Lenovo partners with Amazon on Alexa-powered Smart Assistant

Lenovo's Smart Assistant is cylindrical in shape, and in fact looks like an elongated variant of Amazon Echo.

Lenovo's Smart Assistant features a set of eight far-field microphones which are created to pick up voice commands from as far as 16 feet (5 meters) away.

Color: An Amazon Echo comes in black or white, the Lenovo Smart Assistant will be available in green, orange or light gray.

Alexa has gotten inside more and more products, but not many outright speakers that compete directly with the Echo. If you want the Harman Kardon Edition, you are looking at a price of $179.99. This is where Lenovo actually improves on previous systems, by offering a special edition of their new devices which comes with a Harman Kardon speaker.

While Amazon Echo is connected to the Amazon Alexa app for setup and management app, the Lenovo device will be connected via a Lenovo app, which the company has built on top of Amazon's interface.

While Alexa isn't the only personal assistant found in such devices on the market, she is the most popular among them, and this latest collaboration with Lenovo underscores that.

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I suspect CES 2017 will be filled with many more smart home devices.

The company also plans to release two versions of its Smart Assistant, with one designed for high quality audio playback. Its Smart Assistant represents a major step forward for Alexa as an ecosystem, though-and gives smart-speaker shoppers some long-overdue choice. The device automatically backs up mobile data allowing users to access it from any location, and features in-built facial recognition software to help identify people in photos.

Amazon's Alexa Voice Services are expected to power a wide range of items at CES 2017, including a high-end Samsung vacuum cleaner called Powerbot VR7000 and other intriguing gadgets.

Whirlpool is connecting smart appliances to Echo.

Lenovo is yet to announce when we can expect the Smart Assistant in the United Kingdom, with UK pricing not yet announced either.