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Amazon's Dash Wand grocery scanner gets smart with Alexa

Scan it or say it and the Amazon Dash Wand will add it to your shopping cart. Is the newest (and cheapest) Alexa gadget a grocery game-changer?

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Ryan_Crist2.jpg
Ry Crist
Originally hailing from Troy, Ohio, Ry Crist is a writer, a text-based adventure connoisseur, a lover of terrible movies and an enthusiastic yet mediocre cook. A CNET editor since 2013, Ry's beats include smart home tech, lighting, appliances, broadband and home networking.
Ry Crist
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The Amazon Dash Wand is back with a new Alexa-enabled version that costs just $20. Click through to see what this grocery scanner is capable of.

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Battery-powered

The Dash Wand runs on two AAA batteries, which come included.

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Setup process

After popping the batteries in, you'll hold down on the Wand's one button to get the setup process started. Follow Amazon's instructions, and you'll have it paired with your Amazon account and your home's Wi-Fi network in no time.

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Good to go

Once everything is set up, you'll be ready to start scanning. Just point at a barcode and press the button to add that item to your Amazon shopping cart.

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Scanning

The scanner worked really well in our tests. Even when we'd scan an item a few times in quick succession, it'd only add one to our shopping cart.

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Alexa, too

You can also hold the button down to talk to Alexa. The Dash Wand can do almost everything that other Alexa gadgets can do, but it isn't an always-listening device, and it can't stream music, schedule reminders or set kitchen timers.

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Multiple item trouble

Alexa couldn't handle multiple items at once -- you'll need to say them one at a time.

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Smart home control

Limitations aside, you can use the Dash Wand to control any of your Alexa-compatible smart home gadgets. That alone might make it a tempting buy for smart home enthusiasts.

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Worth sticking to your fridge?

The Dash Wand is magnetic for quick storage on the fridge, and it also comes with a sticky hook that'll let you hang it up anywhere you like. At just $20, and with three months of free AmazonFresh Pickup and a $20 Amazon credit to anyone who buys one, it seems like a bit of a no-brainer, but read our full review for the full story.

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