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.
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