The editors at SHEfinds received a sample of this product to review, but were not paid to write this review.
I’m all about things that make my life easier, so when I was offered the chance to review Amazon’s Tap, I jumped at it. After using it for a couple weeks, I’ve come up with everything I love–and everything I don’t–about the Tap. And before you ask, yes, I did order a pizza with it, and yes, it was delicious.
The best thing about the Tap is that Alexa is pretty smart. It’s very intuitive to set Alexa up and once you run through a couple of voice recognition settings, she does an excellent job of understanding what you’re saying. She can also do a ton of things to streamline your day-to-day life, like add things straight to your Google calendar, make a shopping list, order that pair of earbuds you need from Amazon and tell you the scores from current games among other things. Alexa can also do some really cute things–like come up with pickup lines–that will make you smile. I also loved the lights on the top of the Tap, which activate when you speak to Alexa, and give her a little more personality.
By far, my favorite Alexa feature, however, is the Flash Briefing, a set of recorded news briefings that I listen to every morning. You can set the specific briefings you want to hear from options like BBC News, HuffPost, and Bloomberg and get an excellent overview of what’s happening in the world.
As a speaker, the Tap is also pretty satisfying. The sounds quality is great (to my untrained ears) until you get to crazy high volumes. The Tap’s grippy mesh outside and lightweight body also make it very easy to carry around. I used my Tap with both Spotify and Prime Music (it’s also compatible Pandora), and was pretty impressed with the streamlined interfacing. Alexa does a great job of using the description of the music you want to hear to recommend a Prime playlist. For example, ‘play music to chill to’ becomes the ‘atmospheric electronic’ Prime playlist.
Of course, like any device, the Tap has some features that are, well, not so wonderful. The first is the actual tap; it can get irritating really fast to have to walk across the room to interact with Tap and I can completely understand why some people prefer the Echo, which is always listening for a trigger. Also, the fact that you can’t directly Google things–and who wants a Bing search??–makes it challenging for the Tap to answer some questions.
As pain points go, however, these aren’t that bad. My other little complaints would be that the ‘slings’ Amazon offers to protect and carry the Tap are really, really ugly, and that setting up the Tap’s Wifi every time you go somewhere new is a bit of a pain.
Overall, I’d say that the Tap is a fun little device that could add a lot of value if you tend to stay in a relatively small area, like a desk, for example. Alexa’s features are wonderful, and having a bluetooth speaker like the Tap is always a win.