Amazon launches 4 white-box PC designs with Alexa integration

Amazon this week announced four new PC designs with Alexa integration on board, with the goal of giving manufacturers a ready and tested template for expanding the ecosystem of PCs with its voice assistant (via AFTVNews). Referred to as "Alexa for PC solutions from Original Design Manufacturers (ODMs)," the lineup includes an all-in-one desktop from Wistron, along with convertible notebooks from Compal, Quanta, and Wistron.

Here's a look at what's included in the four models:

  • Wistron's All-in-One PC is a sleek desktop computer optimized for voice that features a 27" UHD display, an FHD webcam with IR sensor, four MEMs microphones, and two stereo speakers.
  • Compal's convertible notebook features a 15.6" FHD display with touch, 13 hours of battery life, fingerprint security, IR camera, productivity quick-turn knob, and stylus. Built for gaming, multimedia, and Alexa, it has four digital microphones and two 2W speakers integrated.
  • Quanta's convertible notebook features a 14" FHD display, 18 hours of battery life, and fingerprint reader – making it suitable for the road-warrior. It has four digital microphones and two 2W speakers for interaction with Alexa.
  • Wistron's convertible notebook is designed for the smart office, featuring a 15.6" FHD display with touch, an HD webcam, and eight hours of battery life. Optimal voice interaction with Alexa is enabled by four MEMs microphones and two stereo speakers.

"We're excited to add the first Alexa for PC ODM products to our portfolio of qualified solutions," said Jon Kirk, Director, Alexa Voice Service at Amazon. "These Windows 10 PCs have been designed from the ground up to support Alexa, bringing Amazon's voice service to customers in new ways."

It's unlikely we'll see these exact PCs make their way to consumers, but they offer a near-final reference design for PC manufacturers to build off of and speed up bringing their own devices to market. Amazon runs a similar program for Alexa devices, giving manufacturers and developers reference designs for other Alexa-enabled smart devices.

Since Amazon announced Alexa would be coming to PCs, manufacturers like ASUS, HP, Lenovo, and Acer have all revealed that they plan to take part in one form or another. Acer, for example, announced it would be one of the first to market with Alexa integration, while HP recently refreshed some of its premium lines with Alexa built in.

This comes as Microsoft and Amazon are working to make Alexa and Cortana talk to one another. While that may seem redundant, it gives Cortana access to Alexa's extensive list of skills and opens up the possibility for some interesting interactions between PCs and the larger Alexa ecosystem.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl