By Todd Bernhard on Sat, 09/24/2016
I've been a fan of the Amazon Echo since it came out. Even at $180, it's a reasonable price to pay to experience the future. Amazon's virtual assistant, Alexa, keeps getting smarter and more powerful all the time. So when Amazon released its $90 miniature version, dubbed the Echo Dot, which does pretty much the same thing but has a less powerful speaker (you can connect to an external speaker via Bluetooth or 3.5 mm jack), that became a no-brainer. The result was it sold out and was selling on eBay for nearly $300!
Now, not only is the Echo Dot back, it's available in white as well as black, and it's only $50. What's more, if you want to buy five, you get a sixth one free. You could place an Echo Dot in every room in the house. Unlike the Amazon Tap, the Echo and Echo Dot need to be plugged in to A/C power, but unlike the Tap, you don't need to press a button to get Alexa's attention. You just say, "Alexa." (or optionally, "Amazon") and ask her to play music, control lights, or order an Uber or a pizza from Dominos. I'm looking forward to the future (the Echo Dot ships on October 20) and fortunately it just got cheaper.