Smart speakers which feature a smart home assistant made waves in 2016 with the launch of Amazon’s Echo and Dot products as well as the Google Home. However, it seems that the market is set to become slightly more crowded as Lenovo, the largest PC maker in the world, has decided to build their own speaker while still using Amazon’s Alexa smart assistant.
Lenovo’s new device has a similar shape to the Amazon Echo but it seems to borrow design aspects from Google Home as well. More specifically, the speakers are covered in a fabric which comes in different colors, orange, gray and black, while the top part of the device features a black or white plastic.
Furthermore, the microphone part of the Lenovo Smart Assistant can also be found on top of the speaker, like the Echo. However, it’s slightly jutting out rather than being covered by more plastic. Lenovo has stated that the design is meant to allow more ventilation for the Intel Atom processor inside the speaker. One last difference from the Echo is that Lenovo’s new device features eight far-field microphones, compared to Amazon’s only seven such microphones.
Despite being smart speakers, it seems that both Amazon and Google focused more on the part of the smart assistant, as the devices have not been regarded as great speakers. This is where Lenovo actually improves on previous systems, by offering a special edition of their new devices which comes with a Harman Kardon speaker.
This edition of the Lenovo Smart Assistant is slightly more expensive, but could very well be worth it if you play a lot of music through the speaker and have a high standard for sound. Lenovo has stated that their speaker will include Amazon’s assistant, known as Alexa, which can also be found in the Echo or Dot devices. Users can set up the speaker using the company’s app for both Android and iOS.
The Lenovo Smart Assistant device will start shipping to customers this year, in May. Interested customers can purchase the standard edition of the speaker for $130, the same price as a Google Home but cheaper than the $180 Echo. However, if prefer a higher sound quality, the Harman Kardon edition will drive you back $180.
Image credit: Lenovo