and also the biggest advancement in the new Kindle Paperwhite, is its 300ppi screen.

That’s up from 212ppi on the prior version, also it makes a big difference. Text is sharper, making it less of a strain to read, which if you have a tendency to spend hours getting engulfed in a great book is a very important factor.

It also means it’s more comfortable if your eyes are up to it, making it achievable to meet more words on each and every page, to read tiny fonts.

Amazon goes so far as to call it print- . Pixels are almost imperceptible, and with the built in light the reading experience is if anything superior to reading a printed page off, particularly when the lighting is sub-optimal.

BUY NOW Kindle Paperwhite E-reader

Bookerly font

Amazon has created its own typeface, called Bookerly, as it is already available on Amazon’s Fire tablets, though it’s not an entirely new thing, and it is making its ereader debut on the new Kindle Paperwhite.

It is been inspired by present typefaces, especially Caecilia and Palatino, but it is designed for use together with the objective of helping users read quicker with less eyestrain at any given type size, on digital displays.

While that could easily be discounted as advertising absurdity I need to admit to truly being a devotee of it.

It’s not a reason to purchase the new Paperwhite over any other Kindle, the difference it makes is bare and also as many have now received the Bookerly font in a software update anyway and in part definitely comes down to personal taste. But itis a good font, I like it and I intend to stick with it.

Topnotch typesetting

Amazon has also outfitted the Kindle Paperwhite (2015) with a brand new typesetting engine and this changes things in ways that are both subtle and important.

It is more clear in a few names than other (and to some readers than others), but previous Kindles have been known to lay out words, paragraphs and even whole pages in an awkward manner.

It’s often as simple as words and paragraphs being broken up badly, resulting in much white space, or slightly difficult spacing between letters and words. It can be distracting, and there is every opportunity it is slowing down your reading, even should you not notice it.

The new typesetting engine plans to fix all that, as well as making larger font sizes readable with reduced white space and no more broken sentences. Additionally, it adds drop covers where applicable, which formerly were regularly absent from ebooks.

Itis a tremendous step towards mending one of the biggest problems Kindles still have, and while it currently only works on a subset of Kindle books, that subset numbers at well over 500,000 with more added all the time.

The bezels are pretty sizeable but that is no bad thing here, as it gives you someplace to rest your hands without clouding the display – or worse, accidentally turning the page.

It’s a plain layout but it feels solid and well constructed. At 169 x 117 x 9.1mm it’s, as Amazon adores to remind you, smaller than a paperback book, while the Wi Fi 3G model that I tried came in at a surprisingly weighty 217g.

I say surprising because it is heavier than it looks, not because it is in any danger of really weighing you down and should you go for the Wifi version it is a marginally more dainty 205g. It is certainly light enough to hold with one hand and little.

With its recessed display and simple layout, it’s got none of the fashion of the Kindle Voyage, but this is OK, as all it’s meant to be is a window into your novels. Should you’d like to add just a little style, Amazon also offers a reasonably attractive form-fitting leather cover with a metal clasp.

Like other Kindles there’s no microSD card slot, but there is sufficient storage constructed in in case you have more than that there’s also cloud storage for any books purchased from Amazon, and for tens of thousands of novels.

A Kindle is just as great as its screen, and this is one place where the Kindle Paperwhite (2015) really excels.

Its 300ppi display actually is a step up and it makes ereading a more pleasant experience than ever, and of course the built-in light has made a return too, ensuring you can comfortably read even in dark environments.

BUY NOW Kindle Paperwhite E-reader

The act of reading is much the same as ever.

Eventually, a menu bar which lets you customise the reading experience will be brought down by a tap close to the top. This permits you to immediately change the luminosity, search for something in the novel, jump to a specific chapter, or alter the font, text size, margins and line spacing.

In short it is a great font, although I talked about this in the essential characteristics section. It appears attractive, does not appear out of place in a novel, and significantly it’s easy to read.

