A focused approach to the modern smart home handily earned Lenovo and its Smart Clock Essential with Alexa Built-in our Best of CES 2022 Award
The biggest differentiator between the new Lenovo Smart Clock Essential with Alexa Built-in and its predecessor gadgets may be a bit on the nose. After all, it’s right there in the branding. But this gadget’s placement as part of Lenovo’s somewhat reserved but relentless push into the smart home space is noteworthy. And the latest Lenovo smart clock is easily one of the best gadgets we saw at CES 2022.
Many competing companies appear to be focused mostly on larger products. Lenovo is taking a multi-pronged approach. Lenovo did not focus solely on simplification at CES 2022, of course. The event-introduced refresh to its 21.5-inch canvas-stylized, Google Photo’s-connected Lenovo Smart Frame is enough to show that. But it is the simplicity of the Lenovo Smart Clock Essential with Alexa Built-in that earns it our Best of CES 2022 Award.
The features you need for right where you need them, with refined Lenovo styling
One of the most prominent features of the Lenovo Smart Clock Essential with Alexa Built-in is in the aesthetic. Lenovo built the new clock to more closely resemble its full-sized Smart Clock. So this clock isn’t exactly like its Google Assistant-linked predecessor. But is still engineered to meet the same needs.
In fact, everything about this smart clock looks and feels engineered to meet, with pinpoint focus, its purpose as a bedside alarm clock. With its slightly larger size, the screen will be easier to read at closer distances. And its available nightlight-like Ambient Light Dock accessories are cute. But with just enough subtlety to make them suitable for adults or children.
Setting aside the wide array of Alexa- and Lenovo-enabled customizations, Lenovo didn’t include a camera on this bedside clock either. And that differentiates the new clock from most other contenders in the space. Namely, by helping users who may be concerned about bedroom privacy to feel more comfortable. As does the on-device mute button for the built-in mics.
Between this gadget’s slightly larger size, compared to its predecessor, its rear-facing USB-A port, and its cloth-covered clay-like Blue or Gray appearance, the Lenovo Smart Clock Essential with Alexa Built-in is a great looking device. But one that doesn’t overstep its bounds as an alarm clock.
…and without losing functions when you do need them
Now, there are no cameras included with the new Lenovo smart clock. There are, as also noted above, mics and a screen. The inclusions don’t necessarily take away from the points noted above. But instead, expand on the usefulness of this Lenovo device.
With a Wi-Fi connection in place, Lenovo Smart Clock Essential with Alexa Built-in provides access to Amazon’s Alexa AI voice assistant at a word or a touch. And, of course, that includes control over and access to “Works with Alexa” smart home gadgets and accessories. From cameras to displays and speakers.
Lenovo also saw fit to include 3W full-range speakers in the new smart clock. Not only for responses from Alexa and clear, high-fidelity alarms at a reasonable volume. But also for consuming media via linked streaming accounts. With a price set at just $59.99. Taken alongside the relative simplicity and apparent privacy-first focus of the gadget, the Lenovo Smart Clock Essential with Alexa Built-in is easily one of the best smart home gadgets launched at CES 2022.