Lenovo’s Smart Assistant is powered by Alexa, but what’s different?

Lenovo just announced a new smart speaker, fittingly named “Smart Assistant,” in time for CES 2017. It uses Amazon’s Alexa to power voice commands and searches. Smart Assistant is similar in size and shape to Amazon Echo, though it will be available in gray, green and orange. You could opt for the Harman Kardon model for $50 more if you’re looking for a better speaker experience. The Lenovo Smart Assistant is priced aggressively at $129 and features eight 360-degree, far-field microphones with noise suppression/acoustic echo cancellation.

How is this different from Amazon Echo?

Lenovo’s Smart Assistant is priced cheaper than Amazon Echo at $129, compared to $180 for the full-sized Echo. While the Smart Assistant uses Alexa, it will apparently work across Lenovo’s ecosystem of products, too.

I suspect CES 2017 will be filled with many more smart home devices. It has proven to be a hugely popular segment, with Amazon Echo/Dot/Alexa and now Google Home all taking a slice of the pie. It will only become stronger as companies learn how to integrate smart commands to existing product categories. Now that consumers know that a smart home is possible, it is a matter of making everything talk to each other in a more efficient and effective way.

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