Today, Amazon officially unveiled its latest and largest addition to AmazonBasics’s kitchen category: an exceptionally plain-looking microwave that costs $60.
As one would expect, the microwave supports various preset voice commands via Alexa integration. There’s even an Amazon Dash button on it to order yourself popcorn when you run out. Neither of these things are interesting or all that useful. Pressing the button labeled “popcorn” is really not so much different than saying “Alexa, pop popcorn.” (You have to go to the microwave to throw the bag in either way.) On top of this, you still need an Alexa-powered speaker near the microwave for it to receive and act on your commands.
This does not mean it’s without promise. The Alexa integration present in the microwave is operated by Alexa Connect Kit, a cheap Wi-Fi module built into the microwave that has the capability to pull some smart features into regular old appliances. So while telling your microwave to make popcorn isn’t something you need, there is a future timeline where this Connect Kit finds its way into more and larger appliances around your home — think ovens, dishwashers and washing machines. The ability to be anywhere in your home and ask Alexa when how much time the dryer has left to run is useful, and provides a sense of streamlined, forward direction for the future smart home tech.
Apart from this promise, the microwave is completely unremarkable in all things except price. No matter how you spin it, though, $60 is tough to beat.
The AmazonBasics Microwave will be available for pre-order later today.
We’re on the ground in Seatle at Amazon’s HQ to bring you the latest in Echo and Alexa-enabled hardware. Read the Stories