Lenovo’s $80 Smart Clock with Google Assistant was already one of the smallest, cheapest smart displays on the market. Now the company has introduced an even cheaper model… except the Lenovo Smart Clock Essential is not so much a smart display as a smart speaker that also has a clock.
Coming in September, the $50 gadget can display the time and weather on its 4 inch display, but that’s about all the screen is good for.
In other words, this is basically a Google-powered alternative to Amazon’s Echo Dot with Clock… but $10 cheaper.
As for smart speaker features, the Lenovo Smart Clock Essential sports a single 1.5 inch, 3W speaker, dual microphones for far-field voice detection, WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0 support.
You can use it to get answers to questions, set alarms, or interact with “over 40,000 compatible smart devices from over 5,000 brands) using your voice. If you don’t want the clock constantly listening for your “Hey Google” hotword, there’s a mic mute switch.
The smart clock is powered by an Amlogic A113X processor and feature 4GB of RAM and 512MB of eMMC storage. The clock is covered in “soft tough” grey fabric, and features physical buttons for volume, play/pause, and alarm functions.
There’s also support for a 31-lumen night light mode and a USB port that allows you to charge a phone or other gadgets if you’re keeping the smart clock on your nightstand (or anywhere else, I guess).
Overall the Smart Clock Essential seems like an interesting addition to the budget smart speaker space. But given that Lenovo has a habit of selling its more capable first-gen Lenovo Smart Clock for deep discounts (it’s often on sale for $40 or $50), I can’t help but think that $50 for the new model with a less versatile display could be a tough sell. Maybe it’ll go on sale for a lower price in time for the holidays though.