Amazon has announced a new product today called the Amazon Echo Dot. If the name sounds familiar that’s because it’s merely an extension of the popular Amazon Echo smart speaker. What’s different here is that while both devices have the same brains, the Echo Dot doesn’t have the big speaker that the Echo does, so it’s a lot more portable. Fundamentally, though, both products are almost identical in functionality.

The Amazon Echo Dot has the same array of microphones like the Amazon Echo and the same blue ring that notifies users that it’s listening to their comments. It also needs to be plugged in for power. It works pretty much like the Echo expect that it doesn’t have its own speaker.

This is why the Echo Dot needs to be plugged into a speaker directly or hooked up to one over Bluetooth. Other than that, it provides access to the same features, Alexa’s in there so the virtual assistant is capable of doing everything that it’s capable of on the Amazon Echo.

It does have a very tiny speaker that can be used for the timer or alarm clock and does allow Alexa to communicate through it, however, a spokesperson for Amazon says that the company expects most customers will want to connect this device to their own speakers for music streaming and an overall better sound experience.

The idea with this product is to bring Alexa, Amazon’s digital personal assistant, to as many devices in your home as it possibly can. Given that it has shaved off the speaker, the price has also been shaved off. Amazon Echo Dot costs $89.99 which some will find more affordable than having to pay $179.99 for the Amazon Echo.

If you’re interested, you can order one through Alexa for now, which means you need to have an Echo or a Fire TV. It may be a while before Amazon puts up the new hardware for open sale.

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