On many occasions, especially when we are involved in some mind-engaging office-related work, such as writing, preparing presentations, etc., we are advised to take a short break—listen to music, watch a snack video or catch up with the latest news. Such short breaks stimulate the brain and enhance concentration before we again take a deep dive into our task. The new Amazon Echo Show will help you just take that enriching, much-needed break. Just ask Alexa to play music, show you the latest video news bulletin, music videos, make video calls—the new innovation from this Jeff Bezos firm will add glamour to your desk at the office or the home.
For the past couple of weeks, I have been mesmerised (and intrigued too) by the Echo Show, currently the most talked-about device in town. Invariably, it reminds me of Jarvis, Tony Stark’s virtual personal assistant from the Ironman series. The Echo Show features a 10-inch vibrant, HD display, a new speaker with dual 2-inch neodymium drivers, a passive bass radiator, and Dolby processing to deliver expansive stereo sound with powerful bass. There’s a 5 MP front-facing camera too, plus a built-in smart home hub, everything in a neat fabric design with a price tag of Rs 22,999.
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Compared to last year’s Echo Show device that had a much smaller and circular display, the large screen size in the new Echo Show is designed to increase utility and make it easier to ask Alexa to show you things, no matter where you are in the room. And the room-filling sound will make watching a music video, catching up on your Web shows or listening to your favourite playlist more enjoyable. Personally, I see Alexa as a good companion for conversations. She’ll make you laugh with her jokes, she can even help you keep in touch with trending topics and latest news.
Setting up the Echo Show is easy, just a 2-minute task. Plug the power adapter into Echo Show and then into a power outlet. Place the Echo Show on your desk or side table — just ensure that it is about six inches away from a wall. Follow the prompts that appear on the screen to select a language, connect to Wi-Fi, log in to your Amazon account, and wow, now you are up and running.
First, the Echo Show provides you more entertainment options. You can enjoy music with crisp audio and watch as the display comes alive to show album art from Amazon Music, Saavn or Hungama. You can also access music videos through a direct integration with Hungama video. The latest blockbusters on Amazon Prime Video are a huge draw here. For instance, “Alexa, show me Prime Video or “Alexa, play Mirzapur.” You can also ask Alexa for movies playing near you, and watch the trailer before heading to the theatre. Plus, you can adjust the bass, mid-range and treble on your Echo Show to suit your listening preferences.
Second, Amazon Devices has integrated quite a number of new features in the Echo Show that may sound somewhat futuristic for the not-so-tech-savvy lot, but they make everyday tasks easier. For instance, you can use your voice to shop, browse the web, add items to lists, and manage your calendar. You can also customise your home screen with the news, weather, sports scores, and stock updates that matter to you—all easily available at a glance. If you want to view photos, simply link Facebook account on the photo setting on the Alexa app. Just say “Alexa, show my photos” and the display will come alive with crisp visuals in fine detail.
Third, the Echo Show has a built-in, 5 MP camera that supports high-definition video calling. This feature is great for making hands-free calls to friends and family who have other Echo devices (Echo Spot, Echo Show, or the Alexa app). You can also the Use Drop In feature like a two-way household intercom—you can connect from your Echo Show to another supported Echo device in the playroom to let the kids know, for instance, dinner is ready, or convey any other message. You can also connect with even more friends and family around the world through support for Skype voice and video calling.
In a nutshell, Amazon’s new Echo Show has improved upon the original model with a bigger screen, better speaker system, and more attractive design. A must-have smart speaker for your home and your office.
Estimated street price: Rs 22,999