Monday, December 4, 2023


Amazon Adds Support for Passkeys, Allowing for More Secure Logins

Amazon today announced that it has added passkey support to its desktop sites and mobile apps, allowing customers to sign

Kindle Scribe review

If you’re a bookworm who occasionally dabbles in digital note-taking, the Kindle Scribe ($329) might just be your new best friend. Amazon’s latest addition to the Kindle lineup has come a long way since its launch, and it’s shaping up to be a versatile tablet for readers and light scribblers.I didn’t have a chance to check out the Kindle Scribe at its launch and I’m actually somewhat glad. Why, you ask? Because some of the best features were not available when it made its debut. A few software updates later and the experience has been polished up — and now comprises much of what I love about the Kindle Scribe.Big Screen, Sharp DisplayThe Kindle Scribe boasts a design that’s both functional and attractive. It takes inspiration from the Kindle Oasis, with an all-metal chassis that not only looks premium but also feels sturdy in hand. The use of metal gives it a robust, durable feel, which is essential for a device meant for everyday use.The first thing you’ll notice about the Kindle Scribe is its size. It’s undeniably large, but surprisingly, it doesn’t feel overly cumbersome. The tablet is designed to be comfortable to hold, even for extended reading sessions. Despite its size, it’s not clumsy, and you won’t find your wrists aching after holding it for a while.The Kindle Scribe features a bezel that surrounds the display. Interestingly, the left side of the bezel is slightly larger, assuming you hold the tablet with the Amazon smile-up. If you flip it and hold the larger edge with your right hand, the Amazon logo will be upside-down but it doesn’t impact the device’s functionality. I like having a bit of extra margin to grab and it helps when reading, too.Pen AttachmentThe Kindle Scribe comes with an included pen that attaches to the tablet magnetically. However, this magnetic attachment method has its downsides. It’s not the most secure way to store the pen, and users have reported losing it when sliding the tablet in and out of backpack sleeves. While the magnet is strong-ish, it may not be foolproof. Thankfully, you can use other compatible pens if the need arises.The stylus included with the Kindle Scribe is often referred to as the “Basic Pen.” It provides a smooth and responsive writing experience, which is one of the highlights of the device. However, it’s worth noting that the Kindle Scribe now offers more pen options compared to its initial launch. These additional options provide users with varying pen styles and thickness levels, enhancing the versatility of the device for different writing and drawing preferences.I’ve found about one-third of the time I toss the Kindle Scribe into my bag with the stylus attached to it I need to go hunting for it in the bottom of the pouch. Or, more interesting and less explainable, it feels like it’s moved to a different spot in the bag. Perhaps it’s coming off as I slide it in and I’m unaware? Hard to say, for certain, but it happens enough to make me worry that I’m ultimately going to lose the stylus.Premium PenIf you have the chance (or budget) to purchase a Kindle Scribe with the Premium Pen, I suggest doing to. While the standard one works just fine, the Premium Pen features a shortcut button and a dedicated eraser at the top. This eraser function feels smooth and natural, even though it’s not as precise as the stylus nib. I left the shortcut button alone and use it more as a highlighter for my notes or markups.Display QualityThe Kindle Scribe‘s display isn’t just large; it’s also backlit. It offers a very bright LED backlit screen that can shift from a bluish-gray tint to a blue light-free tint, making it ideal for nighttime reading. This feature adds a layer of versatility to the device, allowing you to read comfortably in various lighting conditions.The Kindle Scribe’s design balances aesthetics, ergonomics, and functionality. While the magnetic pen attachment could be more secure, the tablet’s overall design is well-suited for reading and light writing tasks, making it an appealing choice for those seeking a larger Kindle experience.Magazines, books, handwritten notes, you name it, it looks excellent on this display. And maybe it’s a personal preference, but I kind of like that there’s no color or otherwise distracting graphics. It helps me stay focused on the business at hand. It’s one of the reasons I like the Kindle line; singular focus and isolated tasks keep me feeling productive. Reading and WritingThe Scribe’s built-in backlight is fantastic. It lets you read and write in dimly lit rooms, a feat the Remarkable can’t pull off. Amazon’s device opts for simplicity, which is a plus for most users who aren’t conducting high-stakes boardroom meetings. Plus, it won’t break the bank.The Kindle Scribe’s reading experience is where it truly shines, offering readers a delightful and versatile platform to immerse themselves in books, magazines, comics, and more. The 10-inch screen of the Kindle Scribe significantly enhances the reading experience. It allows for comfortable adjustments like increasing font size and spacing, perfect for readers who prefer larger text or use specialized fonts like Open Dyslexic. With this screen size, you won’t find yourself constantly turning pages, a common frustration when reading on smaller devices.While Amazon offers cases with multiple standing heights, I opted for a third-party case that suits