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Amazon has unveiled the Echo Show, an Alexa-enabled speaker with a touchscreen built into it. If that doesn’t sound particularly compelling to you then you’re not alone, as reactions to the Echo Show have been somewhat negative. Especially because it looks like it belongs in the 1980s.
Putting its questionable aesthetics aside, the Echo Show does increase the number of things you can do with Alexa. The touchscreen means Alexa can now show you things as well letting you hear them. Which brings it into competition with your phone, tablet, and smart television.
The Echo Show Is Aesthetically Unpleasing
The Echo Show is, at its heart, a regular Echo speaker with a 7-inch touchscreen attached. To accommodate the screen Amazon has switched from the cool cylindrical design of the Echo to a boxy, retro design. Everyone will have an opinion, but I personally don’t like how it looks.
The addition of the screen means the Echo Show has a host of new skills at its disposal. You can use it to make video calls, send text messages, watch YouTube videos and news broadcasts, check the weather forecast, display photos, and see lyrics scrolling past as you listen to music.
Like the Echo Look, the Echo Show boasts a front-facing camera. This enables the aforementioned video calls, and a new “Drop In” feature connecting you to friends and family. You can also connect to smart home devices, looking in on your sleeping baby or spying on your front door.
The Amazon Echo Show is available for pre-order in the U.S. (and only the U.S.) right now. It comes in black or white, and is currently priced at $229.99. The first devices will start shipping to the earliest of early adopters on June 28, 2017.
Explaining the Echo Show to Consumers
Unlike the previous Echo speakers, which are instantly appealing, the usefulness of the Echo Show needs explaining. Which isn’t a good starting point for a product aimed at mainstream consumers. Only time will tell whether the average Amazon shopper will be interested.
Do you currently own an Echo device? Do you have any interest in the Echo Show? Can you imagine scenarios in which you’d make use of the touchscreen? Is the boxy design a turnoff? Or do you appreciate the retro styling? Please let us know in the comments below!