Amazon couldn’t have hoped for a better response when it created the smart speaker market three years ago with the original Amazon Echo. What once seemed like a vaguely creepy gimmick – a virtual assistant housed in a slender black totem – has gone on to spawn multiple models along with numerous competitors. Now, Amazon has a new version of the Echo for 2017: smaller, and – at $99.99 – more affordable, but can it impress like the original did?
Hardware and Design
Shorter and friendlier, that’s the 2017 Echo. Gone is the austere black or white plastic, and most of the height: the new Echo stands under 6-inches tall and comes wrapped in a soft fabric sleeve. It’s less like a 2001 prop and more unobtrusive in your living room or on your kitchen counter.
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