Here\u2019s the big question that Amazon Tap raises for me: Is this thing worth buying?\nAmazon Tap ($130) [ find it on Amazon - *what's this?* ]\u00a0 is a portable Bluetooth stereo speaker with Amazon\u2019s Alexa virtual assistant built in, and which works with Amazon's Alexa app (shown below).\u00a0\n\nBecause\u00a0Amazon Echo\u00a0($180), the sleeper hit Alexa-based device, isn\u2019t truly mobile (it lacks a battery), you might be excited to hear you can take Alexa on the road with Tap.\nBut here are six reasons to not tap the 'buy' button and three reasons why you might want a Tap after all.\u00a0\nTop 6 reasons not to buy Tap\n1. Alexa may not join your picnic \nTap, like other Echo products, depends upon a Wi-Fi network for Alexa to work. That\u2019s fine if you\u2019re using Tap at home or the office on a local Wi-Fi network. Or if you\u2019re staying at a friend\u2019s home, or even a hotel with Wi-Fi, though I haven\u2019t tested this.\n(By the way, Alexa won\u2019t work with 5 GHz Wi-Fi networks. It supports 802.11b, 802.11g, or 802.11n and WEP, WPA, and WPA2 security.)\nHowever, what if you want to take Tap to a picnic in the park? It will still work as a Bluetooth stereo speaker, playing tunes streamed from your smartphone. But unless there\u2019s a strong Wi-Fi signal available, Alexa won\u2019t be joining your picnic.\nI tried connecting the device to my iPhone\u2019s personal hotspot network multiple times without success. Update: A reader wrote me to say he easily connected Tap to his iPhone. So give it a try; you could have better luck than I had.\u00a0\n2. Your voice won\u2019t awaken Alexa \nUnfortunately, you don\u2019t get the hands-free Alexa experience with Tap. The device is so-named because to summon Alexa, you tap a button on the tube-shaped speaker. You can\u2019t say, \u201cAlexa, what\u2019s the weather forecast today?,\u201d as you would with Echo or its new sibling, Echo Dot ($90). Instead, you tap Tap\u2019s microphone button, then ask, \u201cWhat\u2019s the weather forecast today?\u201d\nIf you keep Tap near you, that\u2019s not a big deal. Still, I\u2019ve gotten used to using my voice to ask my Echo questions about weather, traffic, and news. It\u2019s incredibly handy in the kitchen, when I\u2019m cooking or cleaning up. If I had Tap in the kitchen, it would be coated with flour and olive oil in no time.\n3. It\u2019s not a speakerphone\nI\u2019m also wondering why Amazon didn\u2019t give Tap speakerphone capabilities. The device obviously has a microphone and a speaker, but its Bluetooth connectivity doesn\u2019t include phone calls. That\u2019s a missed opportunity, given that some competitive portable Bluetooth speakers, such as Jawbone\u2019s Mini Jambox (also $130), can act as speakerphones.\n4. It\u2019s not waterproof\nWhat else is missing from Tap? It\u2019s not waterproof, as is the case with UE Boom 2, which costs more than Tap ($199) but consistently earns excellent reviews.\n5. It can\u2019t be paired with another Bluetooth speaker\nAlso unlike UE Boom 2 and some other Bluetooth speakers, you can\u2019t pair Tap with another Bluetooth speaker for richer audio.\n6. Battery life is OK but not as good as some competitors\nUE Boom 2\u2019s battery lasts about 15 hours vs. about 9 hours for Tap (according to their respective product specs).\nTop 3 reasons to buy Tap\n1. It sounds good\nTap\u2019s audio quality sounds good to me. When cranked up, audio clarity didn\u2019t get muddy, as can be the case with some portable Bluetooth speakers.\n2. It\u2019s not like any other portable Bluetooth speaker on the market\nTap\u2019s built-in intelligence, despite its limitations, make Tap a one-of-a-kind product.\n3. It\u2019s the least expensive way to get Alexa with a rich stereo speaker\nI\u2019d recommend Tap if you\u2019re in the market for a portable Bluetooth speaker, would like to experience Alexa at home or in your office and don\u2019t want to spend the extra $50 for Echo, and you don\u2019t care about any of its aforementioned shortcomings.