Now Lenovo adds another compatible device to the list with the Home Assistant Pack, which connects Lenovo Tab 4 tablets (8-inch or 10-inch) to an Echo-like speaker. When docked, by sliding the tablet into a groove on the side of the speaker, the tablet screen becomes a status window for Alexa. It’s similar to, but not as in-depth as what you see on the Echo Show.
The cylindrical 3-watt speaker includes two far-field microphones (versus seven in Amazon’s original Echo) and listens for the familiar “Alexa” wake-up command. In a brief hands-on test, the speaker responded well to Alexa voice commands, including playing music, offering a weather report, answering questions and streaming a radio station. Audio quality via the built-in 3-watt speaker was better suited to news than music.
The visuals are provided by a custom Lenovo app, which needs to be downloaded to the Tab 4 tablet (we haven’t had a chance to test it yet, but Lenovo says the app-and-dock combo will only work for Tab 4 tablets).
Asking for the weather put a basic weather report up on the screen, and it shows the title and artist when playing songs. But there were no read-along lyrics or TV and movie playback, as on the Echo Show.
Even though it’s lacking some of the features of the $229 Echo Show, the Lenovo Home Assistant has a much more reasonable price. It’ll be $69 in the US when it’s released in October, plus the cost of a Tab 4 tablet, around $150. Pricing and availability for other regions is still be announced, but the Assistant roughly converts to £50 or AU$85.