Though if you’re not a fan of Amazon’s creation, there are six other font alternatives, and text can be turned into quite large, which could be easy should you not have the best eyesight.

Other Kindle basics are also merely a tap away. There’s X-Ray for example, which lets you explore the “bones of a publication,” as Amazon puts it, to learn more about its characters and topics.

In the event you are ever uncertain of what a word means when reading you can just long press it to get a definition. You can bookmark pages, highlight text, read in landscape view and empower Word Wise to see definitions of unfamiliar words above the words themselves, so you do not even need to look things up.

There’s a lot here and most of it’s useful, as its Kindle applications has been enhancing for years but it’s no surprise.

Despite all those years of work, the actual typography has consistently left much to be desired. Maybe the single biggest problem was Amazon’s insistence on keeping the gross profits straight. That may not seem like this type of terrible thing, but it meant that gaps between words could be sometimes ludicrously large and uneven, particularly when using a larger font.

Thankfully Amazon has finally fixed this. It’s possible for you to see what I mean in the picture above. On the left is on the right and how it was is how things are with the typesetting engine that is new, though now not all publications are supported by it.

The advancements go beyond word spacing though. Character spacing was tweaked too. Rather than having an equivalent gap between each letter it ensures they are spaced in this manner that they fit better together and now looks at pairs of letters.

While text and images adapt more faithfully to the layout of printed publications, page layouts have been enhanced as well, for example together with the addition of drop caps.

BUY NOW Kindle Paperwhite E-reader

But in the event you are stuck on an older Kindle there is no requirement for jealousy as the brand new typesetting engine and Bookerly font have come as a software update to other recent Kindles.

The Kindle shop is packed full of content, with millions of books accessible, though actually navigating it is simpler from a computer than the Kindle Paperwhite itself, with its greyscale display and marginally slow to react touchscreen.

The great news is that you can certainly send a book directly to your Kindle when shopping on another device, though. Still, should you want to shop on the Kindle itself that is an alternative, and should you go for the 3G variant you don’t even need a Wi Fi network.

Costs are generally quite competitive too. You will know what to expect here if you’ve owned a Kindle before, but books are rarely more than about £5 (US$8, AU$12) and can often be picked up for as little as around £1 (US$2, AU$1), particularly when you get them in one of the many Kindle shop sales.

Battery life

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is a device which can supposedly last for weeks on just one charge. Nonetheless, that is an approximation which do not leave on information connections and seems to presume you don’t read for long each day.

That said it certainly does not look lacking in life. As an example after my first three days of use it went from a complete price to a half total index (unfortunately it doesn’t get more exact than that).

That doesn’t mean you can just expect out of it though. In order to examine the Paperwhite out the display was necessarily on lots of the time. I spent about four hours actually tons and reading more time testing out the various functions. The brightness was also more than half way up at all times, Wi-Fi was on most of the time and G was when it was not 3.

With typical use of reading every day, but leaving Wifi on and the screen at half brightness, it was able to continue roughly two weeks on one charge.

That’s not too bad a showing and it appears pretty comparable to my first generation Kindle Paperwhite, despite the truth that this one has a much sharper display.

The Kindle Paperwhite’s major competition comes from, well, other Kindles, together with the basic Kindle and the Kindle Voyage offering cheaper and more expensive options respectively.

However there are a couple of competition brands striving to make a dent in the market, with Kobo and Nook in particular both offering a range of option ereaders.

When Amazon announced the Kindle Voyage, I didn’t think there could be a more pricey ereader merchandise from the company… but I was incorrect. The Kindle Oasis is the very best experience you will get with a Kindle, but nevertheless, it is going to cost you.

The Oasis is 60% more brilliant than the Kindle Voyage, which is brighter compared to the Paperwhite, also it’s a brand-new design to make it even easier to hold one given. There is a battery pack leather case that looks gorgeous to hold and makes sure you’ll never be out of cost.