my preferences better. This flexibility in choosing a case allows you to find the perfect viewing angle, making long reading sessions even more comfortable. All of this applies, too, for just holding it in your hands at angle angle or orientation.The Kindle Scribe boasts an impressive battery life that can last for days on a single charge. This exceptional battery endurance provides peace of mind, especially for forgetful readers like me, who often forget to charge their devices. Knowing that the Kindle Scribe doesn’t require frequent charging adds an extra layer of convenience to the reading experience.With that said, I am a creature of habit and like to charge my devices up on a semi-regular basis. I’ve had to tell myself to not charge the Scribe because I wanted to see how much life I get from the battery. Let’s just say that I’ve never had to charge it, and only that I chose to charge it twice over a month’s time.The Kindle Scribe’s Bluetooth feature makes it easy to enjoy audiobooks alongside your e-reading. During my time, I spent a couple of hours listening to Stephen King’s latest audiobook, “Holly,” via Bluetooth. The device seamlessly blends e-reading with audiobook listening, enhancing the overall reading experience.For comic and magazine enthusiasts, the larger 10-inch screen is a game-changer. Reading them digitally on the Kindle Scribe is a vastly improved experience compared to smaller e-readers like the Paperwhite. The screen size even surpasses that of physical manga, offering more convenience. A common gripe at its launch was the inability to write in the margins of books. Amazon’s got you covered now with ‘write on’ books in the Kindle store. It’s a small but growing selection, featuring pre-filled journaling pages and even crossword puzzles. More possibilities await, and we hope to see Amazon foster some self-publishing in this ‘write on’ zone.When it comes to replacing a traditional notebook, the Kindle Scribe offers a compelling alternative that brings digital convenience to the realm of pen and paper. One of the immediate advantages of the Kindle Scribe as a notebook is that you never run out of paper or ink, and there’s no need to worry about sharpening pencils. It’s a sustainable and eco-friendly choice for those who value reducing waste.Amazon’s palm rejection technology works exceptionally well, with only occasional issues when dragging the palm across the screen. This minor inconvenience is easily manageable, and users quickly adapt to resting their palms on the display without accidentally turning pages.The Kindle Scribe impresses with its near-zero latency, offering an almost instant response when the stylus nib touches the screen. The matte finish and responsive nature of the screen make drawing and writing feel as natural as using traditional pen and paper.Erasing mistakes on the Kindle Scribe is a breeze. There’s no need to deal with eraser dust, and you won’t end up with ink or lead stains on your hands.The screen’s response to erasing creates a satisfying fade effect. When erasing content, it gradually fades away before the screen refreshes, which can be slightly jarring. It’s a small quirk but worth noting. I find that sometimes it’s easier to swipe to the next page or previous page to more or less finish erasing everything.The Kindle Scribe, like physical notebooks, has limitations. You can’t edit your notes on a phone or laptop after writing them, as Amazon syncs them as image files to the Kindle app. While you can export them as PDFs and use third-party editors for modifications, this process is less efficient than using dedicated note-taking apps like Evernote or Google Keep.The Kindle Scribe shines for personal use, especially for creating lists, organizing tasks, and jotting down thoughts. You can start notebooks with various background patterns, such as lined paper or checkboxes, which are handy for tasks and shopping lists. It promotes productivity and organization and I’ve literally tossed about five different notepads back in my office drawer.ConclusionIn the world of large-screen Kindles, the Scribe is a solid choice for book lovers. Its price may seem steep, but the expansive display and sharp text make it worth considering. For those who want to dabble in digital note-taking, it’s more than a viable option, but there are more feature-rich alternatives at a similar price point.One of the reasons I didn’t love the Fire Max 11 was that it endeavored to do too much with its own ecosystem’s limitations. Whereas the original Kindle Fire models were great at keeping me in a Google-free silo, the 2-in-1 approach to productivity and business-like capabilities of the Fire Max 11 left me wanting more. I needed a few more apps to make me feel like it was the one device solution for travel and remote work.The Kindle Scribe lands on the other side of that, leaving me wanting for just a smidge more in the area of sharing and importing/exporting. Here, I would appreciate being able to more easily pull in a list or document for markup; I’d love to be able to send off to Google Keep or upload to Airtable. But that’s just when talking about the notes. As for everything else that the Kindle Scribe sells itself as doing, I love it. I’ve long been an Audible user having moved to audiobooks and podcasts some time back. Lately, though, I’ve gotten the itch to go back to digital books so that I can mark them up, add my notes, and make them feel like “mine”. In the meantime, however, I do like that I can use the Kindle Scribe to play my Audible titles to a paired set of Bluetooth earbuds.

