- When I reviewed the Amazon Echo 13 months ago, I predicted that people would want one in every room. The Echo can control your home’s lighting, play music, estimate your commute time, operate a timer, answer trivia questions, read books and news bulletins to you, tell you which movies are at your local theater, and so much more. You can order a pizza from Dominoes, a ride from Uber, or virtually anything from Amazon. You’d want one in every room so you didn’t need to walk to the room it was in to use it, or yell “Alexa!” from across the house to get its attention. I’m sure Amazon loved my idea, but it was never going to happen on a broad scale at $180 a pop.
So Amazon got wise and iterated on the concept, introducing the battery-powered Echo Tap and the puck-sized Echo Dot in March 2016. But the Dot still cost $90, and the $130 Tap lacked the voice activation that made the Echo so useful. It was easy to take the Tap from room to room, but needing to push a button to get Alexa’s attention spoiled the magic.
The second-generation Echo Dot reviewed here is the best of them all—even if you buy only one. Amazon removed the original Echo’s large speaker and volume-control dial, replaced them with a chintzy speaker and a pair of buttons, and sliced the price to $50. It costs even less if you order six at once (you get one free, bringing the per-unit cost to about $42). So for $250—40 percent more than the cost of a single Echo-—you can put Alexa in just about every room. That’s exactly what I’ve done.
This product is available via the link: Echo Dot (2nd Generation) – Black