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Lenovo's refreshed Smart Clock Essential sees Alexa replacing Google Assistant

By Glenn Chua - on 7 Jan 2022, 10:25am

Lenovo's refreshed Smart Clock Essential sees Alexa replacing Google Assistant

A new look and a new virtual assistant. (Image source: Lenovo)

Lenovo is expanding its range of smart home products with a few new refreshes this CES: a new Lenovo Smart Clock Essential, this time with Alexa, a new Ambient Light Dock, and a software update to the Lenovo Smart Frame.

Beginning with the star of the show, the Smart Clock Essential with Alexa is like Lenovo's original Smart Clock Essential, only this time ditching Google Assistant for the Amazon equivalent. For context, the Essential is a trimmed-down version of Lenovo's Smart Clock lineup, with core features including weather, alarms, speaker and voice-control functionality retained, all conveyed through an LED screen and 3W speaker.

Much of those functions are kept here, only this time they're controlled by Alexa. Apart from that, the Smart Clock Essential also comes in new colourways, Misty Blue and Clay Red, and Lenovo has changed the shape of the device to a taller and narrower look.

The Misty Blue Smart Clock Essential and Ambient Light Dock. (Image source: Lenovo)

Accompanying this is the Ambient Light Dock, a follow-up to the company's previous Wireless Charging Dock with Night Light. The Ambient Light Dock allows you to have mood lighting by your bedside through 8 different lighting modes, controlled either through buttons on the top of the Smart Clock Essential, the built-in Alexa in the clock or the Alexa app. 

If you're interested, Lenovo is also updating its existing Smart Frame. One of the major changes in the update is that it can take photos directly uploaded from your phone, bypassing the need to sync with a Google Photos account. The new Smart Frame also supports virtual sticky notes that can be scheduled, as an easy way to remind other household members where you're at if you're not at home.

Some added functionality, including syncing with Instagram and what Lenovo dubs the 'Interactive Activites' channel, or the company's attempt to make the Smart Frame more interactive, are also in the pipeline, but as the Smart Frame is only available in North America and Australia, you'll have to deal with getting around availability and import costs.

Availability and pricing

Local availability details for Lenovo Smart Clock Essential with Alexa Built-in isn't available yet, though it's currently priced at US$59 (~S$80), which sounds about right, as the original Smart Clock Essential with Google Assistant started at S$79. Availability and pricing for the Ambient Light Dock isn't available either, so we'll keep our eyes peeled for when both products do come to Singapore.

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