The juggernaut of tech retail CES (computer electronic show) 2017 kicks off today in Las Vegas with Lenovo announcing a smart assistant powered by Alexa. On a blog post entitled “Raising the IQ of Today’s Smart Home” the company details the new speaker device which will be available in the US (only) for as little as $129.99 USD.
Size, Colours and Harman Kardon
Weighing in at 1.67 lbs (.76kg) and standing roughly 15 centimeters the device is said to be powered by an Intel Celeron N3060 Processor and boasts a microphone array similar to Echo (eight 360-degree microphones that can hear people speaking from up to 16 feet / 5 metres away). With multiple colour options (light gray, green, black and orange) the Lenovo Smart Assistant will additionally include an optional Harman Kardon Edition for $179.99 USD which will probably blow away Echo and be enticing for audiophiles.
While it looks similar to the Echo and works in a similar way, Lenovo claims the key difference between it’s new assistant and the Amazon Echo is in the sound quality of its speakers.
Joining the Alexa-enabled party, Lenovo aims to utilize Alexa’s smarts to bring voice assistant power to the smart home. One unclear aspect of Lenovo’s Smart Assistant is exactly how its compatible software will work. Amazon’s Echo connects with Amazon’s own Alexa app, which is primarily a setup and manager app for the speaker, but also keeps a log of everything you ask Alexa for. Lenovo says that Smart Assistant users will have to set up the speaker using Lenovo’s app for iOS and Android, but it’s unknown whether queries made through the speaker will be logged in Lenovo’s app.
Not available in Canada, the device starts shipping to US only customer in May 2017.