Alexa just got a brand new look. Today, Amazon officially announced its next Echo speaker, Echo Show.
Show joins a voice-activated family that includes the cylindrical Echo speaker that started it all, the much smaller, but still circular, Echo Dot, and the recently released closet-styling tool, Echo Look. But Echo Show has one key trait that distinguishes it from its AI-powered siblings: a touchscreen.
The device is square in shape, measuring 7.4” by 7.4”, and and weighs a little over 2.5 pounds. Along the top, you’ll find volume control buttons, an on/off button for the microphones and camera, and eight microphones. In front is a 7” screen, front-facing camera, and another microphone.
In many ways, the Echo Show is like an Alexa-powered iPad, albeit a larger, boxier iPad. You can make calls and, thanks to the screen, have Face Time-like video chats with friends and family. When you queue up a Spotify playlist, you’ll see song lyrics on the screen, making at-home karaoke sessions a must. And you can now ask Alexa to open your calendar, pull up a movie trailer, or show details about your Uber ride, instead of just telling you what you want to know.
The Echo’s makeover doesn’t come without a cost. Echo Show, which is available for pre-order and will be officially released on June 28, retails for $229.99. That’s $80 more than the traditional Echo and $180 more than the second-generation Echo Dot.
If you’re already immersed in the Alexa ecosystem, the Echo Show is likely a worthwhile addition to your collection, especially if you plan to use it to watch video clips. But if you primarily use your current Echo for listening to music and use your iPhone or existing tablet for everything else, you might want to hold off for now, at least until you can assess your options. There are rumors that Apple may release a Siri speaker of its own and Google may unveil a new version of its popular Echo competitor, Google Home this month.
But today, on the day of its birth, let us take a moment to say welcome to the fam, Echo Show! We’re excited to see what you bring to the table.