Lenovo’s new Smart Clock Essential is the latest home device to let you wake up with Alexa. Until now, Lenovo’s line of smart clocks have relied on Google for all things voice, but that’s changing with the new clock Lenovo just announced during CES 2022.
The new Lenovo Smart Clock Essential’s design has evolved, but retains the nice fabric exterior we’ve seen in previous Lenovo clocks. This time, the clock will come in misty blue or clay red colorways, along with a similar big LED touch display — while Alexa might be the primary way to interact with the clock, it’s nice to know you’ll be able to tap snooze five times over the course of an hour, too.
As usual, Alexa can be used for the basics — setting timers and alarms — and to control any smart home device with a ‘Works with Alexa’ badge. It also doubles as a smart speaker, with easy access to Amazon Music and other streaming apps.
Lenovo is adding more dock options on top of carryovers like the wireless charging dock and the night light, both of which work with the new model. One of those new options is the ambient light dock, which adds a glowing base with rhythmic lighting. There are eight lighting modes and colors can range from warm tones to rainbow light. There are also squid and sealion-inspired designs for kids.
Lenovo also announced an updated Smart Frame, their smart digital photo frame. The refreshed model has built-in storage, meaning it won’t be necessary to have a Google Photos account to upload images. With the new Lenovo Smart Frame, photos can be uploaded straight to the device’s built-in memory, instead. The Smart Frame will also soon support the ability to showcase photos from a selected Instagram feed.
Also new is a ‘virtual sticky notes’ feature that allows users to pin notes or reminders on the screen — these can also be scheduled and timed to be seen only at precise moments.
Lenovo also previewed the new Interactive Activities feature that’s designed to transform the screen into a ‘pop-up interactive experience.’ Whether to play games or work out while using a fitness accessory, Lenovo imagines the Smart Frame as much more than just a digital picture frame going forward.
No word yet on when these features will reach consumers, but Lenovo says they already have teams working on this new technology for its Smart Frame ecosystem.
The Lenovo Smart Clock Essential with Alexa Built-in will be available starting at $60 this January. The Ambient Light Dock accessory will follow sometime in the first quarter of the year, priced at $30. The Lenovo Smart Frame is now available in North America and Australia.