Probably the most useful feature of the AmazonBasics microwave is that you don’t have to reset the clock if your power fails or when you’re transitioning between standard and daylight-saving time.

And, you can also use your voice to control the microwave which, if nothing else, keeps the device cleaner because you don’t have to touch it with messy fingers while cooking.

At $59.99, it’s about the same price as comparable not-so-smart microwaves.

By looking, you couldn’t tell that this microwave is anything special. The inside and outside look pretty much like any microwave. It’s smaller than some (17.3 x 10.1 x 14.1, in inches, on the outside and about 10.75 x 6.75 x 11.5 on the inside) which is either good or bad, depending on whether you value counter space or capacity. I rarely cook anything large in a microwave so it’s big enough for me. Actually, I rarely cook anything in a microwave. We mostly use ours for re-heating.

And speaking of re-heating, you can do that with your voice. Tell Alexa to “re-heat a cup of coffee” and it will turn on for just over a minute to give you a steaming cup. If you just say “reheat coffee” it will ask you how many cups and adjust the time accordingly. You can also ask Alexa to re-heat hot chocolate, soup, apple cider or noodle soup and it will set the timer accordingly.

The microwave is not quite a stand-alone product. To take advantage of its voice recognition, you need an Amazon Echo, Echo Dot or compatible voice activated device that works with Alexa. The Dot normally sells for $49.99, but is often on sale. When I checked, just ahead of Black Friday, I found a refurbished Dot for $29.99 and a refurbished second generation full-size echo (with a better speaker) for $59.99.

As with other Alexa-enabled devices, you typically start the conversation by saying “Alexa,” but the microwave has a blue button that you can push and avoid having to say the wake-up word. You can also control the microwave the old-fashioned way by pressing the same type of buttons that are on regular microwave ovens.

Set-up is relatively easy. Be sure you have the latest version of the Amazon Alexa app and a working Alexa-enabled device nearby. Select the device icon in the lower right corner of the app. Press the + icon followed by “add device.” Scroll down till you see “Microwave” and follow the instructions from there. Mine didn’t connect to the Echo the first time I tried it so I closed and re-opened the app and it worked the second time. Once connected to the Echo, the device is also connected to WiFi so the first thing I noticed was the correct time on the clock.

In addition to re-heating liquids, you can also use voice commands to set time and power level. You can, for example, say, Alexa, microwave for 2 minutes” or “Alexa, microwave for 5 minutes on medium power” or “reheat eight ounces of rice” (or pasta, mash potatoes or casserole). One of the handier features is the ability to use your voice to ask it to defrost foods. Using defrost and setting power levels is sometimes confusing. Alexa makes it simple. I asked Alexa to “defrost a chicken” and she asked me “what’s the weight of the chicken.” When I said it weighed two pounds, she adjusted the power level and set the timer for 22 minutes.

Alexa can also microwave popcorn, which she’ll also ask the weight, unless you specify in advance by saying “microwave 3 ounces of popcorn.” Being Amazon, you can also have Alexa re-order popcorn for you. Amazon rarely misses an opportunity to try to sell you something, which I suspect may be one of the reasons why the microwave and some other Alexa-devices like the Echo Dot are so affordable.

At this price point the AmazonBasics microwave is a good choice if you need a new microwave oven. But, chances are you don’t and I certainly don’t think it’s enough of a game changer to warrant replacing a perfectly good microwave you may already have. In fact, I would almost consider it a novelty item if all you do with your current microwave is re-heat pizza and defrost frozen food, though I do admit that the voice-activated defrost is kind of cool for people like me who have no idea how to set the power levels for defrosting in a typical microwave.

My sense is that Amazon is using the microwave to test the waters and gain inroads into people’s kitchens, just as its voice-activated Fire TV gets them into living rooms. It wouldn’t surprise me to see voice built into other devices and appliances, getting us to the point where we don’t have to touch anything to cook a meal. Combine that with online food shopping (Amazon owns Whole Foods), and we may someday be able to use our voices to order up and cook our meals without having to worry about recipes. Given my rather limited kitchen skills, this might be a good thing, but Alexa will need a great deal more artificial intelligence before she can even think about making meals as good as those from my wife.

Larry Magid is a tech journalist and internet safety activist.