Early Prime Day deal gets you over 1 million Kindle books for free

This early Prime Day deal gets you millions of Kindle books free with an active subscription to Kindle Unlimited.

Amazon unveiled new devices at the Annual Fall Event

Amazon officially unveiled its new product portfolio including new Echo devices, Alexa Enhancements, and a refreshed Fire TV Stick lineup at its latest hardware event. For the last 10 years, Amazon has continuously worked on innovative smart home products that transformed the way we use technology in our everyday lives, and with time Amazon’s devices just keep getting better. Amazon tweaks the new devices and features with advanced AI. From the latest Echo devices to Amazon’s Fire TV lineup, here are all the new devices and features showcased at Amazon’s 2023 Echo and Alexa event. Refreshed Fire TV lineupAmazon has officially launched the 2nd Generation Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K and Fire TV Stick 4K Max. The refreshed versions now come with significant improvements means you get more processing power, faster wireless capabilities, an updated operating system, and much more.Amazon claims, its 2nd Gen Fire TV Stick 4K is nearly 30% more powerful than the last generations which means you will experience a smooth, fluid, and vibrant 4K Ultra HD streaming. In addition, Amazon also includes support for Wi-Fi 6 up from the Wi-Fi 5 previous models. The 2nd Gen Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K retails at $49.99. The high-end Fire TV Stick 4K Max boasts the latest Wi-Fi 6E wireless capabilities and delivers low latency and faster speeds. It has HDR, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, and Atmos support which ensures stunning visuals and immersive audio experience. The flagship Fire TV Stick 4K Max costs $59.99 and both are up for pre-orders via Amazon. In addition to that, Amazon finally announced a 24-inch Bluetooth-enabled Fire TV Soundbar to elevate your streaming experience, starting at $119.99. Amazon tuned this compact soundbar with DTS Virtual X and Dolby Audio offers immersive sound, crisp dialogue, and solid bass. Fire HD 10 Tablet- Lighter and Faster tablets for your kidsAmazon unveiled the 2023 version of the Fire HD 10 tablet which is primarily made for kids. The tablet boasts a 10.1-inch FHD display that offers great visuals. The tablet has two variants which are designed for two different kids’ age groups. The successor bags lots of improvements over the last generation including a 25% faster performance, 3GB RAM, up to 13 hours of battery life, and an upgraded 5MP selfie camera. The Fire HD 10 kids variant retails at $189.99 while the regular variant is priced at $149.99, both are already up for pre-orders via Amazon. AI-Powered Alexa- It is inevitable. Alexa is powered by generative AI which means that Alexa is now more smarter and more conversational. The Alexa Let’s Chat feature will offer more realistic conversations with Alexa and there is no need to keep on saying Hey Alexa during conversations.Apart from that, Alexa will schedule daily routines, play songs, offer real-time information, and and efficient smart home control without lifting a finger for you.  Echo Hub: Control your home more efficientlyAmazon’s wall-mountable smart home control panel Echo Hub powered by Alexa lets you control all your smart home devices in a single 8-inch dashboard and helps you to keep your home organised. With over 140,000 smart devices support and all major connectivity standards including Thread and Matter, the Echo Hub helps make smart home commands even faster. For instance, if you tap on turn on the light from your Echo Hub, Alexa will take 300 milliseconds to turn it on. Echo Hub starts at $179.99 and will be available later this year via Amazon. Echo Show 8The newly announced Echo Show 8 now comes with a centered positioned camera, edge-to-edge glass front screen, and custom-built special audio processing technology plus room adaption tech that senses the acoustics of the room and fine tunes the playback for optimal sound- massive upgrades over its predecessor. There are new software improvements too, the Echo Show 8 will automatically change the home screen depending on where you are standing. Furthermore, the built-in smart home hub will allow you to control all your smart home devices from one place. The Echo Hub is priced at $149.99 and shipping will start from October 2023.Check out the full details of the newly launched devices here.

