Lenovo moves into the smart home market with an Amazon Alexa-powered speaker and a 6TB NAS box
From PC World: Lenovo is dipping its toe into the smart home market with two new product announcements at CES: a new smart speaker that will be powered by Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service, and a wireless NAS box that that promises to help organize your digital photo library using onboard facial-recognition software.
The Lenovo Smart Assistant ($130) looks like a mashup of an Amazon Echo and a Google Home, blending the former’s cylindrical form factor with the latter’s pastel-colored fabric speaker grill (buyers can choose light gray, green, or orange). The base model will come with a single tweeter powered by a 5-watt amplifier and a woofer driven by a 10-watt amp. Lenovo also plans to offer a Harman Kardon Edition that will come in black and be priced at $180, but the only other explanation it’s provided for the $50 price bump is that the Harman model will have “an additional 2-inch sound cavity for a clearer tweeter and deeper bass.” Surely there’s more to it than that, Lenovo.
Like Amazon, Lenovo is using an array of six far-field microphones on top of the speaker to capture your voice queries and commands from any direction, but the computer manufacturer has added a second mic in the center, so there are eight in all. The Lenovo Smart Assistant will be powered by an Intel Celeron N3060 CPU, with 2GB of DRAM and 8GB of onboard storage. It will connect to your home Wi-Fi network with an onboard 1x1 802.11n Wi-Fi adapter and will also be equipped with a Bluetooth 4.0 radio. Lenovo expects to bring its smart speaker to market in May 2017.
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