But the cost is through the roof at US$289.99 (£269.99, AU$449). The Kindle Oasis may well be the choice for you in the event you think that will use a Kindle each and every day and wish to get the finest money can purchase.

BUY NOW Kindle Paperwhite E-reader

Amazon Kindle Voyage

The new Kindle Paperwhite matches the Kindle Voyage’s resolution at 300ppi, so there is now less motive to select Amazon’s premium model, however there are still a number of reasons for the Voyage’s higher £169.99 (US$199, AU$299) starting price.

For one thing it’s an ambient light sensor, ensuring the integrated light is mechanically accommodated to supply the perfect brightness for your surroundings, which is useful and also you can always turn it off if the Kindle and you disagree about what the ideal brightness is.

It is also got physical page buttons in addition to the normal touchscreen ones forward and back and it packages a somewhat more premium build. None of all these are particularly fundamental features, but if cost isn’t a object the Kindle Voyage is undeniably still a better ereader than the Paperwhite.

With prices starting at just £49.99 (US$79, AU$120) the basic Amazon Kindle is a genuinely entry level ereader. It is nowhere near as sharp as the screen of the Paperwhite and there is no built-in light, which are two major symbols against it, although it’s a touchscreen.

If money’s tight or you do not anticipate to use it much the Amazon Kindle is completely good. It is brilliantly good value, has the same notable library the Paperwhite as well as a similarly long lasting battery. It is also been updated to support the new typesetting engine.

But in case you’re an avid reader you might find yourself spending more money in the long term and craving the improvements provided by the new Kindle Paperwhite.

Nook GlowLight

You’re not sold on Kindles or desire something in between the Kindle Paperwhite and the fundamental Kindle in the event that the Nook GlowLight could be for you.

At this point you can not buy this in the UK though, unfortunately.

But with a lower resolution and also a laggy interface 212ppi display it can’t quite match Amazon’s latest.

BUY NOW Kindle Paperwhite E-reader

Final Verdict

I’m a huge fan of the previous Kindle Paperwhite (2013), so there was never much doubt that I’d like this one, because it’s basically the same thing again, but with a better screen and some applications improvements.

The actual question is simply whether that is sufficient to warrant a brand new model, or to tempt anyone who’s resisted the Paperwhite previously.

We liked

The new 300ppi display is far and away the finest and most critical characteristic of the new Kindle Paperwhite. The new one is sharper while the previous generation screen hardly looked lacking in clarity and your eyes will thank you for it, particularly if you want to use small font sizes.

The brand new typesetting engine is a big improvement also. Along with the attractive Bookerly font it makes things that little bit more readable, though both these things have come as a software update to other recent Kindles, so don’t ditch your old model on the potency of them.

Apart from that it’s the same Kindle Paperwhite ever, with precisely the same interface and characteristics. Before you know what you’re getting here and if not, if you’ve owned a Kindle, understand that no one has deciphered the ereader like Amazon.

We disliked

The new Kindle Paperwhite is great, but it is not much of an upgrade over the old one. The only important change is the screen, while the remaining headline attributes have come as a software update to other recent Kindles.

Or if not more superior how about waterproof? The Kobo Aura H2O is, and it’s an excellent insurance policy if you prefer to read in the bath or by the pool.

As great as it’s the new Kindle Paperwhite seems like a reasonably conservative upgrade.


That leaves the improved 300ppi screen as the main upgrade and in fact it is a large one, making text and pictures sharper than ever. Then there’s every chance you will spend more time looking at this screen than even your phone, so it’s significant that it is sharp and clear, if you read a lot.

The upgrade also sets it on a par together with the sharpness of the Kindle Voyage, giving buyers one reason fewer to choose for that while keeping the prior Paperwhite’s starting price of £109.99 (US$119, AU$190).

In short, it’s the best Kindle Paperwhite and arguably the very best worth ereader on the market.

It’s still lacking some of the Kindle Voyage’s extras, but it is got the core characteristics that you desire – a touchscreen, a sharp screen, a built-in light as well as a huge library of novels. It’s light on exclusive and new features, but it is a device that may not need upgrading for a long time and it still comes in at a fair price.

