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CNET First Look
The fridge-friendly Triby smart speaker adds AlexaFrom e-ink doodles to Alexa commands, Triby does a lot but only some of it well.
[MUSIC] What is Triby? It's a smart speaker that almost feels like an alternate universe version of the Amazon Echo, despite looking more like a vintage radio with a magnetic back panel. Well, universes may be colliding as the Triby is now one of the non-Amazon products to add Alexa support. Allowing you to speak to it, just as you would to an Echo, but it never felt as smooth and or as responsive as the Echo, I had to repeat myself a lot of the time. And for some reason the [UNKNOWN] was convinced I was in Seattle.>> Where am I?>> You are 1.41 miles Northeast of the center of Seattle. As a bluetooth speakerphone is sounds between acceptable and indecipherable. And overall audio quality was fine for casual listening but is really not even as good as an Echo. Despite all, All this. I kinda love this thing, and that's because it has one killer feature, the doodle function on the app take anything you draw on your phone or tablet and sends it to a small E ink screen on the [INAUDIBLE] Even better, when a new message comes in, a little yellow flag pops up. You can push the flag back in or respond with one of a handset of preset emoji. Yes it has an emoji button This seems like an overly complex way to send a message, something there's no shortage of tools for. But here's the kicker, kids love it. This ridiculous thing kept my four year old occupied for the better part of a weekend. Listen, $200 is a lot to spend for a glorified babysitter, especially when so many other parts of the system don't really work all that well. Bur if you want a no-nonsense opinion on whether gadget is fun, just ask a four year old.