The Echo Show 8 (2nd generation)(opens in a new tab) is a glossy, sensible addition to the Echo lineup, boasting an 8-inch HD touchscreen, a brilliant responsive auto-panning and zooming digicam to maintain you in focus throughout video calls, twin stereo audio system, and the ever-adaptive Alexa.
As a central hub on your dwelling, it actually can’t be overwhelmed, but it surely wants somewhat extra work to be a great match for the work-from-home crowd.
Giant and in cost
In case you’re conversant in the 1st gen Echo Show 8(opens in a new tab), you understand it’s not precisely a compact system — and the 2nd gen Echo Show 8(opens in a new tab) is similar measurement, measuring in with an 8-inch display and a 4-inch x 8-inch footprint. That may very well be a professional or a con, relying on what you’re trying to get from the system (and the place you wish to put it).
I really like the scale for my kitchen as a result of it’s good to have a big display there for recipes, and it’s a gathering space for the household the place we are able to simply make video calls. Alternatively, it could be method too massive for my desk — the Echo Show 5(opens in a new tab) could be a greater choice right here.
Its massive display makes watching movies simpler than ever.
Credit score: Amazon
I cherished it for pulling up recipes as I cooked.
Credit score: Amazon
In case you plan to make use of your Echo Present for streaming, you’re going to wish to spring for the larger Echo Present 8 reasonably than the Echo Show 5.
And since this system was primarily made for video calls and connecting, you wish to put it someplace the place the family would naturally collect anyway. There are many locations that I might put it, however they’re not areas the place we usually congregate.
Due to the form of work I do (writing), I attend a number of on-line cooking lessons and workshops. And certainly one of my little pet peeves is having to maneuver my laptop computer into the kitchen for these conferences so my cellphone’s not tied up.
So, one of many options of the Echo Present 8 that I used to be most enthusiastic about was that it supposedly works with Zoom with primarily no setup required. I used to be tremendous pumped to check out the function with a cooking class. After a fast Google search, it was straightforward sufficient to get every thing in place. I synced my Google calendar to Alexa, waited for the assembly time, and stated the magic phrases: “Alexa, be a part of my Zoom assembly.”
And… she stated there was no dial-in quantity so it was a no-go. I even generated some conferences of my very own to attempt to check out the function however none of them had a dial-in quantity both, so all of them obtained the identical message.
I had that lovely Echo Present arrange all good in my kitchen however nonetheless needed to transfer my laptop computer into the kitchen for my class. Womp, womp.
Alternatively, I like that the Echo Present 8 offers me useful calendar reminders with out intrusive notifications so I can simply see when my subsequent assembly is.
One of many new options of those 2nd gen gadgets is motion-activated Alexa routines, which might actually be a game-changer for setting dwelling workplace hours. Think about a low-key instrumental playlist beginning while you stroll into your workplace whereas Alexa mechanically begins studying your calendar. Good.
Observe: From my understanding, the Echo Present 8 is the ONLY Echo Present system that may be a part of Zoom conferences. So if that’s one thing that’s essential to you, that is the one you need. I’m anxiously awaiting a repair for the “dial-in” subject as a result of it could make the Echo Present 8 a virtually good system in my eyes.
Arms-free kitchen assistant
I subscribe to a meal equipment supply service that shares its recipe playing cards digitally. On that word, I created a routine to mechanically open the browser so I can navigate to the meal equipment web site after I say, “Alexa, let’s make dinner.” It was good to have Alexa set timers after I pop one thing within the oven, reasonably than setting it manually on the oven.
And after I simply want to tug up a recipe, it’s a lot simpler to make use of the Echo Present 8 than to always test my cellphone or run backwards and forwards to my laptop computer. Perhaps it’s as a result of I spend a lot time within the kitchen between work and feeding my crew, however I actually really feel prefer it’s the place the Echo Present 8 shines. The smaller Echo Present 5 is good, but it surely undoubtedly wouldn’t be close to as helpful for taking a look at recipes on account of its compact display.
Nonetheless, it’s far more than only a high-tech cookbook stand.
Simple, flawless video calling
In case you’re all about video calling, that is completely the Echo Present system you need. The digicam is a big improve from the first gen Echo Present 8, leaping from one megapixel to 13.
Throughout calls, the digicam will pan and zoom mechanically to remain centered on the people who find themselves within the digicam’s view — and that’s an enormous plus for fogeys of squirmy youngsters and individuals who’d prefer to multitask on a video name as an alternative of holding their cellphone in entrance of their face.
Video calling is simpler than ever with an auto pan and zoom.
Credit score: Amazon
It’s additionally so very straightforward to video chat with different Alexa gadgets in your family — simply say, “Alexa, drop in on [so and so].” You can too use your Present as an intercom to relay messages to all the opposite Alexa gadgets in the home. It’s the dinner bell of the longer term.
Easy dwelling safety
With Alexa Guard mode, the system can interface together with your present safety system, detect alarms and glass breaks, and mechanically flip sensible lights on and off. The Echo Present 8 (and different Echo Present gadgets, too) can even function safety cameras.
Even in case you’re out of the home, all you want is a WiFi connection to test in on the home utilizing the Alexa app and the Echo Present’s digicam.
For safety features, Amazon permits you to delete your voice recordings and change off the digicam shutter when you do not need it in use. You possibly can learn extra about steps they take to protect your privacy here.
Add to cart?
The brand new Echo Show 8(opens in a new tab) is made for connecting with individuals each inside and out of doors your house. The digicam has had an enormous glow-up and now boasts 13 megapixels (in comparison with the first gen’s 1 MP), and the Echo Present 8 affords extra Alexa performance than ever.
I bumped into some points getting Zoom to work on the Echo Present 8, which was one of many principal attracts of the system, however aside from that I’m really impressed.