While if you have an older model the display improvement is about considerable enough to warrant an upgrade should you not already have a Kindle and aren’t made of cash this is the one to buy. It is not exciting, but it does have the most well-rounded combination of price and features you’ll see on a Kindle.

BUY NOW Kindle Paperwhite E-reader

Amazon Tap Sling Cover review


  • Durable silicone construction protects from drops and bumps
  • Cut it to your bag, hang it in a tent, take it to some bash – the built-in loop allows increased portability for all your experiences
  • Custom-fit design provides easy access to buttons, media controls, and back charging port*
  • Made in six brilliant colors that allow you to personalize your Amazon Tap
  • *Not compatible with Amazon Tap Charging Cradle

Whether you are headed into a bbq, hanging out on the veranda, or choosing a bike ride, the loop that is integrated allows you to clip on it, hook it, or snatch it.

Sling is simply amazing and so is the Amazon Tap!! This sling allowed me easy accessibility to transport my tap today, to work!!

One nice thing I like about the tap is this sling is not required but this is a very pleasant improvement.. It supplies great protection for the tap, which will be what I desired it for.. My tap is going to be like a miniature, portable Sonos for me.. It’s definitely going to be a loudspeaker I take with me daily!! Although it supplies minimal coverage for the speaker, it is still protected by it from dings! The minimal coverage is desired to not damage the sound quality from the speaker… Taking the loudspeaker to the shore, camping, trekking, to parties, I wanted something to protect it while in use!! This sling is going to do exactly that!!

Another thing it does is allows it to hang from my bag!! Initially, I was scared the silicone wouldn’t be powerful enough for that and would stretch.. Well so far, no issues!! I make use of a carabiner and attach it to my bag!! No stretching and super easy to transport my tap with me!

1.)Enables personalization of your Tap

2.)Since my tap isn’t for home use and protects your Tap from dings, this is fantastic

3.) I adore the brilliant and bright colours

4.) Silicone is strong enough for hanging

BUY NOW Amazon Tap Sling Cover

General: I do feel $20 for the sling is a little high but for the protection it provides my brand-new tap, I very happy with it.. I used to not buy my tap to sit still at home.. I bought it to go out with me!! That is performed excellently for by this sling and provides great protection while I am out and about!!

I plan on ordering more colors! I really like being able to personalize my Tap and also this sling will probably enable me to do that!

Update: 7/25/16 – holding up nicely! The sling still has original colour rather than marking up in anyhow.. Take it daily

The sling is only a cover for “Amazon Tap”, which is, according to Amazon, “a portable Bluetooth and Wifi enabled speaker that provides you with rich, full-range sound. Just tap the mike button and require music, hear news, search for advice, purchase a pizza, and more together with the Alexa Voice Service.”

Fundamentally Alexa on steroids but using a battery that is rechargeable.

Finest solution to perform that is always to get a carabiner. The sling has a ring at the top to attach it to and that works great. Amazon has a whole lot of them to pick if you look up carabiner, and as little as $3.00

BUY NOW Amazon Tap Sling Cover

Today I have been using the Exploit and sling daily for over the past two months and I felt like I needed to alter my review. This product was not initially recommended by me, but after living with it, and growing to enjoy it, I’m shifting my recommendation.

The simple truth is, the base and top feel more secure compared to the appearance would have you believe. I’ve dropped it a couple times and the sling protected it. I think the rubber absorbs the majority of the strength of the tumble. Additionally, it has been sat right into a puddle and the rubber sling protects the bottom.

I initially was upset by the sling keeping me from charging on the charging dock, as I thought it’d be, but it isn’t as big of a problem. I just pull off the bottom of the sling and charge it (leaving the very top of the sling on). easy off and easy back on after.

