With little or no fanfare, Amazon has released an all-new 2nd-generation Amazon Dash barcode scanner and voice shopping wand. This handheld device lets you add items to your Amazon shopping cart by either scanning a barcode or speaking into the built in microphone. It’s primarily meant to be used in conjunction with Amazon Fresh for groceries. The new model is nearly identical to the 1st-generation Dash, which was released over 2 years ago. The main differences are the new Dash has a single button used for both scanning and voice shopping, where the old one had a separate button for each function, it’s about an inch shorter than the old one, and the new one is magnetic so it can stick to your fridge.
The new Dash is available for $49.99, but for those of you who are already Amazon Fresh members, you can actually get one for free. Amazon is running a promotion where existing Amazon Fresh members can buy the new Dash for $20 and receive a $20 credit once they setup the Dash. Unfortunately, if you’re currently in Amazon Fresh’s free trial period, you don’t qualify for the promotion.
Now that the price of Amazon Fresh membership has been reduced from $299 a year to $14.99 per month for Prime members, the grocery delivery service is much more appealing. However, I’m not sure the same can be said about the Amazon Dash. When you can buy an Echo Dot, which can do so much more and also allows you to shop with your voice, for the same price as the Dash, it’s a tough sell. In my eyes, the Amazon Dash really only makes sense for those who qualify to get it for free or those who find real convenience in the ability to scan barcodes as a means of replenishing products.