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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Sonos One

Fabriq Chorus

Fabriq Riff

Eufy Genie

iHome iAVS16 Alarm Clock

C by GE Sol Smart Lamp

Element EL4KAMZ17 (Amazon Fire TV edition)

LG Smart Instaview Refrigerator

Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat

Garmin Speak

LG Hub Robot

Qihan Sanbot Nano

Ubtech Lynx

If you're a regular reader here on CNET, then you've probably noticed that we spend an awful lot of time talking about Alexa, Amazon's voice-activated virtual assistant. Part of the reason for that is that the number of Alexa-compatible devices is growing rapidly thanks in no small part to outside development from manufacturers eager to put Alexa to work.

That's left us with a huge variety of gadgets to keep an eye on -- here's a look at some of the most notable that we've covered.

Caption by / Photo by CNET

Let's start simple, with some of the third-party Alexa speakers we've tested out. At $200, the Sonos One is more expensive than any of them, but it also offers outstanding sound quality that outperforms the Amazon Echo. On top of that, it manages to squeeze the Google version, Google Assistant, in along with Alexa, letting you pick your cloud-connected helper of choice. Next year, it'll work with Siri commands, too.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

If $200 is too much for you, then consider the $100 Fabriq Chorus. With a charging cradle and a built-in battery, it's basically an off-brand Amazon Tap that lets you take your speaker with you around the home. Plus, it comes in a variety of fun designs, and lets you link multiple speakers together over Bluetooth for synchronized audio playback.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

Fabriq also makes a smaller smart speaker called the Riff that sells for $50. It isn't voice-activated, though -- you'll need to press a button to wake Alexa up.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

The Eufy Genie, from Anker, is even less expensive at $35. It's essentially a store-brand Echo Dot, and a nice, cheap way to add Alexa to a back room or a guest bedroom.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

Speaking of bedrooms, this iHome alarm clock features built-in Alexa voice controls, too. That makes plenty of sense given how many of us already keep an Echo Dot by our bedside -- we just wish it didn't cost $150.

Caption by / Photo by Ry Crist/CNET

Shrink an Amazon Echo just a bit, then trade the ring of indicator lights for a big, honkin' halo of light that doubles as a color-changing accent lamp. That's the Sol, GE's Alexa-enabled smart lamp. It isn't cheap, but it's weirdly likable.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

How about an Alexa-powered TV? That's what you get with this set from Element. Just hold down the mic button on the remote, then ask Alexa to pull up your favorite streaming service, switch HDMI inputs or jump to the antenna channel of your choice.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Meanwhile, LG packed Alexa into this premium refrigerator, complete with a gigantic touchscreen that turns translucent when you knock on it to let you see inside.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

Here's another appliance with Alexa hiding inside: the Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat. And, unlike most of these third-party gadgets, the Ecobee4 includes Amazon's ESP feature, which makes it so that only the Alexa device nearest to you will respond to your command. That's a nice touch.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

Alexa even has her sights set on your car -- your windshield, specifically. Just stick the Garmin Speak in place and pair it with your phone and your car's audio system, then ask Alexa for turn-by-turn navigation help.

Caption by / Photo by Garmin

For something truly futuristic, consider the emerging crop of helper robots. We see more and more of them each year at CES, and more and more of them, like this LG Hub Robot, are starting to include Alexa voice controls, too.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

Mind you, most of these helper bots feel like gimmicky prototypes, and many of them probably won't ever see the light of day. Still, it's fun to imagine the role they would play were they to ever really take off. For instance, you can steer this little guy around your home from your phone and see whatever his camera sees. And yep, he offers Alexa voice controls.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Some of these products are truly creative -- this guy, the Ubtech Lynx, is an Alexa-activated automaton that strikes yoga poses for you to copy during your workout. That's... weird. But... it also kind of makes sense?

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET
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