My only actual criticism that is lingering would function as cost. $20 for basically a thin piece of rubber wrap the top and bottom still seems a little excessive. I’m raising my stars . Really the price is the sole thing keeping this. I’ve come to really like the sling. I’ve likewise bought a pouch that was cheap into while transporting it, to throw it. That has eased my concerns about keeping it clean/safe while throwing it into a work bag.

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Amazon Tap review: Take Alexa with you everywhere

After over a year of flying beneath the radar Amazon’s Alexa voice, by technology standards -managed platform that is helper is seeking to be mainstream, plus among its first moves to that end would be to be – that is mobile using the newest Amazon Tap. We have spent several weeks using the battery powered variant of the first Alexa device, the Echo.

The Faucet is slightly more than half the size of the tabletop Echo, which must be plugged right into a wall all the time to work. While the Faucet offers one by untethering it in the wall socket of the characteristics we most wanted in the Echo, it introduces a brand new constraint to allow it to be possible. As its name implies, you will need to “tap” a physical button on the very front of the Tap in the event that you would like it to begin listening to your orders, while the Echo is constantly listening and could be used hands free from across an area or using a remote with built in mic.

BUY NOW Amazon Tap – Alexa-Enabled Portable Bluetooth Speaker

While this restriction is a bit of a heart-breaker because multitasking with voice commands while your hands are occupied is among the real pleasures of utilizing the Echo, the portability of the Harness means it winds up getting more use as well as in more surroundings, which makes it a net gain in utility complete.

The Tap became a tool that is favorite around house and my office, with grownups and kids equally catching hold of it to stream podcasts, music, audiobooks or reply questions that are arbitrary, give the weather forecast and play trivia, only for starters. The skill to transfer it from room to room made it more useful as opposed to Echo that was fixed, in spite of the first-class loudspeaker and mic of the bigger device.

BUY NOW Amazon Tap – Alexa-Enabled Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Tap Echo, and its particular older sibling

Astonishingly, the Tap is a bit less practical outside the home or alternative locations with committed Wifi. That is as it takes a continuous connection to the World Wide Web, and doing so having a cellular hotspot on a smartphone usually means losing quite a lot of battery life on the telephone.

In a world where a lot people are smartphone power users always striving to squeeze another hour from every fee, we discovered it generally does not make sense to give up that extra juice simply to keep the Harness plugged in, particularly when most cellphones already have voice helpers similar to Alexa that are merely a tap away.

Amazon appears to be aware with this competition, though, and has been aggressive about adding huge names to its Alexa platform – like Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn along with interfacing with a variety of smart home devices like SmartThings and Nest. It is also released API and an Alexa Skills Kit to enable programmers to generate an ever expanding record of abilities that allow for voice access that was small to texting, e-mail, requesting an Uber or purchasing fresh flowers. We have even seen an Echo used to pull a Tesla Model S from the garage.

BUY NOW Amazon Tap – Alexa-Enabled Portable Bluetooth Speaker

The mic button of pressing Tap cues it to listen for orders

Amazon throwing the doors open to Alexa for programmers has made it among the very useful voice-activated platforms about, plus it is only getting started, so a Solicit is the form of purchase that may be more precious as time goes on. It’s become the situation since it had been in beta, with all the Echo, which we have been using. Its general utility has exploded by leaps and bounds, even since it became accessible for one to buy through Amazon.

Once your cellular hotspot dies or you disconnect WiFi and the Tap, it becomes little a lot more than a Bluetooth loudspeaker that is middling. Do not anticiTape if it does not have an internet connection Alexa to even reply to your tap.

The Tap is not terrible, as bluetooth speakers go, but there are definitely better offerings at the $129 price point. You may get something of the same size from Bose with better audio to get the same cost, but of course that might only be a “slow” loudspeaker with no Alexa.

BUY NOW Amazon Tap – Alexa-Enabled Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Headphone and uSB interfaces are available on the back

When streaming music, the Tap provides sharp enough 360-degree sound from two 1.5-inch drivers and dual passive radiators for a little more bass. It has a charging cradle that is nifty and Amazon says it plays with nine hours of music per charge; we found this to be a conservative approximation, that has been a nice surprise.

