Gears & Gadgets

Lenovo’s Smart Clock is the Google Assistant’s answer to the Echo Spot

Google is slowly catching up to Amazon in the smart display space, and, after the release of several third-party displays and Google’s own Home Hub, it’s time for a new form factor. First out of the gate is the Lenovo Smart Clock, which takes all the software you’d find in a Google Smart Display and shrinks it down to a tiny form factor. It’s the Google ecosystem’s answer to the Echo Spot.

The previously released Lenovo Smart Display comes in 10- and 8-inch form factors, and the Google Home Hub has a 7-inch display. The Lenovo Smart Clock is down to a tiny 4-inch display, and it seems positioned as a bedside alarm clock based on the press images. Unlike Lenovo’s bigger smart display, which has a hard plastic back, the Smart Clock totally apes Google’s cloth-based design, looking just like a Google Home product.

Lenovo was nice enough to include a real spec sheet for its smart display, so we know this has a 4-inch, 800×480 touchscreen, a 1.5GHz MediaTek 8167S SoC (that’s four Cortex A35 cores and a PowerVR GE8300 GPU), 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of onboard storage. Under the cloth back there’s a 1.5-inch 3W speaker (with a peak power of 6W) and two passive radiators. There’s a set of volume buttons on the top, a mute microphone switch in the back, and a power port. One nice touch is an extra USB-A port on the back, which is meant for charging your phone on a bedside table.

The software should be the usual Google Smart Display package, but squished down into a smaller form factor, so you’ll be able to issue Google Assistant commands, listen to music, see calendar events, and control your smart home. It looks like there are a few extra features in the software, though. We spotted a few ambient clock faces that aren’t on the other Google Smart Displays, and the spec sheet says it supports the “Google Assistant’s gentle wake-up routine,” which we first saw on the Pixel 3’s Pixel Stand. When it’s morning, the display will slowly light up like a sunrise, with the idea being that it might gently wake you up before your alarm starts blaring.

The Lenovo Smart Clock will cost $ 79 ($ 50 cheaper than an Echo Spot!) and should be out in the spring.

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Tech – Ars Technica

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