After extensive leaks, Amazon officially announced the latest Echo device today, the Echo Show. While the Show works largely the same way as a traditional Echo, it shakes up the formula by including a 7-inch touchscreen and camera, allowing users to employ the device for video calls and consuming content like YouTube videos.
The second new Echo device to be announced in the last few weeks, following the Echo Look, the Show is another indication that Amazon is looking to push its Alexa platform as fast as it can, before the likes of Google and Apple can catch up. The slew of different Echos, and gadgets outside of Amazon with Alexa built-in, are giving consumers numerous different options and functionalities so they can find the right Alexa device for them. It’s a smart idea to make the virtual assistant as accessible and ubiquitous as possible, but it remains to be seen if Amazon is over-extending itself with several high-priced hardware endeavors. The Echo Look is no slouch in terms of expense, coming in at $230. If you compare that to the standard Echo, though, the price is not a huge jump. The Show is just $50 more than the original Alexa device, and it offers a host of new functionality thanks to the screen.
Along with the new screen, the Look sports a 5-megapixel camera, two Dolby-powered speakers and 8 far-field microphones. It offers the same functionality as the original Echo, you can set timers with it, ask trivia questions, control various smart home devices, but it also adds an extra layer of contextual information thanks to the new visual element. Now, you can get lyrics to a song on the screen while listening to it via the included speakers, you can check in with your security cameras and, of course, perform voice and video calls (so long as the other user has the Alexa app).
The new device is available in black or white and can be pre-ordered starting today, and will ship to consumers June 28. If you’re particularly excited about the new hardware, Amazon is running a special where you can buy two Looks for $360, a savings of $100. You can find it on Amazon.