UnNews:New Amazon gadget may be last device you will ever need if you can figure out what it does

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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Amazon's X-Thing-1: The future has now arrived (apparently).

UNNEWS TECH REVIEW DEPT, Scranton NJ: The all-new X-Thing-1 , Amazon's latest high-tech offering, came in to my already-cluttered technology-review cubicle five days ago, and I have to admit that its compact streamlined design is truly a sight to behold. Too bad I can't for the life of me figure out what the hell it is supposed to do.

It was only last week that my go-to contact in the field called to notify me to expect Amazon's X-Thing-1 to arrive at my office very soon, and I could tell from his breathless enthusiasm that it would do just about anything one could ever hope for. I attempted to press for details, but "A revolution in the palm of your hand!" was all I ever got from him before he hastily hung up.

Unwrapping the five layers of protective bubble-wrap (a long and grueling struggle resulting in a nasty papercut), the compact rectangular device easily slid in the palm of my hand like it was born to do just that, and with a pleasing amount of heft. It is so black that light just seems to fall into its smooth featureless surface. Several hours of examining its narrowly-tapered ergonomic shape revealed no apparent on-switch, no USB cable port, and no visible indicator light. I have yet to determine how the X-Thing-1 is supposed to recharge, as it fits none of my recharging stands which I have collected over the past several years. Yesterday, while puzzling over the apparently inert object, it finally emitted one faintly audible "bleep". So far, I have utterly failed to get the dang thing to do anything else.

The only printed documentation that came with X-Thing-1 said very little I needed to know. It only promised that once successfully tethered to any other device, its sheer functionality would blow me away. Despite many additional hours of frustration, neither my computer's Bluetooth nor WiFi recognized it for what it is, or even acknowledged that it even exists; and my phone only displays a cryptic error message whenever it is brought within six inches of separation.

Several additional hours of futile Google-searching failed to unmask to me the intended purpose of the X-Thing-1. All I gleaned from the thousands of relevant tweets and blog entries and pop-up ads were countless variations of "Expect a revolution in the palm of your hand!" and other anticipatory droolings.

Just before submitting this review to the UnNews news desk, as a last resort I called my nine-year-old nephew to ask him about it, and found out that he had already gotten his brand new X-Thing-1 last weekend. He breathlessly told me that it was the most awesome device he ever used, and promised me he would come over to show me how it works whenever he gets the chance. Then he hastily hung up. After putting down my phone, I calmly reflected on the continuously widening gap between my once youthful tech-savviness and the latest advances in handheld technology. Oh, well, c'est la vie, as the French are prone to say.

All I can say at this point is that if my young nephew likes it, the X-Thing-1 must be all it's cracked up to be. Therefore, I have no choice but to give it my highest rating ever: three thumbs up.