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Kim Wetzel

Kim Wetzel

Former Digital Trends Contributor

Before joining Digital Trends as Home Editor, Kim was an adjunct journalism professor at Linfield College and high school journalism and English teacher. She spent several years writing for several publications, including U.S. News and World Report. She enjoys camping, running, and just about anything outdoors.

Amazon Echo Show 2 Review

Amazon Echo Show (2nd Gen) Review

With smart displays powered by Google now in play, the pressure was on for Amazon to make a better Echo Show device. There's no denying Amazon did it.
Google Home Hub

Google Nest Hub review: A refreshing take on the smart display

What’s small, simple, cute, and lacks a camera? The Google Nest Hub is the latest smart display (a smart speaker with a screen) to hit the market.
Google Home Mini Review

Google Home Mini review: Smart home, smart price

The Google Home Mini is an AI assistant that’s far more capable than its small size would suggest. With Voice Match capabilities and smarter than the Echo Dot, you'll like this impressive little speaker. Here are some other things we like about the device, and a few things we don't like.
Chamberlain B1381 review

Chamberlain garage door opener protects your Amazon packages from porch pirates

Tired of porch pirates swiping packages off your property? Chamberlain's B181 garage door opener works with Key by Amazon, letting you get your Amazon packages delivered directly inside your garage. The opener has lots of other great features, as well as one flaw that can be frustrating.
Leaf Grow Box

Grow it, cook it, smoke it: Marijuana tech gadgets for your home and kitchen

Do you take your weed seriously? Then we have the marijuana tech and devices for your home. When you love cooking, growing, or just enjoying, you'll find cool cannabis devices on our list to help make your experience even better. Take a look and find the perfect addition to your home.
amazon workers listening to alexa recordings feat

Amazon workers listening to Alexa recordings isn’t a big deal. Here’s why

Thousands of Amazon workers are reportedly listening to recorded conversations between Alexa and voice assistant speaker owners. The idea that humans are listening to our conversations is an outrage and unacceptable. Or is it? This author doesn’t think it’s such a big deal.
Amazon Echo Spot Review

Amazon Echo Spot review

The Amazon Echo Spot, the newest member of Amazon’s smart speaker family, is cute, fun, sleek, and the perfect little alarm clock. With this little device, you'll be snoozing the alarm just for fun.
Stupid home smart gadget the smalt

Whatever happened to those dumb smart products we wrote about in 2017?

As manufacturers rush to get the next new smart gadgets out there, we wonder if all these inventions are necessary. We compiled this list of 10 of the quirkiest smart home products available in 2017 and decided to return to them in 2019 to see if they're still in existence. Here's what we found.
ring stick up cam battery review wireless feat

Ring Stick-Up Cam Battery review

Doesn’t it feel good to be detached from the wires in your life? You can be with Ring’s Stick Up Cam Battery, a smart home security camera that you can put literally plop anywhere. We got the chance to review the device, and it helped us catch some strange activity in our yard.
Giddel Toil

Hate poop? Then $500 may not be too much to pay for this toilet-cleaning robot

Which is better for cleaning your toilet: A good, old-fashioned toilet cleaning brush or a $500 robot toilet cleaner? We decided to take the Giddel robot by Altan Robotics for a couple of test runs to see whether the device is actually worth the cost. Here’s how things went.
concrete pipe tiny home sandra guillen mem2concrete feat

Living in a pipe doesn’t sound so bad with this amazing design

We’ve seen tiny homes with retractable roofs, ones that run on coffee grounds, and even ones decked out with smart home products. Now, a single mom has designed a tiny home built inside of a 16-feet-long concrete storm drainage pipe. It’s surprisingly functional for just 100 square feet of living space.
kbis colorful smart appliances feat

Stainless steel is so last year. In 2019, it’s all about colorful appliances

For the past couple of decades, the color of choice for appliances has been stainless steel. Now, makers are introducing ovens, fridges, and dishwashers in vibrant hues to give customers a more customized, refined look in the kitchen. From royal blue stoves to deep green fridges, consumers have more choices than ever.
luxury home items from kbis 2016 stuff you can t afford

Champagne-colored fridges? Talking toilets? All the appliance trends in 2019

Ever wished you had Amazon Alexa-enabled toilet in your bathroom or a brightly colored appliance instead of boring old stainless steel? The Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) starts today, and here are some of the trends we expect to see at the show and for the rest of year.
Brava Oven

4 small appliances that have changed the way we cook food (for the better)

Ever heard of a sous vide machine? How about an air fryer? These are exciting times for home cooks seeking to advance or simplify their technique in the kitchen. That’s thanks in part to four small appliances that have made a splash over the past few years. Here’s why you should consider buying them.
Ring Stick Up Cam Wired review

Ring Stick Up Cam Wired Review

Ring’s latest home security camera offers more versatility than ever before, with the ability to mount it, set it on a table, or put it inside or outside. With 1080p high definition display, the Stick Up Cam is one of Ring’s best offerings to date. Here’s what we learned through testing.
Blink outdoor cam on a tree.

