The Toshiba WK3 4K 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.
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.
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.
Given the incredibly low price point, though, and the smart move to opt for built-in functionality, the Toshiba WK3 may well be a small TV to keep your eye on in 2020.