Ben Fox Rubin was a senior reporter for CNET News in Manhattan, reporting on Amazon, e-commerce and mobile payments. He previously worked as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and got his start at newspapers in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
The online retail giant's new Echo Show, an update to its most expensive Alexa-powered gadget, boasts a revamped design and improved audio quality with an 8-microphone array. The device also rocks a 10-inch display, twice as large as the previous version.
The price on the new Echo Show remains $230 (£220, AU$349). Amazon, which unveiled the new product at an event Thursday morning in Seattle, said the product will ship next month. Preorders start Thursday.
Watch this: Amazon rolls out all-new Echo Show
The Echo Show, which added a touchscreen to Amazon's Alexa voice assistant, debuted last June. The Show's boxy design and the thick plastic border around its screen made it look outdated in an age of thin
with nearly edge-to-edge displays.
The Show occupies an important position in the Echo lineup. Amazon is trying to get people to use its big screen for watching videos, making video phone calls and voice shopping. The idea is to make the device -- and Alexa -- an integral part of our lives. But an ongoing spat with
means the Show currently can't play YouTube videos through an official app, a big downside for the product.
You'll be able watch YouTube videos through the Show's browser, an Amazon spokesperson said in an email. That feature will be coming to old Echo Shows once the new ones ship out.
Watch this: Amazon's new Echo Show boasts a revamped design
The battle with Google goes beyond YouTube though, and the search giant has released its own smart assistant-powered displays that boast slimmer designs than the Show.
Amazon said the Show will come with the Silk and Firefox browsers already loaded. Show will also get Skype support.
The company also demonstrated support for games and step-by-step cooking instructions.