The Echo Dot is another winner from Amazon!

Wow. You guys know about my love of Amazon’s Echo, my forays into developing Alexa skills, the thrill of trying out the ISY-994i integration the first time, and even the warnings about the placement of the Echo.

The Amazon Echo Dot definitely amps up my gadget-lust. While the Echo is great in the “main room” (the kitchen) in my house, pumping out solid beats and all kinds of useful info like weather and news, the Dot – at half the cost – is a great addition to the nightstand in the bedroom:

The Dot can only be ordered by those of us who already have an Echo (as of this writing at least – unless you are a bit sneaky). When I pre-ordered it last month they were down-playing the built-in speaker; they’re really positioning it as a device that should be paired with a Bluetooth speaker. In fact, I wasn’t even sure it had a speaker at the time – but I can assure you it does, and it’s perfectly adequate for basic usage. Think of the sound quality on par with your typical clock radio: passable, but not crazy good. In fact, in the past few days I’ve stopped watching the Commercial News Network (seriously, how does CNN get away with 40 minutes of commercials in a 1 hour news broadcast!?) and started just listening to my Flash Briefing instead during my morning routine.

In terms of size, the Dot has the same footprint as the Echo with a tacky bottom so it doesn’t slip when you’re rotating the volume ring – but it’s about 1/5th the height:

Finally, if you haven’t been keeping up with this ecosystem, the Echo Tap is a battery powered version of the Echo that can function as a portable Bluetooth speaker – the only drawback with that guy is that because it’s battery operated, it’s not always listening to commands, so you have to push a button on device to make a request. If you’re willing to make that concession, perhaps you’d be interested in building your own Echo from a Raspberry Pi?

Posted by Matt Chiste
April 23
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