PC maker Lenovo today announced its first smart speaker with Amazon's voice-activated virtual assistant built in.
Called the Lenovo Smart Assistant, the connected speaker integrates Amazon's Alexa Voice Services and offers the same speech-activated features as the Echo family of devices, but housed in a slightly redesigned unit.
The speaker keeps the same cylindrical profile as Amazon's Echo, but with the microphone portion of the device in a slightly raised position, which Lenovo says offers better ventilation to cool the internal components. Lenovo's unit also has eight far-field microphones versus Echo's seven, with noise suppression and acoustic echo cancellation included for picking up voice commands from up to 16 feet away.
The Lenovo Smart Assistant comes in a range of color schemes including green, gray, and orange fabric. The speakers will ship in May for a price of $130 (less than Amazon's Echo at $180). Lenovo is also offering a Harman Kardon edition of the Smart Assistant featuring better sound quality for $180.
Amazon's Alexa Voice Services API is expected to crop up in a number of new third-party products at this year's CES. Microsoft has previously teased third-party devices using its own Cortana virtual assistant technology.
Top Rated Comments
But I still rely on Google Assistant (in my Allo app on iPhone and on my Android phones) for better answers or any answers at all when Alexa doesn't know how to answer me and Siri completely mangles my question into something absurd and unrelated.
I am impressed by how well Alexa seems to work with ordinary colloquial speech. I'm so used to speaking so precisely and robotically to Siri.