If you don’t know anyone who owns an Echo, you can take Alexa for a spin by trying a new online demo of the service. At Echosim.io, you can use Alexa on the web — not a perfect emulation, but a pretty good copy of the virtual assistant.
Just sign in with your Amazon account and agree to let the site use your microphone, and you’ll be able to press and hold a button to chat with Alexa.
There are lots of tasks Alexa can handle for you, including unit conversions, looking up facts, and playing music from your Amazon library. Thus, you can’t test every feature of the service here, but it should be enough to let you know if you’re interested enough to buy the real thing.