We’ve seen lots of devices recently like the Echo and Dot from Amazon, and Google Home from Google poised on coffee tables listening for voice commands. Now Lenovo enters the game with a Smart Assistant that on the outside doesn’t look much different from its predecessors—in fact, it combines the cosmetics of both the Echo and Google Home– but packs better music playback.
It uses Alexa to interpret your voice commands, and zip off those commands to a variety of smart home devices—including Lenovo’s own line of smart products (see below), but also inside the special Harman Kardon edition of the Smart Assistant (for $50 more than the non-Harman Kardon model) is what the company claims is a better speaker. In addition to a tweeter that’s powered by a 5-watt amplifier and a woofer that’s driven by a 10-watt amp (available in the less expensive version), the Harman Kardon model sports an additional 2-inch sound cavity for “clearer and deeper bass.”
The Smart Assistant is loaded with eight 360-degree far-field microphones with noise suppression and acoustic echo cancellation—designed to pick up a user’s voice from up to 16 feet away. It’s also available in several different colors: light gray, dark gray, green, orange, and matte black for the Harman Kardon edition. The standard Smart Assistant will retail for $130; the HK model, $180. Both will be available in May.
One product that the Smart Assistant can control is Lenovo’s new Smart Storage device. The 6TB “media locker” can hold and provide easy access to photos, music, and documents, precluding the need for cloud storage. And here’s a really cool feature: Integrated facial recognition software can organize your entire photo library based on faces in the pictures.
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