Amazon Announces Alexa With Generative AI, New Echo Devices, eero Max 7 With Wi-Fi 7 Support and More

Amazon today hosted an event to introduce a range of new devices and services across its brands, from an updated

Amazon just announced 2 new Android tablets made just for kids

Amazon's new Fire HD 10 Kids and Kids Pro don't have huge changes, but they are adding some new apps and games that are worth paying attention to.

Prebuilt PCs are problematic — here’s how to avoid getting scammed

Prebuilt PCs have some merits, but I'm never going to buy one again. Here's why I would choose to build my own PC each and every time.

Amazon Fire Max 11 Tablet available at 40% discounted price

It’s hard to find the featured packed tablet at an affordable price point when a variety of options are available in the market. If you are someone who is looking for a tablet at a budget range then Amazon has a very interesting deal for you. Recently launched Amazon’s Fire Max 11 tablet was originally priced at $244 price tag but today, you can buy it for $204. Amazon offering a straight 40%discount on its latest tablet which is very rare to see such hefty discounts on a recently released product.Reasons to buy the Amazon Fire Max 11 tabletIn our Amazon Fire Max 11 review, we praised it for its long lasting battery life and decent performance. Amazon’s latest Fire Max 11 Android tablet comes with an impressive set of features at an affordable price point. You get a large 11-inch display with a 2,000 x 1000p resolution makes your multimedia and browsing experience more immersive. Under the hood, the tablet is powered by an octa-core processor paired with 4GB of RAM and up to 128GB of internal storage which is further expandable up to 1TB via microSD card. The processor is powerful enough to handle gaming-sided things, multitasking, and smooth streaming. Buy NowIt has a thin and light durable Aluminum design and strengthened glass protection on top which Amazon claimed it’s three times as durable as iPad 10.9-inch 10th gen. The tablet offers a great battery life of up to 14 hours on a single charge. It also has a keyboard and Amazon stylus pen support that you need to purchase separately. On the front, there is an 8MP snapper for clever video calls and selfies. And you get the latest WiFi 6 connectivity support ensures faster, smoother connections on calls, while streaming and gaming. 

Amazon expands use of generative AI to summarize product reviews

Amazon is rolling out the use of generative-AI technology to summarize customers’ product reviews on its shopping site.

Apple Watch Ultra just got an unprecedented price cut

Amazon is offering an Apple Watch Ultra deal that drops the price to its lowest price point ever since launch.

