Toshiba’s tiny HD TV doubles as an Alexa speaker – with no accessories needed

The Toshiba WK3 HD TV has been announced for 2020, bringing with it a new, small TV with voice command smarts above and beyond what you might expect.The WK3 will come with built-in Alexa capability – specifically through a microphone embedded into the bezel of the TV itself – in order to respond to on/off commands, volume changes, and the like without having to lift a finger. It’s a much more refined solution than the foray into Alexa that Toshiba pursued last year, with the likes of the UL5A coming with an optional Toshiba Connect add-on: a cheap plug-in microphone that enabled your television to pick up voice commands in place of a smart speaker like the Amazon Echo. As with the UL5A, though, we expect it to be a basic form of Alexa, without the full functionality (launching apps by voice, and controlling playback) you’d find on a Fire TV device.
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The WK3 is available now in two sizes, with a 24-inch model retailing at £179, and a 32-inch model costing just a smidge more at £199. Keep in mind that you’ll only get HD resolution, though, rather than 4K.The set is clearly aimed at more of a smart display-minded customer, given its compact sizing and press imagery – which locates the WK3 largely in the bedroom or kitchen, rather than a living room centrepiece. For the price, though, there’s plenty reason to buy it as a second screen for your home.
Alexa, can you hear me?
Bart Kuijten, commercial director at Toshiba UK, said in a press release that, “The WK3 is a fantastic proposition for our customers, the Alexa embedded technology takes voice activation to a new level for our customers.”With the vast majority of day-to-day functions available through hands free voice control, this fantastic TV is ideal for viewing while cooking, cleaning or bathing, eliminating the need to pick up a remote.”Even an Amazon rep has chimed in to call the WK3 “the UK’s first hands-free TV, powered by Alexa,” which isn’t technically true in our minds – given a number of 2019 Toshiba TVs had similar functionality through its Toshiba Connect accessory.However, the Toshiba Connect microphone had its problems, with an unreliable mute button that frequently unmuted by itself – not very reassuring for the privacy-minded among us – that we hope hasn’t just been fused into the side of the television.Given the incredibly low price point, though, and the move to built-in functionality, the Toshiba WK3 may well be a small TV to keep your eye on in 2020.
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