I have a sneaking suspicion that CES 2017 may be the year of the smart speaker, with Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana and Google Assistant popping up in a slew of third-party devices. Reinforcing that belief this morning is Lenovo who are out of the blocks early in Las Vegas with three new smart home devices in tow.

The Lenovo Smart Assistant looks almost like carbon copy of Amazon Echo (albeit crossed with Google Home with its coloured fabric base) and, courtesy of Alexa support, offers a very similar range of features. That means it’ll recognise users’ voice commands to conduct web searches, play music, create lists, calendar reminders and much more.

Two models are being released. Starts at $129.99, the Lenovo Smart Assistant is available in Light Gray, Green and Orange beginning in May 2017. An enhanced Lenovo Smart Assistant Harman Kardon® Edition, with an upgraded speaker, starts at $179.99, available beginning in May 2017.

The entry-level model is equipped with a 5W Treble and a 10W Woofer while the Harman Kardon Edition is available in black with an additional 2″ sound cavity for a clearer tweeter and deeper bass. Both devices are powered by an Intel Celeron N3060 Processor with 3 GB RAM and 8 GB storage. The device features eight 360-degree far-field microphones with noise suppression and acoustic echo cancellation – designed to pick up users’ voice commands from up to 16 feet (5 meters) away, Lenovo says. The device connects to your network via a 1×1 802.11n wireless antenna with Bluetooth 4.0 also supported.

Also announced today is Lenovo Smart Storage, a 6 TB network storage device boasting dual-band wireless access and multi-device auto-sync capabilities. It includes an Ethernet port for faster data transfers as well twin USB 3.0 ports to connect hard drives. One key upload ensures easy transfers from portable USB storage to the device.

The device is powered by a 1.6 GHz Intel Celeron N3060 Processor with 2 GB RAM. 2×2 802.11 ac dual-band wireless should ensure fast wireless transfers, while an integrated DLNA server will help with media streaming to devices around the home. Lenovo Smart Storage also includes integrated facial recognition software that can organize your entire photo library based on faces with high accuracy, according to the company.

Priced at $139 and arriving in May, expect to also see a lower capacity, Lenovo Smart Storage 2 TB model hit shelves this year.

Wrapping up Lenovo’s new smart home range is the Lenovo 500 Multimedia Controller.

Available in March at $54.99 the Multimedia Controller neatly combines a wireless keyboard and touchpad that’ll fit in the palm of your hand. The entire area of the doubles as a Windows 10 gesture-supported, multi-touch capacitive touchpad, with an extended wireless range of 65.6 ft (20 m).

 

You can check out the full suite of Lenovo’s CES 2017 announcements over at the company’s blog.