For more of the latest and greatest product releases, check out our full collection of the best new gear.
This week, Amazon had its biggest hardware event of the year and announced a lot of new gadgets (you can get the full rundown of gadgets here). A YouTuber put the Apple Watch Ultra to the ultimate durability test — they smashed it with a hammer over and over again — and it fared surprisingly well. Netflix proved that it’s getting even more serious about gaming by opening a studio in Finland. And Google announced that it was shutting down Stadia, its cloud gaming platform, which it launched less than three years ago; and it will be refunding everybody’s purchases (both 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 pair of flagship noise-canceling headphones and, at $699, they are the most expensive pair you can buy (other expensive competitors are Apple’s $549 AirPods Max and the Master & Dynamic $599 MW75.) The new headphones are essentially a higher-end model of the B&W’s recently released PX7 S2 ($399), with superior drivers and made of more luxury materials. They are available in two finishes: black or tan.
Teenage Engineering PO-80 Record Factory
Teenage Engineering is well-known for its creative gadgets and its latest one is no different. The PO-80 Record Factory is a unique kind of turnable because it is capable of both cutting and then 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. These are tiny 5-inch vinyl records, granted, so don’t expect to record an entire album (although there is an adapter for making 7-inch records). The PO-80 Record Factory is powered by USB 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 standouts from Amazon’s big hardware event was the Kindle Scribe. It’s the company’s newest and most high-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 preorder and is expected to ship before the holidays.
The other big standout from Amazon’s big hardware event was the Halo Rise, which is a bedside alarm and sleep tracking device. The Halo Rise has a built-in light and clock that will gradually warm (mimicking the sunrise) to gradually wakes you up. It also has integrated sensors for sleep tracking; it tracks your breathing patterns as well as room conditions like temperature, light levels and humidity, and then gives you information about your sleep that you can access in Alexa app. It is not a speaker does not come integrated with Alexa, but it will work with an existing Alexa smart speaker.
The Halo Rise is available for preorder and will ship later this year.
Astrohaus Freewrite Alpha
The Freewrite Alpha is Astrohaus’s most affordable smart typewriter to date. For those who don’t know, a smart typewriter allows you to type on a monochrome screen and be free of the internet’s many distractions (such as email). It connects to Wi-Fi and you can access the document you’ve typed afterward. Astrohaus is running an Indiegogo campaign for the Freewrite Alpha right now, and it’s expected to ship in 2023.
Skullcandy PLYR, SLYR Pro and SLYR Headsets
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 PC as well as the latest consoles. The SLYR and SLYR Pro are both wired headsets, while the PLYR is a wireless headset and has some more advanced features and even a Tile integration to help you find it if it gets misplaced.
Price: $60 — $130
Logitech MX Mechanical Mini for Mac
Logitech announced a new version of its popular wireless mechanical keyboard, the MX Mechanical Mini — this time it’s specifically made for Mac setups. The original model was compatible with Mac, but the new model is part of the “Designed for Mac” series. The only real difference is that it has the same key caps and configuration as a Magic Keyboard, plus the keyboard is available in either space gray or pale gray to match your Mac.
Nothing Ear (stick)
Nothing didn’t officially announced a new product, but it did release a teaser video and a bunch of lavish press photos of its upcoming pair of wireless earbuds called the Ear (stick). They are expected to be very different from the company’s Ear 1, and they’ll come in cylindrical and vibrantly-colored charging case. They are expected to be fully announced later this year.