Amazon has taken the wraps off of two new devices for your home today, both of which tackle different tasks. The Echo Dot is essentially a smaller Amazon Echo, and the Amazon Tap is a smart, connected WiFi and Bluetooth speaker for playing music with voice commands.
The Echo Dot does everything that Amazon’s Echo already does, but it’s in a much smaller package. It’s about the size of a Roku or Nexus Player and has all of the Echo’s key features, except there’s an audio out port here to connect to external speakers. This is important, because the Echo Dot doesn’t have any of its own speakers on-board. Otherwise, everything the big Echo does, the Dot can do, too.
Amazon Tap is a little different, acting as a really smart Bluetooth speaker. It has wireless connectivity, so while you’re at home you can get it hooked up to your WiFi network to stream music. While you’re away, it still has Bluetooth connectivity and a nine hour battery life, so you can use it just like any other Bluetooth speaker. It does have Alexa baked in, although you’ll have to hit the button on the front of the device to get that started. Otherwise, it’s like a hands-on Amazon Echo with a few extra features.
Pricing and availability for these devices are a little weird right now, with Amazon seling the Tap for $129.99 when available, and the Dot for $99 when available, but only for existing Echo owners. To place the order, you’ll have to tell Alexa to purchase an Echo Dot, so there’s no way to purchase it through Amazon directly. You might see one pop up on a third-party site in a few months, but otherwise, you’re already going to have to be invested in the Alexa thing to get this little gadget. Kind of a weird launch, and it’ll very likely be widely available down the line, but right now that’s just how it is.
Anyone interested in purchasing either of these devices?