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Orbi Voice has a nice fit and finish for an Alexa smart speaker

Netgear has created a new hybrid: a smart speaker that is also a mesh Wi-Fi extender. It looks rather dashing.

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Patrick Holland

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Netgear has taken two products and combined them into one. Meet the Orbi Voice, part Alexa-enabled Harman Kardon smart speaker and part Orbi mesh Wi-Fi satellite unit.

For more on the Orbi Voice check out CNET's First Take.

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The Orbi Voice is just a little shorter than an Amazon Echo Plus.

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Its body shape is similar to that of an Orbi mesh Wi-Fi router.

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The speaker is small enough to fit on a bookshelf.

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Audio company Harman Kardon worked with Netgear on the audio. Inside is a 3.5-inch front-facing woofer and a 1-inch tweeter. So far, my first impressions of the audio are very positive.

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In order for the Orbi Voice to work, you need to have an existing Orbi mesh Wi-Fi router. If you don't, Netgear is selling a kit that comes with the speaker and a router.

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There's a ring of light on the top similar to the one on the Amazon Echo. However, it also changes colors to alert you of the connection status like an Orbi mesh Wi-Fi satellite unit.

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Side view of the Orbi Voice.

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No word yet as to whether the Orbi Voice will leave marks on wood like the Apple Home Pod.

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Unlike other smart speakers, the Orbi Voice packs two gigabit ethernet ports for plugging in devices like a gaming console.

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On the left is an Amazon Echo Plus and on the right is the Orbi Voice.

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There's no physical buttons on the Orbi Voice. When you wave your hand over it, touch controls appear on top.

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You can control the speaker with your voice or by touching it.

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An Orbi family picture.

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15 of 15 Patrick Holland/CNET

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