At 6.2″ x 2.6″ x 2.6″ (159 mm x 66 mm x 66 mm), you can not quite pocket the Tap, but it does ease into a bag or a back pack readily enough and you can also purchase an elective sling that slides over the loudspeaker to shield its borders from falls and gives it an additional taking loop. Weighing just over one pound (470 gs) additionally allows you to tote.

The Tap does not come with a remote like the Echo, but it does have a few additional buttons on top that enable you to readily control volume and progressing back or forwards.

All in all, the Faucet is not the perfect voice-assisted device. We likely have not seen that just yet. What it does is offer an option for people that might have access from various places in the home, office or elsewhere to a strong voice helper like Alexa. If handsfree interaction with this kind of platform is smaller Echo Dot will probably make more sense or more valuable for you than portability, then the Echo.

Addititionally there is an additional form of customer who should look at the Solicit. In the event you are in the marketplace to get a mid range Bluetooth loudspeaker, we recommend considering the Tap. You are prone to get similar sound quality to get a cost that is similar, and using the additional incentive of access to some strong and fast growing voice platform.

BUY NOW Amazon Tap – Alexa-Enabled Portable Bluetooth Speaker


BUY NOW Amazon Tap – Alexa-Enabled Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Top 6 reasons to not purchase Tap

1. Alexa may not join your picnic

Wiretap, like other Echo products, depends upon a Wifi network for Alexa to work. That’s good if you’re using Exploit at home or the office on a local Wi-Fi network. Or if you’re staying at a friend’s home, or just a resort with Wi-Fi, though I haven’t examined this.

(By the way, Alexa won’t work with 5 GHz Wi-Fi networks. It supports 802.11b, 802.11g, or 802.11n and WEP, WPA, and WPA2 security.)

Nonetheless, what should you’d like to choose Tap to a picnic in the park? It will still work as a Bluetooth stereo speaker, playing tunes streamed from your smartphone. But unless there’s a strong Wi-Fi signal accessible, Alexa won’t be joining your picnic.

I tried connecting the device to my iPhone’s personal hotspot network multiple times without success. Update: A reader wrote me to say he readily connected Tap to his iPhone. Give it a try; you could have better luck than I ‘d.

2. Your voice won’t awaken Alexa

Regrettably, you don’t get the hands free Alexa experience with Tap. The device is so-named because to summon Alexa, you tap on a button on the tube-shaped loudspeaker. You can’t say, “Alexa, what’s the weather forecast now?,” as you would with Echo or its new sibling, Echo Dot ($90). Rather than that, you tap Pat’s microphone button, then inquire, “What’s the weather forecast now?”

That’s not a huge deal should you keep Pat near you. Nevertheless, I’ve gotten used to using my voice to inquire my Echo questions about traffic, weather, and news. It’s very convenient in the kitchen, when I’m cleaning up or cooking. If I ‘d Tap in the kitchen, it will be coated with flour as well as olive oil immediately.

3. It’s not a speakerphone

I’m also wondering why Amazon didn’t give Tap speakerphone capabilities. The device clearly has a loudspeaker and also a microphone, but its Bluetooth connectivity doesn’t comprise phone calls. That’s a missed chance, given that some competitive mobile Bluetooth speakers, including Jawbone’s Mini Jambox (also $130), can act as speakerphones.

4. It’s not waterproof

What else is missing from Pat? It’s not waterproof, as is true for UE Boom 2, which costs greater than Faucet ($199) but consistently earns outstanding reviews.

5. It can’t be paired with another Bluetooth loudspeaker

Also unlike UE Boom 2 and a few other Bluetooth speakers, you can’t pair Tap with a different Bluetooth loudspeaker for richer audio.

6. Battery life is OK but not as great as some competitors

UE Boom 2’s battery lasts around 15 hours vs. about 9 hours for Tap (according to their individual product specs).

