As part of its CES 2017 lineup, which included the company’s first VR headset, Lenovo is also bringing a home assistant that will use Alexa. The company revealed this product today at their private booth. An entry-level version will cost $130 while a premium variant, with Harman Kardon speakers, will sell for $180.
This unveiling is also, in part, a shrewd marketing move from Amazon, who seeks to gain more territory in the field of smart homes by putting Alexa on third-party devices.
Lenovo’s home assistant vs. Amazon Echo
Lenovo’s Smart Assistant features eight different microphones and will do almost anything its primary competitor does, albeit at a lower price and with better speakers.
The device will be available for shipping in May this year for $50 less than its main competitor, which starts at $180. However, as stated above, for the same price, customers can buy the premium version with enhanced audio.
Harman Kardon is an American manufacturer of audio devices, known for many important advancements in the field since 1953. Lenovo will pair this technology with an Intel Atom processor, which will provide a solid performance power.
What about privacy?
As a side note, eight far-field microphones means one more than the Echo, which some users are eager to sell as better reception, but is likely to make no difference.
Lenovo’s Smart Assistant also offers a wider variety of colors and features a different design with a lifted top. The company explains that the purpose of this build is ventilation, to keep the Atom processor from overheating.
A highly discussed user argument against the new Lenovo device, right now, is privacy. Both Amazon and Google have ways to delete information from a home assistant if the user requires it, but Lenovo has not disclosed any details regarding this matter.
The company has only stated that, like Echo users, customers for the home assistant will manage it through a dedicated Lenovo app for iOS and Android.
Lenovo is famous for making sturdy and compelling computers that sell for a low price. Quality and performance over luxury. However, the company has announced a series of high-end devices that still sell for less than its competitors’ solutions.