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Review: Amazon Echo Show 10

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The Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen) is the company’s new smart display and speaker, powered by the Alexa voice assistant. The Echo Show 10 comes packed with a combination of voice, audio, and display-based smart features. On the front of the device, you get a 10.1-inch display, that offers a resolution of 1280×800 pixels. You also get motion features that allow the screen to automatically turn to face you and follow your gaze when visual content is being viewed on the screen.

On the right edge, just above the display, you will find a 13MP camera with a built-in privacy cover and auto-framing features. The Echo Show 10 also comes with a speaker system that includes two 1-inch tweeters and a 3-inch woofer. The speaker is built into the base of the device, while the screen attaches separately to the top of the base. You will also find the buttons for volume and muting the microphones at the top of the screen.

The footprint of the Echo Show 10 isn’t much larger than other smart speakers on the market with a 10-inch display. The base of the device measures 6.7-inches in diameter, while its screen is 9.9-by-9-inches. However, it does need a lot more room to swivel around. When you switch the device on, it automatically calculates the space required for it to swivel around and recommends placements.

Amazon says you need to have a 15-by-10-inch area for the Echo Show 10 to rotate. While the Echo Show can very silently rotate 360 degrees, you do have to manually tilt its display to angle it the way you want. The base portion of the Amazon Echo Show 10 is covered in a smart speaker fabric, which is available in either charcoal or glacier white options. The variant we received for this review was the glacier white one.

Inside the box, you get the Amazon Echo Show 10, along with the power adapter and the rotation footprint template. Setting it up is a breeze. All you need to do is download the Amazon Alexa App, follow the onscreen instructions and you will be done in minutes.

Talking about motion, Amazon offers a wide range of options through the Echo Show 10’s settings. You can either trim down the turning radius of the display, set an exact idle position, or even disable motion completely. You can even restrict motion to “During Select Activities” such as calling, watching videos, or displaying recipes. If you do select “During All Activities”, the Echo Show 10 will track you for music playback, asking questions, or other interactions with Alexa.

A Zigbee hub is also built into the Echo Show 10, which allows you to set it up easily with other smart home products. To wake the Echo Show 10 up, all you need to do is use a wake word such as “Alexa”, “Amazon” or “Computer”. The Echo Show 10 will get into action and then turn to face you. As long as you’re in its field of view and range of motion, it will keep turning as you walk around the room, interacting with it.

One of the features I loved about the Amazon Echo Show 10, is the option of using it as a smart home camera. With Home Monitoring enabled in the display’s settings, anyone in your household can view the camera’s live feed from their Alexa app, as long as the camera’s shutter isn’t closed. You can also control the Echo Show 10’s motion remotely, by sliding your finger across the app’s live feed in the direction you’d like the display to face.

You can even make audio or video calls using the Alexa app. In addition, it also supports calls through Skype, Zoom, and so on. I was impressed by the overall audio quality, both during online calls, listening to music, and watching movies. Its dual one-inch tweeters and three-inch subwoofer combined to produce music that sounded very crisp, with brilliant mids and highs.

The Echo Show 10’s app and services ecosystem includes Prime Video, Netflix, Careem, Spotify, Anghami, and more. The Echo Show 10 can also be used as an Alexa Guard sensor. What this feature does is that if it hears a smoke or CO2 alarm or hears glass breaking, for instance, it will send an alert to your smartphone. Alexa Guard can also be connected to DIY home security systems, thus adding an extra layer of protection.

The way the overall Alexa ecosystem has developed over the past couple of years, I believe devices such as the Amazon Echo Show 10 will be more than just a smart display and speaker. For a price of AED 1099, you get a very capable smart display and speaker that also offers a wide range of features such as online calling, entertainment, security and so much more.

Price: AED 1099

Amazon Echo Show 10 AED 1099
  • Final Rating
3.5

Summary

One of the features I loved about the Amazon Echo Show 10, is the option of using it as a smart home camera. With Home Monitoring enabled in the display’s settings, anyone in your household can view the camera’s live feed from their Alexa app, as long as the camera’s shutter isn’t closed. You can also control the Echo Show 10’s motion remotely, by sliding your finger across the app’s live feed in the direction you’d like the display to face.

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Audio Devices

Sonos Ace Headphones Review: A Stylish Entry with Excellent Performance

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Sonos, the renowned home audio brand, took a bold step into the world of personal audio by introducing the Sonos Ace headphones. This premium, over-ear wireless headphones boast a sleek design, active noise cancellation (ANC), and the promise of signature Sonos sound.

Design and Comfort
Sonos doesn’t disappoint when it comes to aesthetics. The Ace headphones exude a minimalist elegance. Available in black and soft white, they feature a matte finish with metallic accents. The build quality feels substantial, with a mix of plush memory foam earcups and a sturdy, lightweight frame. These headphones are comfortable to wear for extended periods, thanks to the generous earcup padding and a well-distributed weight balance.

