At CES 2017, Lenovo unveiled the Smart Assistant, their take on a voice-controlled smart home assistant. It’s similar to how the Google Home works as it’s directly in its price range, but it more closely resembles the work Amazon has done with the Echo since a) it’s powered by Alexa and b) Lenovo and Amazon built it together.
At first glance, you’ll notice that the Smart Assistant looks a lot like an Echo, but with chamfers and multiple dual-tone angles present, you’ll quickly find that you’re looking at something completely different. An array of far-field microphones are found drilled into the body of the Assistant for voice pickup around your home, while a 5W tweeter and 10W woofer speaker system comes built in for presumably decent sound output. There’s also a volume rocker for controlling how loud sound output actually is.
Regarding interaction, as aforementioned, the Smart Assistant is powered by Amazon Alexa, so things like “What’s the weather?” and “Tell me the latest news” can all be asked with a simple “Hey, Alexa” command or the tap of a button. All smart home functionality of Alexa is also available via the Assistant, so you can turn on and off the lights and lock the door when needed by just using your voice. Lenovo makes it a priority to point out that Alexa is cloud-based, so the service will be updated frequently.
To process users’ voice commands, Lenovo built in an Intel Celeron N3060 processor with 2Gb of DRAM and 8GB of internal storage. There’s also Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11n Wi-Fi support for connecting to peripherals.
Three color options are available: Light Gray, Green and Orange. Lenovo’s Smart Assistant will become available this May for $129.99, while a special Harman Kardon Edition will also be offered in black for $179.99 with a clearer tweeter and deeper base. Each product will be available this May.
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