Amazon intros a new Echo Show with built-in smart home hub

Today’s Amazon event is full of surprises, but you could have predicted this one from a mile away. The Echo show is a couple of years old now, and honestly, the hardware was never really that spectacular in the first place. Well, Amazon just introduced a new version of the screen-sporting smart speaker, which features a much nicer design and more.

Like the rest of the company’s recently introduced Echo products, the new device features a more premium cloth design, similar to Google’s Home products and the Apple HomePod. The screen size has been doubled to 10 inches, while the speaker has been tweaked to now feature real-time Dolby processing.

The product features an eight-microphone array and will integrate Microsoft’s Skype for non-proprietary chatting. The company has also added third-party browsers, including Firefox, further blurring the line between the display-enabled smart speaker and the company’s Fire tablet offerings.

There are various other fun new skills for the refreshed product, including a Battleship game. The product will also integrate with Amazon’s security offerings through the camera and new doorbell API.

The newly designed Show should help Amazon compete with the various third-party Smart Displays introduced for Google Assistant, along with a proprietary Google device expected to be announced next month.

Like its predecessor, the product runs $229. Pre-orders open today. It will start shipping next month.

Check out our full coverage from the event here.