Lenovo's new smart speaker looks and sounds like an Amazon Echo, for good reason: the Chinese tech giant collaborated with the stateside company to make it happen using its Alexa Voice Services platform. Unveiled on Tuesday, the new Lenovo Smart Assistant has Amazon Alexa built right into each cigarette butt-shaped speaker.
There are a couple differences, however, namely that the Lenovo device has its microphone on top, instead at the base, like Echo. According to a press release, the Smart Asst. has "eight 360-degree far-field microphones with noise suppression and acoustic echo cancellation," which can pick up voices from up to 16 feet away.
The other main distinction from Echo are cost and, most importantly, speaker quality. The Lenovo device, which ships in May, retails at $130. If you're willing to spend $50 more (matching the regular price an Echo) you can snag an Assistant equipped with a superior Harman Kardon speaker.
"We’re excited to work with an innovative company such as Lenovo to bring the Lenovo Smart Assistant with Alexa to customers this spring," said Steve Rabuchin, vice president, Amazon Alexa. "At Amazon, we work hard to provide customers with as much choice as possible -- and Lenovo’s new Smart Assistant speaker does just that through leveraging the power Alexa Voice Services (AVS). We can’t wait for customers to try this out later this year."
According to The Verge, more companies are expected to unveil products using Amazon's AVS at this week's CES event in Las Vegas.