Lenovo on Thursday announced a number of new accessories for its Tab 4 series of tablets, including the Home Assistant Pack, a speaker accessory meant to improve your audio experience of the company’s tablets while simultaneously providing you with a wide variety of extra functionalities thanks to its integration with Amazon’s artificial intelligence (AI) assistant Alexa. The new offering from the Chinese original equipment manufacturer (OEM) was introduced as part of its pre-IFA 2017 press conference and will be showcased at the Berlin, Germany-based trade show which is scheduled to run from tomorrow until next Wednesday, September 6.
The Home Assistant Pack includes a three-watt speaker and a far-field voice detection solution with two microphones which allows you to e.g. both talk and listen to your search results while being up to three meters (9.84 feet) away from the device. The hardware ships alongside a Home Assistant app for the Tab 4-series tablets and should essentially turn Lenovo’s devices into Alexa-powered companions with a screen, thus serving as an alternative to Amazon’s Echo Show. Lenovo’s new product also marks yet another expansion of the Alexa ecosystem which is currently leading the consumer-facing AI market in the United States, according to numerous independent studies.
The Home Assistant Pack will start at $79.99 in the U.S., Lenovo said, adding that the offering is set to become commercially available come October. The possibility of a pre-order period for the Home Assistant Pack seems relatively low, though the Chinese OEM may opt to bundle the device with some of its tablets. The list of Lenovo-made products compatible with the newly announced Alexa-enabled speaker currently consists of the entire Tab 4 Series, i.e. the Tab 4 8, Tab 4 10, Tab 4 8 Plus, and the Tab 4 10 Plus. There’s a chance that Lenovo’s future offerings will also be backward-compatible with this and other accessories the company revealed at IFA 2017, though third-party and standalone support seems to be out of the question and you’ll need one of the aforementioned devices in order to use the Home Assistant Pack. Lenovo has yet to list all of the countries it’s targeting with its new product apart from the U.S. and no firm release dates have yet been provided by the company.