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It’s an excellent time to buy a no-frills smart speaker. Amazon is running a sale that drops the price of the fourth-generation Echo Dot smart speaker to $30 (down from $50) for the basic model and $40 (down from $60) for its clock-equipped upgrade. This is nearly a record low price for both and makes them easy picks if you’re looking for an entry-level device. Be sure to act quickly if you’re interested, though — this is a limited-time deal.
The Echo Dot doesn’t do a lot, but it does its job well. It pumps out surprisingly good sound (though not spectacular) for the money, offers 3.5mm audio output, and is even eye-catching. The clock variant is advantageous as a bedside companion. It’ll let you know if you’re running late, of course, but it can also show the weather and timers. Combine those with the depth of the Alexa smart home ecosystem, and you might not need anything more.
The Dot has its limits. While it sounds better than you might expect, it won’t make you regret buying a standard Echo or Nest Audio. You’d also need a bright display like the Echo Show 5 to get more meaningful visuals like forecasts. If there’s any severe gripe, it’s that the basic model only saves you $10. The starter Echo Dot makes sense if you just need a way to voice-control your home, but you’re likely better off with the clock edition in the bedroom or kitchen. Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.