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Create your own echo show on the cheap



  Amazon Echo Show Product Photos-3

The Echo Show is $ 230. The DIY option may only cost you $ 65.


Tyler Lizenby / CNET

When
Amazon
first introduced the
Echo Show
($ 230 on Amazon.com) Just over a year ago, it seemed to be the logical evolution of the product line: an Alexa-based smart speaker, but with a screen.

If you liked the idea That said, but not the $ 230 price tag (which has remained stable except for occasional sales), here's the good news: you can now merge an echo show equivalent for significantly less.

The first thing you need to build your own Echo Show

The key component in this DIY equation: An
Amazon Fire HD 8
or HD 10 tablet. Amazon's New Show Fashion Software Update Benefits
Tablets
& # 39; existing handsfree
Alexa
Skills by adding full-screen visuals much like an actual echo show.

Do not have a compatible Fire? The HD 10 (32 GB) and HD 8 (16 GB) are currently sold for $ 150 and $ 80, respectively, although Amazon often sells on both platforms. (For example, on Prime Day it was $ 100 and $ 50.) But you can also get certified versions for $ 120 and $ 65 – an option that I recommend if you do not want to wait for the next sale. (Amazon's Refurbs are literally good as new, except for the 1-year warranty.)

Since the Echo Show actually has a 7-inch display, we focus on the Fire HD 8. It's not just slightly larger Screen, but also slightly higher resolution: 1,200 x 800 compared to 1,024 x 600 on the show. Your total amount so far: $ 80 (or $ 65 if you decide to overhaul.)

Everything Else: Optional

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Consider pairing your Fire tablet with a Bluetooth speaker for a more robust show experience.


Best Buy

If you only want to enhance Alexa with a screen, all you need is a tablet. Just leave it plugged in full time and let show mode run; There's your show.

For a more complete show experience, however, you should add a few more elements – starting with
Bluetooth speaker
. Although we did not particularly like the Echo Show's echo design, we liked its audio capabilities which surpassed those of other echo devices.

Fire's speakers are fine for video calls and YouTube, but woefully inadequate if they're going to ask Alexa for music. As you would probably do with a
Echo Point
($ 50 on Amazon.com) Consider connecting your Fire tablet to a Bluetooth speaker.

There are countless options – big and small, expensive and inexpensive, portable and bookshelves. Pretty much everything will work, but make sure your chosen speaker does not turn off automatically after a period of inactivity. (Some models also do this when connected.) That would significantly affect your show mode.

Can not you decide? Take a look at the CNET review of the best Bluetooth speakers for 2018.

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Amazon's Show Mode Charger makes it easier to load your Fire Tablet, but there are cheaper options.


Sarah Tew / CNET

Then the question arises of where to put your fire while doing the show mode duty. Amazon recently unveiled the Show Mode Charging Dock which combines a special case for your tablet and a wireless charging stand on which it rests. (Unfortunately, it does not include speakers or additional microphones to enhance Alexa's hearing.)

The dock costs $ 55 for the Fire HD 10 version and $ 40 for the HD 8 – although Amazon currently does both have sale for $ 5 less.

See it on Amazon

Should you bother? Well, here is an adjustable tablet stand for $ 8.

View at Amazon

The actual selling point of the dock is the case, which adds a magnetic, wireless charging option to your Fire tablet: Just stand up to it and it Fees.

That's convenient, but how hard is it to plug in your tablet when needed and unplug it if you want to take it with you? The dock is just a convenience; it does not add any real practical benefit.

The Total Cost of the DYI Echo Show

If you already have a Fire HD 8 or Fire HD 10 Tablet, you do not need to spend a penny to use it as an echo show; All you need is the latest Fire OS update.

And if you have a speaker lying around –
Bluetooth
or otherwise – you can boost the audio capabilities to levels or even better. Total Total Cost: $ 0

If you do not have such equipment, you should spend at least $ 65 on the Fire HD 8 and $ 35 on a decent Bluetooth speaker – for a grand total of $ 100. Make sure you get a few extra Dollars for a stand, though every dollar store cookbook stand would work well.

The end result is that for less than $ 230, you can show something that's almost as good as the echo.


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