Controls and Functionality
Sonos opts for physical buttons over the now-commonplace touch controls. A multi-function “Content Key” on the right earcup handles playback, volume, and track skipping. A separate button cycles through ANC modes and voice assistant activation. The buttons offer a satisfying tactile response, a welcome change from the finicky nature of touch controls.

The Sonos app, though not as feature-rich as some competitors’ offerings, provides basic controls such as ANC adjustments and a five-band EQ, which allows for some sound customisation. One notable feature is multipoint Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to connect to two devices simultaneously. This is a convenient feature for users who switch frequently between phones and laptops.

Sound Quality
The Sonos Ace delivers a pleasant listening experience. The sound signature leans towards the warm side, with a satisfying bass presence without overwhelming the mids and highs. The instruments are well-defined, and the vocals come through clearly. For audiophiles, the Sonos Ace offers an outstanding soundstage.

The ANC is excellent, effectively blocking out low-frequency noise such as aeroplane hum and traffic rumble. Call quality is also very good, with the built-in microphones doing an adequate job of picking up your voice during calls.

Battery Life and Connectivity
Sonos boasts a stellar battery life of 30+ hours with ANC turned on. This is a major plus for frequent travellers and long listening sessions. The headphones use Bluetooth 5.3, offering a reliable connection with minimal latency.

A unique feature of the Sonos Ace is its potential integration with the Sonos ecosystem. The app allows you to switch seamlessly between the headphones and your Sonos home speakers. This functionality is currently limited, but future updates could unlock features such as using the headphones as surround sound speakers for your Sonos home theatre setup.

Verdict
The Sonos Ace headphones are a solid first entry into the wireless headphone market. They boast excellent noise cancellation, a comfortable design, and long battery life. The sound quality is quite good, too. The potential for deeper integration with the Sonos ecosystem is intriguing, however, the hefty price tag might deter some budget-conscious consumers.

If you’re a Sonos loyalist looking for a pair of stylish headphones with excellent ANC and good sound quality, the Sonos Ace is a compelling option, especially if the promise of future ecosystem integration appeals to you. The Sonos Ace headphones are a promising debut with a clear focus on comfort, noise cancellation, and design. They offer a well-rounded listening experience with the potential for exciting future developments within the Sonos ecosystem.

Price: AED 2099

Sonos Ace Headphones AED 2099
  • Final Rating
4

Summary

The Sonos Ace delivers a pleasant listening experience. The sound signature leans towards the warm side, with a satisfying bass presence without overwhelming the mids and highs. The instruments are well-defined, and the vocals come through clearly.

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Apple Detects Spyware Targeting iPhones in Multiple Countries

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Apple has issued a second spyware attack warning to iPhone users in 98 countries, raising concerns about the growing threat to mobile security. This follows a similar alert in April targeting users in 92 countries.

While specific details about the latest attacks remain under wraps, the alert serves as a stark reminder of the evolving threat landscape. India is one confirmed country where users received the notification.

Spyware, a particularly invasive type of malware, can grant attackers complete access to an iPhone, including encrypted messages, audio, and video. The notorious Pegasus spyware from NSO Group is a well-known example.

“Apple detected that you are being targeted by a mercenary spyware attack that is trying to remotely compromise the iPhone associated with your Apple ID -xxx-,” Apple wrote in its new spyware alert.

Adding to the concern, researchers recently revealed the return of LightSpy, a “particularly dangerous” campaign capable of pinpointing a target’s location with “near-perfect accuracy.”

The worrying aspect of these attacks is their ability to exploit “zero-click” vulnerabilities, meaning infection can occur without any user interaction, such as opening a malicious link or attachment.

This highlights the importance of remaining vigilant and following Apple’s security recommendations, which may include updating your device to the latest iOS version.

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Gadgets

Acer Launches Chromebox Mini

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As the digital landscape evolves, businesses are increasingly seeking ways to engage with audiences. Digital signage and interactive kiosks are at the forefront of this trend, with the market expected to reach $30.56 billion by 2028. Acer addresses this demand with mini-PCs designed for digital signage and kiosks. Their Chromebox Mini CXM1 is a secure and reliable mini-PC that can drive up to three displays simultaneously. It’s compact, silent, and features the latest connectivity options like Wi-Fi 6E and Gigabit Ethernet.

Powered by ChromeOS, the Chromebox Mini CXM1 offers fast deployment, automatic updates, and long-term support. Additionally, the cloud-based Google Admin console allows for remote management and customization. The Chromebox Mini CXM1 complements Acer’s existing line-up of digital signage solutions, including Large Format Displays (LFDs). Acer offers LFDs in various configurations, from high-resolution 4K displays to interactive whiteboards. These LFDs seamlessly integrate with the Chromebox Mini CXM1 using a VESA mounting kit.

Acer’s large format displays are designed for consistent performance and stunning clarity. They cater to various needs, including promotional signage, education, and corporate collaboration. With robust management tools and automated security, Acer displays require minimal maintenance, allowing businesses to focus on creating engaging content. Acer’s Chromebox Mini CXM1 and LFDs provide businesses with a comprehensive suite of tools for impactful advertising, information sharing, and customer interaction.

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