CES 2017: Lenovo Announces Amazon Alexa-Powered Connected Smart Speaker

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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.

Article Link: CES 2017: Lenovo Announces Amazon Alexa-Powered Connected Smart Speaker
 

redbeard331

macrumors 6502a
Jul 21, 2009
762
251
I really don't see the appeal of these devices at all, I hope Apple does not waste any resources building a speaker of their own.
 
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Dave245

macrumors 604
Sep 15, 2013
7,932
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I can see Apple going into this area, especially if the device can be used to control Apple devices.
 

576316

macrumors 601
May 19, 2011
4,056
2,556
Do I return my Echo and wait for this? I absolutely love Echo but I just feel the speakers are lacking something...
 

WBRacing

macrumors 65816
Nov 19, 2012
1,217
2,709
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Amazon echo really is a great device to have in the house, Apple is so far behind in this market
Me too. I have 4 dotted about the house and love them. I have got used to them so quickly that when at a friends house it actually felt weird having to try to find a light switch.

I really don't see the appeal of these devices at all, I hope Apple does not waste any resources building a speaker of their own.
Perhaps you had better email Apple, make sure they don't waste any of their extremely limited resources on a product that you don't see the point of. :rolleyes:
 
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GrumpyMom

macrumors G3
Sep 11, 2014
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I didn't like the idea of a little spybot in the house but I relented and got the Echo and Echo dot that were on my husband's Christmas wish list and I am glad I did. Alexa is a lot of fun and often useful and we all love her funny little "It's Raining in the Cloud" song.

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.
 
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Return Zero

macrumors 6502a
Oct 2, 2013
809
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Kentucky
Honestly, I love these devices except for the privacy issue. By no means am I about to allow google or amazon to have an always-available microphone in my house.
 
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Mike Oxard

macrumors 6502a
Oct 22, 2009
804
456
Amazon echo really is a great device to have in the house, Apple is so far behind in this market
I think apple must be working on this. With the death of the Airport express they now no longer have an audio airplay product. An Echo style solution for Siri would fill that gap. I just wish they'd hurry up as I might end up getting an echo!
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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Amazon echo really is a great device to have in the house, Apple is so far behind in this market
I think it's a fair assumption Apple is working on their version of a home assistant. Apple is typically late in releases, but they will deliver a premium product with features other competitors didn't execute. Leave it to Apple and you know it will sell. Guaranteed. I'm waiting to see what they bring to the market. Likely sooner than later.
 
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nuckinfutz

macrumors 603
Jul 3, 2002
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I think it's a fair assumption Apple is working on their version of a home assistant. Apple is typically late in releases, but they will deliver a premium product with features other competitors didn't execute. Leave it to Apple and you know it will sell. Guaranteed. I'm waiting to see what they bring to the market. Likely sooner than later.
I'm trying to reconcile his assumption that Apple is far behind? Apple has a half decade of user data generated by Siri queries. They have multiple teams working on the future of Siri and they have their third incarnation of HomeKit.

So essentially they simply need to take a Beats speaker, add far field microphones and leverage HomeKit and iOS and Airplay.

They are so close, they just need to put it together.

Oh and the Google Home is already better than the Echo in providing relevant responses. I own both.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
33,491
34,582
I'm trying to reconcile his assumption that Apple is far behind? Apple has a half decade of user data generated by Siri queries. They have multiple teams working on the future of Siri and they have their third incarnation of HomeKit.

So essentially they simply need to take a Beats speaker, add far field microphones and leverage HomeKit and iOS and Airplay.

They are so close, they just need to put it together.

Oh and the Google Home is already better than the Echo in providing relevant responses. I own both.
Likely his quote is downplay Apple like most do on here. Siri needs revamping, but you are correct, it's evolving and expanding. Apple's version of a listening assistant is close. I am looking forward to Siri working with other devices I have in my household and playing Apple Music, which the other devices cannot do.
 

Aluminum213

macrumors 68040
Mar 16, 2012
3,518
3,860
I think it's a fair assumption Apple is working on their version of a home assistant. Apple is typically late in releases, but they will deliver a premium product with features other competitors didn't execute. Leave it to Apple and you know it will sell. Guaranteed. I'm waiting to see what they bring to the market. Likely sooner than later.
Siri is by far the worst voice assistant on the market, my expectations are close to zero

But I'm sure it will be pretty to look at while it collects dust
 
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Aluminum213

macrumors 68040
Mar 16, 2012
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Siri supports 21 languages. Echo supports what....3? Amazon can't even deliver the product Globally because they don't have the support.
I don't care about how many languages it supports, as an English speaker, it's garbage compared to Alexa and google now
 

nuckinfutz

macrumors 603
Jul 3, 2002
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I don't care about how many languages it supports, as an English speaker, it's garbage compared to Alexa and google now
You're entitled to you opinions...just not the facts.

Siri is far ahead ahead of the Echo in terms of global support and dataset. Google is light years ahead of both.
 

lowendlinux

macrumors 603
Sep 24, 2014
5,258
6,508
Germany
I really don't feel like sending that much info to any company. I'd really like one of these and other smart home stuff if I could connect it to my server.
 
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