10 Things to Know About New Amazon Echo Show Smart-Home Hub

1 - 10 Things to Know About New Amazon Echo Show Smart-Home Hub
2 - An All-New Design
3 - An Important Display Addition
4 - Amazon Talks About the Smart Home
5 - A Wide Array of Third-Party Apps
6 - Alexa Lives Inside
7 - A Built-in Camera for Communication
8 - A Push for Two Echo Shows
9 - Critical Specs to Know
10 - It Hasn’t Replaced the Amazon Echo
11 - What to Know About Its Price and Availability
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10 Things to Know About New Amazon Echo Show Smart-Home Hub

The smart-home battle is ramping up with Amazon’s announcement of the Echo Show, a new smart-home hub. The device, which is expected to launch in June, is the first smart-home hub to come with a built-in screen. The screen provides contextual information based on what users are saying in their interactions with Alexa, the Echo Show’s onboard virtual personal assistant. The Echo Show, which has a decidedly different design than the original Amazon Echo, also supports a wide range of third-party apps and is designed to act as a virtual assistant throughout the day. It can even be used as a video conferencing solution. This slide show will discuss in detail the Echo Show’s features and why Amazon believes it justifies its $230 price tag.

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An All-New Design

Unlike the cylindrical design of the Amazon Echo, the Echo Show is boxy and features a screen. Below the screen is a grate that hides two tweeters. The Amazon Echo Show’s speakers are directional, so the device should be positioned with its back to a wall to ensure there’s no sound loss.

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An Important Display Addition

Amazon’s Echo Show is the first from the company—and the first major smart home hub—to come with a display. The screen, which allows for touch input and measures 7 inches, will allow users to perform tasks such as read music lyrics, host conference calls or get the latest news, adding a new dimension to using a smart-home hub.

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Amazon Talks About the Smart Home

Amazon is clearly targeting the smart home with the Amazon Echo Show. The device is fully compatible with a wide array of smart home platforms, including WeMo, SmartThings and Hue, and will even display video from the Ring Doorbell, among other products. Look for the Amazon Echo Show to be a major smart-home improvement over the Amazon Echo.

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A Wide Array of Third-Party Apps

The Amazon Echo Show will support all the same third-party apps and “skills” compatible with the Amazon Echo. In addition to smart home apps, users will be able to employ the Echo Show to work with Uber, AllRecipes and many others.

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Alexa Lives Inside

No surprise here, but Amazon’s virtual personal assistant Alexa is running inside the Echo Show. Users can issue voice commands to Alexa and the assistant will respond accordingly. Amazon noted Alexa is “always getting smarter” and will add more features and skills as time goes on.

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A Built-in Camera for Communication

The Echo Show includes a 5-megapixel camera on the front. Its chief function is for video-conference calls, but it also might be used with Amazon’s burgeoning style services, which include snapping a picture of two outfits and getting fashion advice from its style algorithm.

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A Push for Two Echo Shows

Amazon believes two Echo Shows could be better than one for certain homes and, in some cases, the office. Video conferencing is available between two Echo Shows, which might make it useful for the office. Amazon also envisions the Echo Show being used by families to communicate. Those who order two Echo Shows will get $100 off on the purchase.

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Critical Specs to Know

The Echo Show’s specs are worth mentioning. For one, the device connects to wireless networks with up to 802.11n, so those who have 802.11ac WiFi systems won’t get the full benefit of that technology. The two speakers inside are 2 inches, which Amazon says should deliver solid stereo sound. The Echo Show runs Intel’s Atom x5 processor and it comes with a one-year limited warranty.

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It Hasn’t Replaced the Amazon Echo

Amazon isn’t replacing the Echo with the Echo Show. Instead, the Echo will remain on store shelves at a reduced price of $150, a $30 savings on its regular retail price. Amazon hasn’t, however, reduced the price on its Echo Dot, which remains on store shelves for $50.

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What to Know About Its Price and Availability

Amazon’s Echo Show is available now for preorder and is scheduled to ship to customer homes June 28. It is priced at $230, making it far more expensive than Amazon’s other Echo devices.