At the CES 2017 trade show in Las Vegas, Chinese tech giant Lenovo has taken the wraps off of its brand new Smart Assistant portable wireless speaker that comes with Amazon’s intelligent personal assistant, Alexa. The newly-unveiled device is expected to compete in an increasingly-crowded market with offerings from fellow tech behemoths, Amazon and Google, both of whom have already gained some traction in the market with the Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers, respectively. While the former is powered by Amazon Alexa, the later comes with Google Assistant. As for the Lenovo device, it features a 360-degree microphone-speaker combo that comes with noise suppression and acoustic echo cancellation. The Smart Assistant is powered by an Intel Celeron N3060 processor, and comes in two different versions – a standard model that has been priced at $129.99, and a Harman Kardon edition that will cost $50 more.
While Amazon Echo and Google Home have both been in the market for some time now, this is the first time that Lenovo has jumped into the fray with its own offering in the sector. From the first glance at least, the device looks fairly similar to the original Amazon Echo that was launched back in late 2014. And thanks to Alexa, the Lenovo Smart Assistant is also expected to perform in a similar manner as well, which means that just like the Echo, you can also use the Lenovo Smart Assistant to order a pizza, buy you something off Amazon, or tell you about the weather. The device is also compatible with just about everything the Amazon Echo is compatible with, which means you can control quite a few smart home devices with it, including lights, switches and thermostats.
With Amazon opening up Alexa for use in third-party hardware, the Echo line of smart speakers are no longer the only devices that come with the popular voice-activated personal digital assistant. Devices like the ‘Martian mVoice’, ‘C by GE’ and the ‘Neato Botvac Connected’ are just some of the instances where Alexa-integration has brought the best of both worlds to consumers looking to go beyond the Echo to integrate Amazon’s popular software into their everyday lives. It will be interesting to see how the Smart Assistant works out for Lenovo, but the company can only hope that it will be just as successful with the new device as Amazon has been with the Echo lineup over the past couple of years.