But clearly, it was an unusual product looking for a purpose and target audience, so Alcatel’s parent company, TCL, went back to the drawing board, coming out with a slightly revised model this past spring marketed as a “kitchen accessory.”
This time, the Xess carried TCL’s logos on its quirky built-in kickstand, though pre-loaded recipe apps were hardly a compelling selling point at $500. Finally, the gargantuan 17.3-incher seems to have found its calling now, picking up Alexa voice “services” in a last attempt at market repositioning.
The TCL Xess is no longer an unconventional tablet or costly kitchen accessory, and it’s only secondarily billed as a compact, portable TV. You’re looking first and foremost at a “smart home hub” here, kind of like Amazon’s own Echo and Tap smart speakers, but with a huge Full HD touchscreen in tow, Google Play store access, 3GB RAM, 64GB internal storage, lengthy battery life, and all-around superior productivity and versatility.
Your 500 bucks will buy you not just the TCL Xess from Amazon, but also a bonus remote camera for always keeping an eye on your kids or pets in another room. And yes, Alexa can do everything here, taking hands-free voice commands for smart object controls, alarms, timers, news, weather, and so on and so forth.