Holiday Gift Guide 2016 – 2017 – Top 10: Best AI Products


Amazon Echo


The Amazon Echo is one of the best AI speakers currently available. Inside lives Alexa, which is Amazon's own personal assistant. When it first launched in 2014, it didn't do much. But Amazon has quickly improved Alexa and added tons of new skills for her. She can control a slew of products in your home, as well as ordering pizza.

Buy the Amazon Echo

Amazon Tap


Amazon touts this as a "Portable Speaker", where as the Amazon Echo isn't portable and must stay plugged in. It also isn't always listening, unlike the Amazon Echo. You actually need to tap the speaker (hence the name) for it to start listening to your query. But it does also have Alexa inside.

Buy the Amazon Tap

Amazon Echo Dot


The third way to get Alexa in the form of a speaker is the Echo Dot. This works as a speaker, but it is meant to be plugged into another speaker that sits in your home. It does everything that the Amazon Echo does, it's just smaller and a fraction of the price, as you'd expect it to be.

Buy the Amazon Echo Dot

All new Echo Dot  + TP-Link Wi-Fi Light Switch


Alexa works with a slew of smart home products like the TP-Link Wi-Fi Light Switch here. Allowing you to use Alexa to turn on your lights within your home. Amazon is selling the Echo Dot with the TP-Link Wi-Fi Light Switch, which is going to save you a few bucks by buying them together.


Buy the Echo Dot & TP-Link WiFi Light Switch

Amazon Echo Dot + ecobee3 Smart Thermostat



Here's another bundle that is pretty sweet to pick up this holiday season. You can get a smart thermostat from ecobee3 which can also be controlled by Alexa. All you have to do is say "Alexa, change the temperature to 70 degrees" and she'll change the temperature in your home. This is the way the smart home was supposed to work.

Buy the Amazon Echo Dot + ecobee3 Smart Thermostat

Nest Learning Thermostat



This is the third generation of Nest's Learning Thermostat and it is compatible with both Amazon's Alexa as well as Google's Assistant which lives in the Pixel and Google Home devices. It will intelligently keep the temperature in your home the same, even when the weather outside changes from night to day, and throughout the different seasons of the year.

Buy the Nest Learning Thermostat


Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote


The new Fire TV Stick also has Alexa built in. Allowing you to use your voice to search for different movies and TV shows, but also telling her which TV show to start playing. This can definitely be helpful if you are in the kitchen cooking and want to start a movie or something. It's very intelligent and works pretty well.

Buy the Amazon Fire TV Stick

Amazon Fire Tablet


Amazon's iconic $50 tablet now has Alexa, thanks to a software update. Which means you'll get all of the features that they have already built into Alexa, right there on your tablet, that you barely paid anything for. This is all part of Amazon's strategy too, sell the hardware cheap and rope you into their ecosystem, which now includes Alexa.

Buy the Amazon Fire Tablet

Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet


If you are wanting a bigger tablet, with a better display, performance and battery than the Fire Tablet, the Fire HD 8 is the way to go, and it has Alexa included as well. So you can control all of your appliances throughout the home without needing to actually open up an app and do so. Just use your voice.

Buy the Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet

Wemo Switch


This outlet switch from Wemo works with the Alexa ecosystem as well. Allowing you to tell Alexa to turn on or off whatever is plugged into the switch. You can even name the switch based on what is plugged in. So say you plug in your TV to the switch, you can tell Alexa to turn on the TV, and she'll understand exactly what you want done, and do it.

Buy the Wemo Switch