team writes about stuff we think you’ll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.
- The perfect holiday gift may be a classic, just dressed up a little bit differently.
- Amazon has unveiled a limited-edition (RED) version of its 2nd-generation Echo, and it’s pretty sleek.
- Available for pre-order for $US99.99, 10% of all sales will go toward (RED)’s efforts to fight AIDS through the Global Fund.
It’s finally November, which means that Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which means that Black Friday is nearly upon us, which means that Christmas is basically tomorrow, which means that the whole year is practically over.
But before you dissolve into a puddle of where-did-the-year-go anxiety (or is that just me?), you may find that you can get some help keeping the last couple months of the year together by way of a smart assistant. And that smart assistant comes in the form of Alexa.
Just in time for the holidays, Amazon is offering one of the sleekest versions of Alexa yet – for a limited time, you’ll be able to get her in the form of a special (RED) 2nd-generation Echo. And not only will Alexa look great in your kitchen, living room, or just about anywhere else, but you’ll feel great about your purchase, too – $US10 from every limited-edition Echo purchased will support (RED)’s efforts to fight AIDS through the Global Fund.
Other than being the telltale crimson colour that has become synonymous with (RED)’s mission over the last several years, this 2nd-generation Echo is identical to her siblings. As we noted when the 2nd-generation device was first launched last November, the newer Echo is a significant step up from the original version. It features not only a more elegant profile, but more importantly, better and richer sound. Plus, there’s an auxiliary jack in the back where you can plug in your own additional speakers for surround sound.
By the looks of it, this particular special-edition Echo comes in the fabric-covered finish (which I prefer to the metallic option anyway). But if you’re not a huge fan of the red hue, or want to dress up the Echo a bit more still, you could always purchase one of Amazon’s extra multi-coloured cases for a personal touch.
So what exactly does the Echo do? The smart speaker comes with Amazon’s perennially popular smart assistant, Alexa, built right into the hardware. That means you can call on Alexa to play music, make calls, set alarms, ask questions, control connected devices, and just about anything else. Thanks to its seven microphones, beamforming technology, and noise cancellation, the Amazon Echo is quite adept at hearing your commands, even if you’re using it to play music.
You can also ask Alexa to read out your schedule, check the weather, get a read on traffic, or manage to-do and shopping lists. And because Alexa is constantly being updated with new skills, she’s forever getting smarter (just like you).
As with the rest of the 2nd-generation Echo line, the limited-edition (RED) iteration will set you back $US99.99, and is now available for pre-order, a few weeks ahead of its official December 5 launch date.
Lastly, it’s worth noting that Amazon has revealed the 2nd-generation Echo will be discounted by $US30.99 as a Black Friday deal. So you may want to wait until November 23 to purchase one for only $US69.