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For some people, talking to Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant in the home has become second nature. It’s so natural that they’ll even try to do it when there’s no Alexa device around — on a road trip, for example.

But now Alexa is starting to hit the road, most recently in the form of a tiny, windshield-mounted gadget. The new $150 device, called the Garmin Speak, was born through a collaboration of Amazon and Garmin and is basically an Echo Dot for the car, plus Alexa-controlled GPS directions.


Geared Up co-hosts Andru Edwards and Todd Bishop think the device is a cool idea and a step in the right direction for the Alexa brand. But Andru does have his doubts — in his mind, the car is more suited to smartphone-driven interfaces, like Apple’s CarPlay feature.

Speaking of phones, Andru has been using his brand new iPhone 8 Plus for a couple weeks now, and he’s loving it. The transition to iOS 11, on the other hand, hasn’t been as smooth.

iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. (Apple Photos)

We get a review of the device so far on this episode. Andru also helps Todd answer a question a lot of folks are having: Should he go for the iPhone 8, or splurge and get the deluxe iPhone X?

Andru also takes issue with Amazon’s newly announced Kindle Oasis, the first waterproof Kindle. His problem: the price. The device runs $250, very pricey for an e-reader, even one with high-end hardware.

In other hardware news this week, Microsoft announced the long-awaited launch of the Surface Book 2, which comes two years since the original Surface Book went on the market. The 2-in-1 laptop and tablet device was one of the first of its kind, and Microsoft is looking to do even more with the second generation.

Microsoft’s new Surface Book 2 (Microsoft Photo)

The launch includes a new form factor, a 15-inch screen that becomes a giant 15-inch tablet when disconnected. It also boasts up to 17 hours of battery life and double the power of the MacBook Pro — a claim that Andru is skeptical about.

Listen to the full episode above or download it as an MP3. Don’t forget to subscribe to our live behind-the-scenes videos on Facebook or YouTube and subscribe to the podcast in Apple PodcastsGoogle Play or wherever you listen.

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