Good luck buying the Echo Dot, Amazon didn't make it easy: CNET Update
CNET Update: Good luck buying the Echo Dot, Amazon didn't make it easy2:41 /
Amazon released two new models of the Echo smart speaker, but not everyone can order the cheaper one. Learn about the Amazon Tap and Echo Dot, and the new smart-home features coming to all models.
Amazon has a brand new eco device that your gonna really want but Amazon made it nearly impossible to buy it. I'm Bridget Carey. This is your cnet update. [MUSIC] The Amazon eco smart speaker is one of the coolest and most versatile smart home products of today. Hands down. This voice controlled speaker is taking us closer to that Star Trek computer future where you can ask it to do all sorts of tasks by calling its name, Alexa. And now the speaker comes in two new forms. The normal Echo is $180, but for just half the cost. Amazon sliced off the top and calls this the Echo Dot. It does everything the main Echo does, but you'll need to plug it into an existing speaker to hear anything or use Bluetooth if you want a wireless connection. So this sounds great it's half the cost, you just use your own speakers, and you get all the cool features, right? Well here is where Amazon will annoy you. You cannot buy this on Amazons website. The only way to preorder the dot is if you have another device with Alexa voice controls And you need to be a prime subscriber. So that means, you need to already own the original echo or uses the Amazon Fire TV voice controls to buy one of these. Yeah, Amazon will not say when it'll open up Sales to everyone, but the first preorder units will arrive at the end of March. So I guess everyone else just has to hang on tight. In the mean time, there is another echo speaker that anyone can pre order. This is the Tap. And the big feature here is portability. The original echo always had to be plugged in, but the tap is battery powered to take it anywhere. And to not drain the battery it will not be always listening for you to call out the name Alexa to give a command, instead you have to hit a button to ask something, hence the name tap. You can buy a colorful bumper case for it, but it does come with a charging dock and the battery lasts nine hours of continuous use. The Tap is $130, so you save about 50 bucks compared to the original. But they can do the same tricks. And speaking of tricks, all Echo products are gaining the ability to also control more smart thermostats. By the end of the month a voice command can change the temperature on a nest Learning thermostat. Right now the echo works with the eco beast 3 thermostat, but other companies like Honeywell and [INAUDIBLE] are also jumping in. If you just say things like Alexa, set the heat to 70 degrees. That's it for this tech news update. You can head to cnet.com for more. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridgett Carey