Final Review: Amazon Echo Show 10

This smart speaker's touch screen swivels as you move around your kitchen

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Illustration of a person using the Echo 10 for recipe help while baking in their kitchen. Illustration: Rodrigo Damati

We’ve all been spending perhaps a bit too much time staring at our screens lately. But what about a screen that stares back?

The Amazon Echo Show 10, which works with the company’s Alexa voice-controlled assistant, uses a quiet electric motor and motion-sensing technology to track your movements. So the 10-inch touch screen continues to face you even as you move around a room.

Smart speakers, especially those with screens, are commonly used in kitchens. In my home, I found the Echo Show 10 to be useful while cooking, allowing me to read a recipe or watch a quick how-to video. Those are tasks you might otherwise use a phone or tablet for, but the Show 10’s voice commands mean you don’t need to touch the screen with messy hands. 

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In our lab tests, the Echo Show 10 received high marks, placing it among the top five smart speakers in our current ratings. Our testers noted that it’s easy to use with a variety of convenient features, including a dedicated button to mute its microphones when you don’t want it to listen. Although its sound quality receives a rating of Good, it doesn’t quite match its nonrotating predecessor’s, the second-generation Echo Show.

Before you buy a Show 10 for your kitchen, make sure you have the counter space to set it up safely. Amazon includes a template that’s 15 inches in diameter (roughly the size of a beach ball) to mark the space that needs to be kept clear around the device. I discovered that if items like a metal travel mug or a large bottle of oil are placed too close to the Show 10’s screen, the powerful motor can knock it over. 

“When you’re cooking, you have limited space,” says Michael Kaestner, a safety expert certified by the National Kitchen & Bath Association. “So if a device can knock something flammable onto a range, it’s an accident waiting to happen.”

Should you buy an Amazon Echo Show 10? It depends on what you’re looking for, but in my household, the fact that the screen rotates was more of a liability than an asset. For one thing, my wife found it “creepy,” and both she and my kids turned off the device every time they entered the kitchen.

Further, the Show 10 takes up a lot of room because of the clearance requirements, and unless you have acres of counter space, that’s inconvenient.

The older Echo Show has essentially the same screen and functions just as well for a hands-free consultation of recipes, but because it doesn’t rotate, it doesn’t require as much room on the counter. If space is really tight, a simple tablet or phone isn’t hands-free but requires even less space and can be easily moved out of the way when you don’t need it.

Amazon’s newest Echo smart screen, the Show 15, addresses this concern in a different way. It features a wall-mountable 15-inch screen that can be seen throughout the room and doesn’t take up precious counter space. We haven’t evaluated this model yet, but we’ll do so when it’s available and report back with the results.

Allen St. John

I believe that technology has the power to change our lives—for better or for worse. That's why I’ve spent my life reporting and writing about it for outlets of all sorts, from newspapers (such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times) to magazines (Popular Mechanics and Rolling Stone) and even my own books ("Newton’s Football" and "Clapton’s Guitar"). For me, there's no better way to spend a day than talking to a bunch of experts about an important subject and then writing a story that'll help others be smarter and better informed.