Lenovo Smart Clock Essential with built-in Alexa: CES 2022 first look

We enjoyed our time with Lenovo Smart Clocks, which bundle beautiful displays and Google Assistant voice functionality into a series of cute alarm clocks for your bedside table. But if you prefer Alexa, Lenovo finally has what you need with the Lenovo Smart Clock Essential with built-in Alexa.

New for CES 2022 and launching this month for $ 59.99, the Smart Clock Essential with Alexa packs promising features into one attractive and affordable little accessory – and works with adorable, kid-friendly light stations. We were able to hang out with Lenovo’s latest smart clock before its official release. Here are our first impressions.

Mike Andronico / CNN

The Lenovo Essential Smart Clock with Alexa looks like previous smart clocks we’ve tested, and that’s not a bad thing. Lenovo’s Small Alarm Clock has an attractive mesh cover that comes in either Misty Blue or Clay Red, along with large physical buttons at the top to control the volume or snooze that ever-dreaded morning alarm. Its digital LED display is bright and bold, and while we didn’t get a chance to test its audio, it does have 3W front-facing speakers to stream music and wake you up in the morning.

The big difference this time around is in the name, as it is Lenovo’s first smart alarm clock to support Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant. And for people already deeply rooted in the Alexa ecosystem, this clock is ideal for doing things like ordering items on Amazon using your voice or controlling any Alexa-enabled smart home gadget you may have set up at home.

Mike Andronico / CNN

While the latest Lenovo Smart Clock is charming and functional on its own, it really came to life once we used it with Lenovo’s new ambient light docks. When attached to the clock, these docks can glow in different colors to set the mood, and even come with their own special effects, which are reflected on the clock display.

We tried the Ambient Light Docks inspired by a seal and an octopus, and once we put the clock on top, the screen briefly became the “eyes” of its respective sea creature. It’s a delicious effect, perfect for kids, and can be added to your smart clock this month for $ 29.99 each.

Mike Andronico / CNN

The Lenovo Smart Clock Essential with Alexa looks like a solid option for people who want an alarm clock that can also control all the Alexa gadgets in your home. But should you pick one up from Amazon’s Echo Dot With Clock, which sells for $ 59 and is often discounted for less?

Because the Echo Dot is more of an orb that displays the time through its mesh exterior, we might see Lenovo’s option appealing to people who want something more like a traditional alarm clock with a big screen. And while both clocks support external media for additional lighting and customization, Lenovo’s Ambient Light Docks could be particularly appealing to people who want to add a fun, kid-friendly touch to their alarm clock. .

Lenovo’s latest alarm clock is one of our finalists for the best of CES 2022, and we can’t wait to test it against our picks for the best alarm clocks as soon as we get one in our hands.

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