amazon tap

Amazon Tap.

Yes, that’s exactly what you could do with this portable version of Amazon Echo called the Amazon Tap. Amazon Tap is actually a bluetooth speaker that has Alexa inbuilt into it. Unlike other echo devices, a button on the top needs to be pressed in order to get Alexa’s attention.

Amazon Tap
It has dual stereo speakers powered by Dolby processing for sharper output

While all that sounds a bit of a hassle, the advantage of the reduced form factor is that it is portable – well – you could take it to a friends home or to an outing. The reduced form factor also comes with a reduced price tag, the Amazon Tap only costs $129. More importantly the sound quality is top of the class, thanks to the dual stereo speakers; constant updates rolled out by amazon for it’s AI makes Amazon Tap smarter with each new update.

Design

The Amazon Tap’s resemblance to the slightly taller, portlier Echo is uncanny and comes only in one color – black with a silver colored amazon branding embedded above the base of the unit. The major difference between the both is that Tap is entirely coated with mesh fabric. Inside the unit are two 1.5 inch drivers, dual passive radiators and a battery that’s capable of delivering 9 hours of music in one full charge.

Amazon Tap
Amazon Echo, Tap and Echo Dot for size comparison.

Performance

The Tap is a boom-box and it excels above and beyond the Echo in it’s audio performance.Unlike the muddled and dulled mids and highs of the Echo, for it’s size the Tap performs much better. There are two ways to stream audio through the Tap via Bluetooth or, if connected to the WiFi you can stream using streaming services like Spotify, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, etc.

Where it lacks

The amazing aspect of Echo is that it could take commands from anywhere in your room, either using voice command or using the bundled remote control if in-case you move out of Alexa’s earshot. With the Tap, you don’t have an always listening mode even when plugged for power and the Alexa app isn’t compatible. Always pressing the button for Alexa could also be cumbersome and kind of kills the purpose.

Conclusion

The main attraction in the Tap is still it’s AI – Alexa, but using it is a bit of a hassle – both due to the time taken to walk up to the Tap and press the button and also because of some limitations of Alexa’s capabilities. If Amazon adds the option to always turn on Alexa in the future then the Tap would be an all-round better product than the Echo. Possibly the reason why they aren’t doing that.

 

To check out the weirdest laptops of 2017 check out this article.

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