Amazon announced a Prime Early Access Sale earlier this week (aka Prime Day 2.0), but today, the company took the wraps off of some new hardware it’s been cooking up over the past year. That includes new Echo speakers, as usual, but there are some surprises too, such as the Kindle Scribe—the first Kindle you can scribble on—and a bedside sleep tracker called the Halo Rise.
Here’s everything Amazon announced today. The majority of these new devices will ship in 100 percent recyclable packaging in the US.
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A Kindle You Can Doodle On
One of the features we like best about the Kindle is that as an ebook reader, it is a relatively affordable, single-use device. However, as Amazon adds new models, the price has crept up. Today, Amazon debuted the first Kindle you can write on. The Kindle Scribe has a 10.2-inch screen, which is decidedly larger than any existing Kindle. The front-lit display is otherwise similar to the Paperwhite, with 300 pixels per inch (PPI) and adjustable warm light, but it also comes with a battery-free pen. Now you can annotate books, write in your journal, and mark up PDFs right from your Kindle. Next year, you’ll be able to send marked-up documents directly from Microsoft Word.
It will be available before the holidays and costs $340 with the pen included, a step up from the pricey Kindle Oasis but similar to other E Ink note-taking tablets like the ReMarkable 2. You get four months of Kindle Unlimited and free cloud storage too. —Adrienne So
New Echo Speakers
You’re in luck if you prefer Alexa over Google Assistant—Amazon has updated five of its Echo devices. The Echo Dot ($50) and Echo Dot With Clock ($60) each get a new custom full-range driver for better-sounding music (with double the bass!). There’s also a neat new sensor that gives Alexa the ability to perform a task based on the room’s temperature, so your smart fan can automatically kick on when it gets too warm. These two models add gesture controls too, so you can tap the top of the Dot to dismiss a timer or control music. The Echo Dot Kids ($60) gets new owl and dragon designs, but its internal is the same as the last fourth-gen version.
We already thought the previous Echo Studio had the best sound quality of the bunch, but the new upgrade ($200) adds spatial audio processing and “frequency range extension” that should better fill your space with sound. Already own the older Studio? A software update will add those audio upgrades for free automatically. Then there’s the new Echo Auto ($55), which puts Alexa in your car in a much smaller body than the last version. The new model includes five microphones, so you don’t need to belt “Alexa” when the heater is blasting. It also comes with a new adhesive mount. —Medea Giordano
A Bedside Sleep Tracker
Want to track your sleep but hate wearing a smartwatch or fitness tracker to bed? Say hello to the Halo Rise—Amazon’s contactless sleep tracker. It’s hardly a new idea—Google’s second-gen Nest Hub has a Sleep Sensing feature to track your sleep via low-energy radar, and Withings has a pad that goes under your mattress. The Halo Rise uses ambient radar technology and machine learning—sans microphones or cameras. Instead, it uses a sleep algorithm that’s been trained to track breathing patterns based on a clinical data set.