Lenovo Smart Assistant is Amazon Alexa in a New BodyBy - 01/06/2017
Lots of companies are placing the power of Amazon’s Alexa into their devices. For the most part, the thinking has been innovative: integration with home robots, intercoms, connected lights, and cars. But Lenovo is taking a page straight out of Amazon’s book by offering their own cylinder shaped, Alexa-enabled speaker.
What Can Lenovo’s Smart Assistant Do?
Lenovo Smart Assistant can do everything Echo can do, literally everything. It houses the same Alexa technology found inside both Amazon Echo and Echo Dot. As such, it works with the same music services including Prime Music, Pandora, and Spotify. It can also search Wikipedia for useful trivia tidbits and supports skills.
Skills are the magic behind connecting Alexa’s services to devices that can help protect your home. Currently, Amazon offers skills for several smart home and home security devices. For example, you can arm your Frontpoint system with your voice, check out Blink Camera’s latest motion events, or even integrate indirectly to hundreds of other devices and services via IFTTT.
Alexa works with the following home security services to help protect your home, or at least make it more comfortable.
|Smart Lights & Plugs||WeMo, Lutron Caseta, Philips Hue, Switchmate, LIFX, OSRAM LIGHTIFY, C by GE Lamp, Nanoleaf, TP-Link Smart Plugs|
|Smart Home Systems||D-Link Connected Home, WeMo, SmartThings, Insteon, Iris, LG SmartThinQ, Wink, Control4, Dwelo, Logitech Harmony, Almond by Securifi|
|Smart Thermostats||Honeywell Total Connect, Nest Thermostat, Ecobee3, Carrier Cor, Venstar Colortouch, Sensi, Sensibo, Tado, First Alert Onelink OneLink|
|Home Security Systems||Abode, ADT Canopy, ADT Pulse (Coming Soon), Alarm.com, CPI, Frontpoint, Myfox, Scout, Vivint|
|Security Cameras||Blink, Butterfleye, iCamera KEEP Pro, Kuna, Somfy One|
|Smart Smoke/CO Detectors||Halo|
|Cars and Car Accessories||Automatic, Hyundai (Coming Soon), Ford, Logitech ZeroTouch|
|Other||Ooma (Telecom Service), IFTTT & Stringify (Rule-Based Internet Services), GE Appliance (Smart Appliances), Haiku Home Wi-Fi Ceiling Fan|
|Products With Alexa Voice Services||LG SmartThinQ Hub (Smart Home Hub)|
First Alert Onelink Smoke +CO Alarms (Coming Soon)
Nucleus Anywhere (Video Intercom)
Lenovo Smart Assistant (Voice Controlled Speaker)
Tribble (Kitchen Speaker)
Moorebot (Coming Soon) (Robot)
Omate Yumi (Robot)
|*Look for Alexa-enabled versions.|
According to Lenovo, the Smart Assistant is also designed to run Lenovo smart home devices, though they don’t get specific as to what that means.
So if Lenovo Smart Assistant performs the same tasks, using the same technology, the same app, and looks basically the same, why buy it?
Lenovo Smart Assistant vs. Amazon Echo
The major difference between Lenovo Smart Assistant and Amazon Echo is sound quality. Lenovo’s device has a better speaker, and the Harman Kardon edition has an even better speaker. It also has one additional microphone and can pick up voice commands from up to 16 feet away. That said, I’ve never had a problem with Echo hearing me, even when I’m in another room.
|Amazon Echo||Lenovo Smart Assistant||Harman Kardon Edition|
|Alexa Voice Service|
|Alexa App Access|
|Far Field Microphones||Seven 360-degree far-field microphones||Eight 360-degree far-field microphones||Eight 360-degree far-field microphones|
|Speaker||2.5″ Woofer and 2.0″ Tweeter||10W Woofer and 5W Tweeter||Additional 2″ Sound Cavity for a Clearer Tweeter and Deeper Bass|
|Processor||Texas Instruments DM3725 ARM Cortex-A8 Processor||Intel® Celeron® N3060 Processor||Intel® Celeron® N3060 Processor|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth, WiFi||Bluetooth, WiFi||Bluetooth, WiFi|
|Color||Black||Light Grey, Black, Orange, Blue||Black|
|Shipping||Now||May 2017||May 2017|
|Buy Now||Coming Soon||Coming Soon|
The speaker is better, and the entry-level price does beat Amazon Echo’s, but what about Echo Dot? Sure, Echo Dot has a terrible speaker, but for $50 you’re buying Alexa technology and can connect the device to whatever speaker you want through either the audio cable or by connecting via Bluetooth. However, if you’re looking for an all-in-one device, Lenovo’s Smart Assistant might be the way to go. The device will start shipping in May with prices starting at $129 in the US (£105 or AU$179 converted).
Photo Source: Lenovo