8 new gadgets to keep on your radar
For more on the latest and greatest product releases, check out our full collection of the best new gear.
This week, Amazon held its biggest hardware event of the year and announced a lot new gadgets (you can get the full list of gadgets here). A YouTuber put the Apple Watch Ultra through the ultimate durability test – they smashed it with a hammer again and again – and it performed surprisingly well. Netflix has proven that it takes gaming even more seriously by opening a studio in Finland. And Google announced it was shutting down Stadia, its cloud gaming platform it launched less than three years ago; and it will refund everyone’s purchases (hardware and software).
Here’s what you need to know about all the cool new gadgets that launched this week.
Bowers & Wilkins PX8
The Bowers & Wilkins PX8 are the company’s new flagship pair of noise-canceling headphones, and at $699 they’re the most expensive pair you can buy (other expensive competitors are Apple’s $549 AirPods Max and the $599 Master & Dynamic MW75.) The new headphones are essentially a higher-end model of B&W’s recently released PX7 S2 ($399), with superior drivers and made of more luxurious materials. They are available in two finishes: black or beige.
Teenage Engineering PO-80 Record Factory
Teenage Engineering is well known for its creative gadgetry and its latest is no different. The PO-80 Record Factory is a unique type of turntable as it is capable of both cutting and playing a vinyl record. That’s right, you can connect it to an audio device (via a 3.5mm jack) and make a vinyl record. They’re tiny 5-inch vinyl records, okay, so don’t expect to record an entire album (although there’s an adapter to do 7-inch records). The PO-80 Record Factory is USB powered and has its own built-in speakers; you can also hook it up to an external speaker via a 3.5mm connection.
One of the stars of Amazon’s big hardware event was the Kindle Scribe. It’s the company’s newest and highest-end e-reader, but it’s most notable because it’s the first Kindle to work with a stylus (called the Scribe Pen); it attaches to the side of the Kindle Scribe and you can use it to take notes, leave page markers or even draw.
The Kindle Scribe is available for pre-order and is expected to ship before the holidays.
The other big standout at Amazon’s big hardware event was the Halo Rise, which is a bedside alarm and sleep tracker. The Halo Rise has a built-in light and clock that will gradually warm up (mimicking the sunrise) to gradually wake you up. It also has built-in sensors for sleep tracking; it tracks your breathing patterns as well as ambient conditions such as temperature, light levels and humidity, then gives you information about your sleep that you can access in the Alexa app. It’s not a speaker that doesn’t have Alexa built in, but it will work with an existing Alexa smart speaker.
The Halo Rise is available for pre-order and will ship later this year.
Astrohaus Freewrite Alpha
The Freewrite Alpha is Astrohaus’ most affordable smart typewriter to date. For those who don’t know, a smart typewriter allows you to type on a monochrome screen and get rid of the many distractions of the internet (like emails). It connects to Wi-Fi and you can access the document you typed afterwards. Astrohaus is currently running an Indiegogo campaign for Freewrite Alpha, and it is expected to ship in 2023.
Skullcandy PLYR, SLYR Pro and SLYR Helmets
Skullcandy has announced its first gaming headsets in years. There are three different models – PLYR ($130), SLYR Pro ($100), and SLYR ($60) – and all are relatively affordable and compatible with PCs as well as the latest consoles. The SLYR is the base model and only works as a wired headset. The other two, the PLYR and SLYR Pro, can work wirelessly and have more advanced features; you can set your own sound profile, they come with a low latency wireless transmitter and are integrated with a Tile tracker.
Price: $60 — $130
Logitech MX Mechanical Mini for Mac
Logitech has announced a new version of its famous wireless mechanical keyboard, the MX Mechanical Mini, this time specially designed for Mac configurations. The original model was Mac compatible, but the new model is part of the “Designed for Mac” series. The only real difference is that it has the same keycaps and layout as a Magic Keyboard, and the keyboard comes in space gray or light gray to match your Mac.
Nothing Ear (stick)
Nothing hasn’t officially announced a new product, but it has released a teaser video and a bunch of lavish press photos of its upcoming pair of wireless headphones called Ear(stick). They’re expected to look quite different from the company’s Ear 1, and they’ll come in a cylindrical, brightly colored charging case. They are expected to be announced in full later this year.
Price: To be determined