Holiday Tech Gift Ideas 2016-2017: TP-Link Smart Plug Mini

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The idea of the smart home is definitely intriguing, but the toughest part about it is where to start. There are so many products, some work with other products and some don't. The easiest way to get started is by looking at a hub like Amazon's Echo or Echo Dot or the Google Home. Currently the Echo has more integrations, since it's been around a lot longer. But if you want to be able to control everything from your voice, then that's where you need to start. The other question is which product is the best, and what appliance should you start with? As some are fairly expensive and not that easy to install. But the TP-Link Smart Plug Mini is.

This is a smart switch, they are pretty popular because they are fairly cheap and don't require a hub or a bridge to connect to your smartphone. The TP-Link Smart Plug Mini is actually brand new, it was announced just a week ago. It's called "mini" because it's smaller than others out there. Other models out there, including ones from TP-Link, often cover up both outlets, but this one doesn't. So you could essentially pick up two of these and put them into outlets on top of each other. Now, whatever you plug into these outlets, whether it be a TV, lamp, microwave, or anything, it can be controlled from the TP-Link app on your smartphone. So you can turn it on or off from anywhere, even in another country. You can also do things like setting up a schedule for the lamp to turn on or off.

Now the best part about the TP-Link Smart Plug Mini is the fact that it works with Alexa. So if you own an Amazon Echo, Amazon Tap or Amazon Echo Dot, you'll be able to use your voice to turn on whatever appliance is plugged in. Of course, these can do a whole lot more than that as well. So they make a great gift this holiday season as well. The TP-Link Smart Plug Mini is available for just $39, and it doesn't require any other purchases. The Alexa products are just to enhance the experience.

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Buy the TP-Link Smart Plug Mini Buy the Amazon Echo Buy the Amazon Tap Buy the Amazon Echo Dot