The big picture: Amazon announced a slew of new devices at its fall product announcement event in Arlington, Virginia, this week. Some of the more notable additions to the company's portfolio include the eero Max 7 router, new Fire tablets, a Fire TV Soundbar, updated Echo Frames, and a host of security devices from its Ring and Blink brands.
Starting off with the eero Max 7, it's a premium Wi-Fi 7 router with tri-band connectivity, including 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz. The device is capable of delivering wireless throughput of up to 4.3 Gbps and wired speeds of up to 9.4 Gbps. Amazon claims that the router can cover up to 2,500 square feet by itself, while a three-pack can cover up to 7,500 square feet.
The Max 7 comes with two 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports, two 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet ports, and supports multiple wired devices simultaneously. Amazon also claims that the device's patented TrueMesh technology dynamically routes data through the fastest path in the network, thereby limiting interference and offering improved signal quality and reliability.
The eero Max 7 also comes with what the company calls an "advanced passive thermal design" that offers blazing-fast performance without requiring a fan. Amazon assures buyers that the Max 7 will work with all major ISP networks, and will be easy to set up and manage. In addition, it will be backward compatible with previous generations of eero devices for easy upgradability.
The eero Max 7 is priced at $599.99 for a one-pack, $1,149.99 for a two-pack, and $1,699.99 for a three-pack. It will be available for purchase through eero.com, Amazon, and other retailers like Best Buy, and ISPs like Frontier and Metronet in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Italy, France, Germany, and Spain.
Alongside all the new hardware, Amazon also offered a preview of its upgraded Alexa voice assistant that is now powered by generative AI based on a new custom-built large language model (LLM) specifically optimized for voice interactions. U.S. users will soon be able to test some of the new Alexa features by simply saying "Alexa, let's chat!"
In a press release, the company said that with the new update, conversations with the voice assistant will feel more natural and conversational, and "Alexa's ability to reason, infer customer intent, and understand complex requests will remarkably improve."
Alexa is also getting a number of new features, including Call Translation that will translate your Alexa audio and video calls in real-time, as well as an Eye Gaze Mode that will help users with speech or mobility disabilities to just look at their tablet to perform pre-set Alexa actions like playing music and shows, control their home environment, and even make phone calls.