It’s not the most elegant-looking intelligent speaker. In fact, it looks little more than one of Amazon’s Echo speakers with a large tablet stuck on top of it. While that design may be strange at first glance, the Amazon Echo Show 10’s unusual form factor gives it a unique function that just might give it an edge for a good load of users who heavily use their intelligent speakers for video calls.
Yes, it’s an Alexa speaker with a large screen that you can use to hold video calls with family, friends, and coworkers. Unlike the typical intelligent speaker-and-screen combo, however, that screen is mounted on a swiveling mount that automatically moves it to follow you around, allowing you to see what’s onscreen while keeping you in the frame of the integrated webcam at all times.
The Amazon Echo Show 10 is an erstwhile conventional Alexa speaker sporting a 10.1-inch touchscreen display with a built-in 13-megapixel webcam. It does, pretty much, what other Alexa-powered speakers with screens can do, from showing visual information and playing streaming video to displaying photos and making video calls, all of it accessible using simple voice commands. That, of course, on top of the usual Alexa speaker functions, such as answering queries, controlling smart home devices, and all sorts of things that can simplify your day.
Except, of course, it’s designed to be a better platform for videoconferencing, with the mounted tablet able to automatically move around the speaker, allowing it to face any direction. This allows it to follow you around, so you can keep your video calls going even while you’re cleaning up in the living room, moving stuff around in the garage, or making dinner in the kitchen. According to Amazon, it currently supports video calls using the Alexa app, Echo Show, and Skype, with future support coming for Zoom and Amazon Chime.
The Amazon Echo Show 10 has a 2.1 speaker system comprised of two 1-inch tweeters and one 3-inch woofer, so this should sound pretty decent, especially when compared to the outfit’s smaller speakers. It pairs that with a far-field microphone array for picking up your voice commands, although Amazon doesn’t list how many mics are onboard. With that said, the previous generation of the Show used an eight-mic array, so we imagine this either matches that or improves upon it. As with other Echo speakers, it has a privacy mode that makes it easy to turn off the microphones and webcam. They even threw in a physical shutter, so you can cover the webcam any time you want, in case you’re one of those people who get paranoid after seeing all the webcam-hacking going on in movies and TV shows.
It has both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, so you get all the wireless connectivity you need for getting online and communicating with other smart devices. Do note, it still doesn’t have a battery, so you’ll need to place it in an area of the house where you have easy access to a power source.
The Amazon Echo Show 10 is available now.