Amazon Fire Max 11 review

The Amazon Fire Max 11 is the largest and most powerful tablet in Amazon’s lineup, featuring a metal build that feels premium compared to other Fire devices. With an 11-inch LCD screen and a resolution of 2,000 x 1,200 pixels, it delivers decent visuals for consuming media content. However, the 16:9 aspect ratio indicates its primary focus on movie watching rather than productivity tasks. The tablet also includes a fingerprint reader on the side power button, a microSD slot for expandable storage, and support for Wi-Fi 6. That’s a lot of awesome stuff to be sure, but it’s not quite enough to justify its price. All told, I might suggest scraping some of the expandability that comes with the add-on keyboard and stylus, and keeping things in the lean-back space that made its predecessors so attractive.See, the Fire Max 11 aims to be more than just a content consumption device, but it fails to deliver a compelling productivity experience. While the tablet’s metal chassis, eight-megapixel camera, fingerprint scanner, and magnetic keyboard case and stylus attachment provide a premium look and feel, the software limitations hinder its usability for work tasks.Target UserWhile the Fire Max 11 is marketed as a premium tablet, it fails to justify its price tag. Amazon’s Fire OS, a modified version of Android, lacks essential features and access to the Google Play Store. Consequently, the tablet is best suited for users who primarily consume Amazon content, such as movies, books, and music. Don’t get me wrong, the tablet aspires to be more and do more, but it falls well short on this attempt. At least in that cohesive experience that feels like the software and the hardware teams talk to each other.For users seeking a more versatile tablet experience that encompasses productivity and a broader app selection, there are better options available at similar price points.Software ExperienceThe core issue with the Fire Max 11 lies in its software. Fire OS is heavily tailored towards promoting Amazon’s own ecosystem, making it challenging to perform tasks beyond consuming Amazon content. It lacks Google apps and the Play Store, restricting users to the limited offerings of Amazon’s App Store. Attempts to install the Play Store on the device require additional steps and may not work reliably. Overall, the software limitations hinder the tablet’s functionality and versatility.The biggest hurdle faced by the Amazon Fire Max 11 is its software experience, which falls short in meeting the demands of productivity tasks. Running on Fire OS, a modified version of Android, the tablet lacks crucial updates and features that would enhance its usability for work.Fire OS is heavily geared towards promoting Amazon’s content and services, with a focus on delivering a seamless experience for consuming Amazon media. However, it neglects essential productivity applications and tools needed for work-related activities. The absence of Google apps and services further limits the tablet’s functionality, leaving users without access to popular productivity apps like Google Docs, Gmail, and Google Maps.Now, to be fair, I absolutely love this on the right tablet. Time and again I find that a full-on Google Play experience opens the door up a bit more than I’d like. I tend to prefer the “lean back” vibe and content consumption that comes with earlier Kindle Fires. Here, the tablet endeavors to do more, especially with add-on hardware accessories. Sadly, the OS and extras only go to show the limitations of the custom platform.The Fire Max 11 runs an aging version of Fire OS, which I believe is based on Android 11, despite the availability of more recent versions. This means missing out on significant software advancements and improvements found in newer Android iterations. The lack of gestures for navigation and reliance on virtual buttons at the bottom of the screen hampers the overall user experience, making it less intuitive compared to tablets with more modern software.Another notable drawback is the presence of ads on the lock screen, which can be removed for an additional fee. This can be off-putting for users seeking a distraction-free and professional environment for productivity. And considering the higher price of the tablet, I think that the $15 could be absorbed by Amazon.Moreover, Amazon’s app store, the primary source for acquiring applications on the Fire Max 11, is limited in its offerings. Many essential productivity apps are absent from the store, leaving users with a limited selection and unable to access widely used tools. While some workarounds exist, such as sideloading the Google Play Store, this process requires additional steps, compromises security features, and is not easily accessible to the average user.Overall, the software experience of the Fire Max 11 is a significant obstacle to its viability as a productivity tablet. The lack of essential apps, outdated software version, and limitations imposed by Fire OS hinder users’ ability to perform work-related tasks efficiently. Here’s