If you're still not sure about Google's new Home intelligent voice interface, then you may want to stick with something that works, and Amazon's Echo family of devices has proven that it does indeed work. One member of this family and a super cheap way to get into home assistants is the Echo Dot, a tiny puck-like gadget that you can spread around the house to listen to your commands and execute them. The second generation Dot was just released for $49.99, putting it almost in impulse-buy territory.

However, there's one lacking option with the Dot: portability. Sure, there's the larger Echo Tap which is battery-operated, but it requires you to tap the microphone each time you want to issue a command, negating the convenience factor of using Echo and Alexa's skills and commands. The Dot requires power through a MicroUSB cable to operate, and so it seems easy to just plug it into a portable battery pack and use it where there's no access to a wall plug. But that combo would look just unsightly... especially compared to the Echo Dot's futuristic colored LED ring and minimalist design. I have one (a 2nd gen Dot) in front of me and I'm loath to even see the big MicroUSB cable sticking out of it. A battery pack would be a bit of a design tragedy.

And this is where the Evo comes into play. (Such a long-winded introduction!) Evo is a portable battery pack for the Echo Dot that has the same round shape, magnets to hold it to the Dot, LEDs to indicate battery level, and a minimalist MicroUSB plug that doesn't dangle and goes right into the Dot.

The first iteration of the Evo was made for the first gen Dot and was released in September, unfortunately just before the 2nd gen Dot was outed by Amazon, so it had a short lifespan during which it was well received by reviewers. In case you're wondering, yes, it seems like a few people are taking their Dots on the go. Why, I don't know, but I suppose it's mostly to balconies, patios, small backyards, and the like.

Now the second generation, which works with the new 2nd gen Echo Dot, is available for pre-order on Amazon for $35 in both black and white to fit both colors of the Dot. It's estimated to be done in November and ship around the end of December.