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Top 3 reasons to buy Tap

1. It seems great

Tap’s audio quality seems great if you ask me. When cranked up, sound clarity didn’t get muddy, as can be the case with some mobile Bluetooth loudspeakers.

2. It’s not like another portable Bluetooth speaker on the marketplace

Tap’s built-in intelligence, despite its constraints, make Bug a one of a kind merchandise.

3. It’s the least expensive approach to get Alexa with a loaded stereo speaker

I’d urge Tap if you’re in the marketplace for a portable Bluetooth speaker, would like to have Alexa at home or in your workplace and don’t want to spend the extra $50 for Echo, and you don’t care about some of its aforementioned shortcomings.

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Amazon Tap Review: Say hello to my little friend and new traveling pal

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“Oh my God. It’s another one.”

It’s clear. First, tall, slim Echo. Then short, squat Dot. Now diminutive, talkative Harness.

But far from really being a simple Echo Mini Me, Tap has unique attributes all its own. And despite some frustrations (mainly with the awkward Alexa app), Amazon Tap could become your traveling buddy — whether that travel is between your home’s rooms or hotels on the road. Pat fulfills its promise as a quality mobile streaming WiFi and Bluetooth loudspeaker, and functions almost as well for Alexa voice command -and-response as its stationary sibs.

Tapping on outside of the carton

If you’ve ever seen an Echo, opening Amazon Tap’s carton is a surprise — not merely at how short Pat is, but how thin. Pat is two thirds the height and diameter of an Echo, and weighs about a pound. That’s more than a half-pound less than Echo. And where Dot is basically a squashed Echo with the same width, the six-inch tall Pat is smaller in every dimension, which makes it simple to hold and carry.

It’s “nearly,” because in the event you want to take total advantage of its own portability, you must shell out another $20 for a Sling cover that is rubberized to safeguard Harness from bumps and falls. At least you can select a colour.

Charging is straightforward. Set the Exploit onto the cradle and it charges up to its estimated nine-hour battery life. The charging cable plugs right into the back close to the power button, if Tap’s in its sling.

Setup instructions are excessively minimalist, in Amazon’s fashion that is typical, with a tiny inbox folder, and rely too heavily on the balky Alexa smartphone app. Even having experience setting up Dot and Echo doesn’t really help. Hold the power button to turn Tap on? Um, where’s the power button? How long do I hold it? Amazon, and Alexa, are silent on this and other potentially useful ease-of-set up issues.

Yet the voice that greets is all recognizable Alexa: “Hello. Your Tap is ready for set up. Just follow the instructions in your Alexa app.”

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And this is where Exploit frustrates. The in-app directions just don’t operate as expected. The app isn’t smart enough to understand I desire to connect the new Harness to an identical network though “Frank’s Echo Dot” and “Frank’s Echo” are shown as online within the app’s settings. Instead, I’m compelled to reenter the WiFi password that is identical long, then an “error enrolling device is returned by the app,” I exit setup, I re-enter set up, and unexpectedly “Frank’s Faucet” appears and is shown as being joined.

Oh, and the brief in-app “Intro to Tap on ” video it wants to show me? It really never gets beyond an infinitely loading rotating circle icon.

But at least Tap is ready to really go. Verdict: Fine hardware, but Amazon continues to get room for development on its flaky Alexa app.

Under my thumb, and control

Pat has a double function in life, both to channel Alexa’s awesome cloud voice and brain (well recorded elsewhere), and to be a far better mobile speaker than the first Echo.

TapportsPairing with my Google Nexus 5X was simple and straightforward. Under Bluetooth settings in the Alexa app, I followed Tap’s spoken prompts and chose “Enter matching mode”. I seemingly also could have pressed the Bluetooth/WiFi button on the back to commence the connection procedure.

Streaming via my smartphone was equally flawless: I listened to WAMU in Washington, D.C. through the TuneIn app, and played Electric Light Orchestra tunes on the Rhapsody app (don’t judge). Both of the soft touch volume controls in addition to Tap worked as expected with Rhapsody on Bluetooth, as did the person Next (“>>”>>) , Previous (buttons.

