Lenovo Smart Clock Essential: A clever bedside companion
If you’re one of those early tech adopters, there’s a good chance that you’re already interacting with a smart speaker from Amazon, Google or Apple. A digital assistant that you probably keep quizzing about the weather, random trivia or to play your favourite tracks via your chosen Music streaming service like Spotify. The smart device category has also started to evolve, you have speakers and displays like the Amazon Echo Show or Google’s Nest Hub that typically offer a 7-inch screen allowing you to catch up on video content or visual displays of the weather. But there’s also another category that’s sandwiched between a pure play Audio device and a smart display. It’s the realm of devices like the Amazon Echo Dot with Clock; this is where Lenovo’s new smart device lands.
The Lenovo Smart Clock Essential is a diet version of the original Lenovo Smart Clock that offered quite a lot of functionality with its display. This also included the ability to view pictures from your Google Photos feed. Think of this one as a digital clock with smart capabilities and a speaker. This might be enough functionality for quite a few users especially for a simple bedside gadget.
The Smart Clock Essential won’t take too much space on your bedside table. It’s finished in an elegant, grey fabric cover and boasts of a compact 4-inch display. It’s large enough to view the clock digits even from a distance. In terms of physical buttons and controls, you get volume controls, play/pause button for your music and another hot key to set up an alarm. There’s a mute button for the microphone and a handy USB port aside from the port for the power cord. You could use the USB port to charge your smartphone – especially if you like to charge your phone overnight, but it doesn’t offer fast charging. There’s also a clever design touch – a ring around the back panel that doubles up as a nightlight.
You’re unlikely to use any of the physical buttons for the functionality that this device offers. You can pose the same random questions and test the ‘intelligence’ of your Google Assistant, ask for weather updates and also play music from streaming services. Don’t expect high fidelity sound from this tiny 1.5-inch, 3 watt speaker. It does surprisingly well for a device of this size with decent sound clarity and bass when the volume levels are around 70%. It sounds slightly tinny at full volume but doesn’t sound too jarring even at high volumes.
Think of Lenovo’s newest smart clock as a digital clock with a few tricks. It certainly doesn’t have the sound pedigree as some of the larger smart speakers. This one’s not designed for audiophiles but to be a handy bedside companion. It’s one of those devices that are nice to have but you probably won’t miss it if you were on a business trip or holiday away from your bed.
The Lenovo Smart Clock Essential costs Rs 4,999/-