That wasn't far off, as it turns out.
It also comes with new dual speakers for better audio output. And it is available in multiple colors, too.
When you want to combine Alexa's intelligence with serious sound equipment, now you can with Echo Link ($200).
All the new Echo devices have received a facelift with the hard edges replaced with a rounded finish that is reminiscent of the Apple HomePod.
Other companies have tried to imitate Amazon's success.
In reference to the latter question, the microwave provides an opportunity for Amazon to try out a new developer's toolkit and to do what the online retailer does best - sell you stuff. The aforementioned blog post tells us that the service "integrates Echo devices, smart lights, and security service providers to help customers protect their homes while they're away".
As expected, the company focused a lot on a new range of its Echo-branded speakers. At launch, it starts at $229 and the device will ship later this year. Once the initial setup is complete, Amazon says drivers will simply need to start their vehicle and the Echo Auto will be ready to respond "within just a few seconds". It features a bigger 10-inch display and includes vastly improved sound and a fabric-covered back. The company is hoping the $230 video speaker becomes a hub for voice shopping and video calls. It will cost $230.
Rather than taking on DVRs straight on, Fire TV Recast lets you watch, record and replay over-the-air programming.
There's also a new subwoofer if you like bigger sound, offering the $199 wireless Amazon Echo Sub to give that.1 to an Alexa speaker and up the bass. The new Echo Plus also comes packed with a seven-microphone beamforming array which basically cancels all the unwanted background noise in the surrounding so users can have a better and seamless audio experience.