‘ZDNET Recommends’: What exactly does it mean?
ZDNET’s recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.
When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.
ZDNET’s editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.
I used to be leery of investing in a smart home system — and now that I have one, I cannot imagine my home without one. If you’re seeking to invest in a smart home hub, you can get a two-for-one special right now with the Echo Show 8 and the Echo Show 5 Kids (2nd gen). Originally bundled at $225, you can get both of them for only $70 right now.
I use the Echo Show 8 in my home, and it’s by far the handiest device in my kitchen. As I’m prepping my morning coffee, I can get a weather report, a brief rundown of the news, and even add milk to my grocery shopping list — all with Alexa voice commands. In addition, because I have a smart doorbell, I can ask her to show my doorbell and get a live feed and two-way audio should I have a delivery.
Looking for the perfect gift this year? Here’s a great lineup of gift ideas and resources to get you started.
I can even pull up and follow recipes, and I’ve discovered many a great recipe from the rotating screen displays, offering advice from how to cook pasta in red wine to recipes for stuffed pepper lasagna bowls. I can also play music from the smart home hub when I feel so inclined.
ZDNET expert David Gewirtz reviewed the Echo Show 8 and loved the upgraded camera, saying, “The New Echo Show 8 jumps the camera quality from an embarrassing 1 megapixel all the way up to a respectable 13 megapixels. In our new world of constant video calls, that’s a necessary and important jump in quality.”
More: The 12 best Echo speakers: How do Amazon’s Alexa devices compare?
The Echo Show 5 Kids offers everything the Echo Show 8 does, except it’s designed specifically for kids. It comes with in-depth parental controls, so when it’s lights out at 9 p.m., it can go dark for the evening.
Aside from the parental controls, it can do more activities geared toward kids, including help with homework, play educational videos, and even listen to Audible books at bedtime. The design also comes in a fun chameleon design to make it more fun to display in a kids’ room.
At $225 off, this $70 price tag is a steal of a deal on two smart home hubs. You can add them to your cart for only $70 at Amazon right now. We also have some great recommendations on smart home gifting options over at our Holiday Gifts collection, where we’re bringing you the best techy gift ideas to bring joy to your loved ones this holiday season.