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Why the $20 Echo Dot is the perfect intro to smart assistants

A key element of any smart home is a smart assistant. When I first set up smart lights, I sought out a cheap way to learn more about voice control. At that time, I went for Google Assistant — but since then, Alexa has become my favorite option.

Now, you can try out the latest version of the Echo Dot for just $20 with this Prime Day deal. Already have an Echo Dot? Score even more savings through Amazon’s 25% trade-in value program, and top that off with another 10% back if you use an Amazon Prime credit card. All told, you could possibly score one of these for as little as $13.50 plus tax.

Why the Echo Dot is ideal for beginners

With the Echo Dot, there’s no complicated setup, no need to figure out how to configure your screen. It’s a simple, straightforward smart speaker that comes with all the features you expect. You can add items to your shopping and to-do list with just a few words, check the weather, and even get details on your commute.

You can snag this version of the Echo Dot in black, white, or blue to fit your home décor. Pair it with other smart devices, like lights or plugs, to control your home with ease. It’s honestly become so commonplace that I have to remind myself to use wall switches when away from home — the ease of use of the Echo Dot makes it the go-to control device for my entire home.

Echo Dot on an entryway table.

Privacy concerns are also a relatively moot point. You can turn off the microphone with a button when not in use. You can stream music through the Echo Dot, and it’s spherical design is much more appealing than the flat hockey-puck shape of earlier generations.

If you buy multiple Echo Dots, you can sync them together for a more immersive music experience. You can also take advantage of Alexa Guard to listen out for broken glass or beeping alarms in your home.

This deal only lasts until the end of Prime Day, so act fast — but at $20, there’s little risk in buying this device. You’ll get a lot of use out of the Alexa smart assistant for next to no investment.

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