a list of some of the daily productivity apps and tools that I’d love to use on a more well-rounded device:SlackAirtableTodoistEvernoteGoogle titles like Keep, Gmail, CalendarWhile the tablet may serve adequately for basic productivity needs, it falls behind competitors that offer a more comprehensive and up-to-date software ecosystem.What We LikeThe Fire Max 11’s metal build offers a premium feel, and its performance is noticeably faster than previous Fire tablets. The inclusion of a fingerprint reader, Wi-Fi 6 support, and front and rear cameras enhance the tablet’s usability. For those focused on consuming Amazon content, the tablet delivers a satisfactory experience and provides access to a range of Amazon Prime features and perks.The Amazon Fire Max 11 boasts a design that aims to offer a more premium look and feel compared to other Fire tablet models. With its metal chassis and refined build quality, it distinguishes itself from the plastic-backed tablets in Amazon’s lineup.The tablet’s 11-inch LCD screen, with a resolution of 2,000 x 1,200 pixels, delivers punchy colors and wide viewing angles. While it performs well in indoor environments and offers reasonable brightness for outdoor use in shaded areas, the 5:3 aspect ratio may feel cramped when browsing the web or working on documents. In portrait orientation, the tablet’s usability can be awkward and less comfortable compared to devices with more productivity-oriented aspect ratios.One notable addition is the inclusion of a fingerprint scanner integrated into the power button, a first for a Fire tablet. This provides a convenient and secure method for unlocking the device and adds an extra layer of user privacy.The Fire Max 11’s design also includes a keyboard case and stylus. The keyboard attaches magnetically to the tablet’s bottom edge, drawing power directly from the device, eliminating the need for separate charging or Bluetooth pairing. The keys are adequately spaced and offer decent travel, with a row of function keys for media and system controls. However, the trackpad on the keyboard is criticized for being cramped and sticky, making precise gestures challenging to execute. And when you’re using the tablet in portrait mode it just feels wonky and wrong.The stylus, utilizing USI 2.0 technology, provides a smooth and lag-free writing experience akin to using an Apple Pencil on an iPad. While it falls short in terms of software support and the availability of dedicated note-taking apps, the stylus itself performs admirably. In the right context and usage, I like having one available, but there’s got to be a better way to attach it than magnetically on the side edge.What We Didn’tThe tablet’s biggest drawback is its price-to-performance ratio. Compared to other tablets in the market, including the base model iPad, Pixel Tablet, OnePlus Pad, and Lenovo’s Tab P11 Pro, the Fire Max 11 falls short in terms of power and software capabilities. Fire OS’s limitations and lack of essential apps hinder productivity and restrict users to Amazon’s ecosystem. Given the availability of superior alternatives at similar or slightly higher price points, it’s challenging to justify purchasing the Fire Max 11.ConclusionThe Amazon Fire Max 11 attempts to position itself as a high-end tablet, but it ultimately fails to deliver the value and versatility expected at its price range. I appreciate the effort and slight pivot for Amazon, but perhaps they’d be better off introducing a new product line and letting the Fire series stay with what made it so appealing.While it excels in consuming Amazon content, the tablet’s limited software and lack of essential apps hinder its usability for other tasks. Unless you are solely focused on accessing Amazon’s ecosystem, there are better tablet options available that offer superior performance and a more robust software experience. AvailabilityYou can learn more about the features and capabilities of the Fire Max 11 at (where, else?) Amazon. It’s currently available for $229.99. For your money you’ll get the 64GB model with lock screen ads. It’s also offered with 128GB storage, a keyboard and/or stylus, and more.

It took me 20 minutes to make Amazon’s new Android tablet perfect

The Amazon Fire Max 11 is very close to being a fantastic all-round laptop alternative, but it needed just one thing to make it perfect: Google Play.

How to install the Google Play Store on your Amazon Fire tablet

Want to get the Google Play Store on your Amazon Fire tablet so you can download more apps and games? Here's a guide on how to do it!

Samsung Galaxy S23 had its price slashed by $200 for Prime Day

The Samsung Galaxy S23 smartphone is 25% off as part of the Prime Day shopping holiday. Here's the best way to buy one.

From $500 to $210: This Segway electric scooter is $290 off for Prime Day

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The Fitbit Charge 5 is $100 during Prime Day deals

The Fitbit Charge 5 has dropped to one of tis lowest prices ever during Prime Day 2023. Grab it before it sells out.