These lid-top controls, too, are different than on the Echo and Dot, owing to Pat’s mobile loudspeaker purpose. Echo and Dot each have a volume ring to turn that lights up. When touching Pat’s top to adjust volume, its five blue LED lights come on to affirm the press.

BUY NOW Amazon Tap – Alexa-Enabled Portable Bluetooth Speaker

But what about Alexa? Not because by invoking her name Pat on might inadvertently turn, as with Dot and Echo. But because saying “Alexa” will not trigger Alexa on Tap.

Rather than that, you press — or “ tap” — the button with a microphone icon on the front to issue your command. No leading “Alexa” required. When it’s pressed, Tap reacts with a tone, you speak, and Wiretap afterward validates it comprehends your request using a second tone.

The end result is still what you anticipate. Delightfully, Pat found and recited the news briefing I’d already configured for Echo and Dot immediately (the proven fact that Pat is registered to exactly the same Amazon account has everything to do with that), streamed music from my Amazon Music library and spouted a few Wikipedia facts, all over my WiFi connection.

And the audio is incredibly great. It filled my home office free of trouble.

But one critical evaluation remained: Road trip portability.

On the road

I travel a good deal. Usually, I take a Jam HMDX Bluetooth speaker, a gift from my son, to avoid crappy (or non-existent) resort radios and tinny smartphone and notebook audio.

Tucking the Pat into its green Sling like a water bottle into a holder, I rolled it up in clothes and carried it on board in my bag, determining to leave the charger at home to see how great the battery life truly was.

Unscathed and TapHotel1Unpacked, Tap’s first task was to connect to the resort WiFi. Sadly, the Alexa app once again displayed its flakiness, compelling me to go backward and forward repeatedly between signal-in the app to get it to accept the resort network and screens, even though all measures were followed precisely. It’s no more easy connecting Tap to WiFi on the road than at home, which is unlucky for a device that is mobile.

I didn’t attempt that, although tap does have a choice to connect to a smartphone’s mobile hotspot for WiFi instead.

In operation, Pat seemed great — far better than the Jam HMDX. It was suitable use or to play anything I would generally get through Alexa at home, from local and music weather to Alexa’s hundreds of skills that are “.” And I did as I normally do on the road, freeing up my Nexus 5X for other jobs, n’t need to use the smartphone as an intermediary between loudspeaker and sound.

The one disadvantage that became more evident on the road than at home was the need to press the Talk button whenever I desired to give Tap a new order. That generally meant walking across the hotel room, even to advance to another song. It’s if it may create the Alexa equivalent of an Caps Lock button for sequential Pat voice commands, an annoyance Amazon may have the ability to address in the future.

Having said that, Tap passed the traveling pal test. Best of all, it changed back to my home WiFi network automatically.

The Alexa family portrait

The $130 Amazon Tap is a smart alternative for those who would like intelligent voice features are ’sed by Alexa united with an impressive mobile Bluetooth/WiFi speaker. (To get complete use, the actual cost is $150, because you’ll desire the “elective” $20 Sling to carry it around.) The awkward-yet- Alexa app that is essential is Tap’s largest handicap.

Is a bit more confusing where it fits into Amazon’s Alexa speaker family from an audio point of view, and Amazon hasn’t exactly made the differences easy to understand. The initial $180 Echo has WiFi or Bluetooth sound in, but simply its own loudspeakers out. The $90 Echo Dot has WiFi or Bluetooth sound in, and Bluetooth or wired audio out. Now Tap has Bluetooth, WiFi, and sound that is wired like Echo, just its own loudspeakers, although in out.

Still, for flexibility, portability, and functionality, Amazon Tap strikes a nice balance. It probably will replace my road warrior-weary Jam loudspeaker.

Once I figure out how to describe that needless to say, to my son.

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