Blink XT One Camera System review

With a two-year battery life and a strong app, Blink’s XT outdoor camera could be the introductory home security system you’re looking for. And with more Amazon Alexa integration and activity zones, the camera is smarter than ever. Read our review to find out more.
panasonic homehawk

Will everything from lamps to fridges be spying on me? Yes, and I’m creeped out

With the debut of Panasonic’s HomeHawk lamp with built-in video camera, should we be concerned that everything -- from couches to dishwashers – could soon be spying on us? New surveillance technology could mean we could all be caught dancing in our underwear in a hotel room, or worse.
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Ring Video Doorbell review

Along with the door itself, the doorbell is one of the first items most visitors will interact with when entering your home. The Ring Video Doorbell can show you who's at the door, whether they've actually rung the doorbell or not. Here's how it stacks up to the competition.
CES 2019 Crowd Hero Shot

Booth babes, banned sex toys, and other mishaps at CES 2019

From female sex toys bans, to fake Tesla/robot collision stories, there was some weird stuff going on at CES 2019 this year. While nothing can top last year's show floor blackout, here are some of the biggest mishaps and flubs we saw this year at the world's biggest tech show.
Lenovo Smart Clock

Lenovo Smart Clock hands-on review

Move over Amazon Echo Spot: Lenovo’s Smart Clock With Google Assistant is coming for you. At just $79, the Smart Clock turns off the camera and turns up the cuteness factor for an enhanced alarm clock experience. We got a chance to test out the device at CES 2019 and came away impressed.
wackiest tech ces 2018 foldimate 1

Genius or extraneous? We tried out a laundry-folding machine at CES to find out

It's CES 2019, which means lots of crazy gadgets. We got the chance to try out Foldimate, an automatic laundry-folding machine. After using the device, we came away both impressed and underwhelmed with the appliance, which will be available for $960 at the end of 2019. Here are some of our thoughts.
smart home trends google assistant

Five smart home trends we expect to see at CES this year

CES 2019 is finally here. So what smart home trends can we expect to see this year? Whether you're looking to find that beautiful Amazon Alexa-enabled toilet or that perfect home security system with bells and whistles, chances are you'll find it on the floor at CES 2019. Here are our predictions.
four reasons you should buy the amazon echo input press feat

4 reasons you should buy the Amazon Echo Input

Do you have an older, great-sounding speaker that you want to add the Alexa voice assistant to? Amazon has got you covered with the Echo Input, a small, puck-like device that connects to non-smart speakers via Bluetooth or auxiliary. Here are four reasons to buy the device.
Ring Alarm

Ring Alarm Security Kit review

Ring first made waves with its video doorbell, and now the Amazon-owned company is moving on to total home security with the Ring Alarm Security Kit. You can install the sensors and keypads yourself, then have Ring professionally monitor it from afar for $10 a month.
Amazon Christmas Tree

Amazon sent me a Christmas tree. Did it leave me pining for more?

Is driving to a Christmas tree lot or u-cut farm to get a tree a daunting task that you dread every year? Wish there was an easier way to get a tree to your house? Good news: Amazon is now selling real Christmas trees with free shipping. We decided to order one to see how it went.
alexa echo fire tv amazon 2018 devices event

Amazon has an even dozen new smart devices. Here’s how to order

Amazon's hardware announcement was in September which meant a whole bunch of new Amazon Alexa devices. Digital Trends attended the event, and will be updating you here as we learn more about the devices. From a microwave to stereo equipment, the number of new gadgets could total as many as eight.
lg xboom wk9 thinq view smart speaker google assistant review with xxl

LG XBOOM ThinQ WK9 smart display review

Introduced way back at CES in January 2018, LG’s WK9 smart display is finally on store shelves. But how does it compare to other smart displays on the market? We took a look and a listen to find out whether the device is worth its $299 price tag. Here’s what we learned.
facebook portal review  feat

Facebook Portal+ review

Facebook has jumped into the smart home game with the Portal+, a video-calling device featuring a built-in Amazon Alexa speaker and a screen. While the Portal+ has lots of cool calling features, we’re still a little weary of the social media giant taking up counter space in our home. Read our review to find out more.
AmazonBasics Microwave

AmazonBasics Microwave review

Amazon has added to its long portfolio of products with the AmazonBasics Microwave, a small appliance that works with Alexa. What business does Amazon, maker of Kindles, Fire TV devices, and Alexa voice speakers, have making a small appliance? We took the microwave for a test drive to find out more.
aura digital frame hands on review 20181106 130200  1

Picture this: The Aura packs thousands of photos in a single frame (for a price)

Are you one of those people who miss the good old days of flipping through photo albums to see each and every favorite photo? If so, you might love the Aura digital photo frame, a smart device that allows you to display thousands of pics on a single frame. We tested the device and came away impressed.
Amazon Echo 2017 review top lit

Amazon Echo review

Our Amazon Echo review reveals a shorter, cuter, speaker with several different color and fabric choices, and a firmware upgrade means improved sound. We took the device for another spin in November 2018 to see whether the speaker still measures up to the competition.
Sony Aibo Robot Dog feature image

Can Aibo replace Fido? I fostered Sony’s robot dog for a week to find out

Can a robot dog replace a real dog? I set out to find the answer to that question by “fostering” Aibo, Sony’s robot dog. I came away from the experience with more questions than answers. While robot dogs are not for me, Sony sure did a great job of making just about the cutest artificially intelligent pup there is.
husqvarna 315x automower hands on impressions review feat

Husqvarna 315x Automower review

Imagine watching your lawn being mowed by a robot while you sit on the porch drinking a beer. That’s life with Husqvarna’s line of electric Automowers, which takes the gas and the manpower out of one dreaded aspect of yard work. While costly, the automated devices are really cool timesavers.
amazon echo plus review 2nd gen feat

Amazon Echo Plus (2nd gen) review

Amazon’s second-generation Echo Plus speaker is the loudest, bassiest speaker in the Echo fleet. While featuring a smart hub with only Zigbee connectivity, other upgrades make this device a worthy smart speaker. We took the device for a whirl around the smart home to see how it fares against other speakers in the space.