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Christmas Gift Guide

Battery-powered

Setup process

Good to go

Scanning

Alexa, too

Multiple item trouble

Smart home control

Worth sticking to your fridge?

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.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET
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