Amazon Echo Show packs a touchscreen display to give Alexa a helping hand

Now you can get video as well as audio assistance
Amazon Echo Show officially unveiled

It's official; the successor to the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot is the Echo Show, a smart home device that now combines the company's Alexa virtual assistant with a display.

The cylindrical design has gone, replaced with a more boxy affair that is available in black and white and now includes a 7-inch touchscreen. It sounds like it'll work pretty much like a standard tablet letting you stream YouTube, receive flash video briefings about the latest news and can even double as a security camera.

Read this: The best smart home systems to own

It can also be used to make hands-free video calls thanks to the onboard 5-megapixel front-facing camera and send messages to other Echo Show owners or via the Alexa companion app. A Drop In feature also let's you connect to other Echo Shows in the house to give people a nudge to come down for dinner.

The Wi-Fi enabled device also includes dual 2-inch speaker for audio streaming support from the likes of Spotify and Pandora and there's a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. It's also packed with eight microphones to pick up existing Alexa commands loud and clear.

There's plenty of smart home compatibility as well so it'll work with the likes of the Philips Hue smart lighting systems, the Ring video door bell and Samsung's SmartThings setup. We don't know what the Echo Show is running on software-wise, but we do know that an Intel Atom x5-Z8350 processor will be powering performance.

The Amazon Echo Show is available to pre-order now from Amazon and is set to go on sale on 28 June. It's priced in at $229.99 making it a pricier investment than a standard Echo or ($149.99), the Dot ($49.99) or the new camera-toting Echo Look ($200). It looks like it's going to be available in the US first, but we'll keep you updated when or if the Show decides to show up in other parts of the world.

Our first thoughts? It looks like a device that could've been launched a few years ago. Wouldn't it be cheaper to just buy a tablet and pair it with a Bluetooth speaker? We hope Amazon proves us wrong, but we're not all that convinced by the idea of adding visuals to the Echo mix.

amazon echo show release date price specs

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