Lenovo Smart Assistant Announced at CES

Lenovo Smart Assistant

CES 2017 kicks off today and the announcements of new products and devices are already starting.  Lenovo announced the Amazon Alexa powered Lenovo Smart Assistant today, a competitor to Amazon Echo and Google Home.  The cylinder shaped device looks somewhat similar to the Echo but has a bit more aesthetic appeal.  The top half of it is white with a 360-degree microphone and speaker combination on the top of it.  The bottom half is more similar to Google home with the woven overlay that is available in several colors.

The Lenovo Smart Assistant is powered by the Intel Celeron N3060 process, has one 5w speaker and one 10w speaker for audio.

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Tango Powered Lenovo Phab 2 Pro Now Available

As expected, Lenovo has come to market with the first Project Tango enabled phone.  The 6.4″ Phab 2 Pro can be purchased directly from the manufacture for $499.99 and for the price, it is certainly feature packed.  For those who may not recall what exactly Project Tango is from Google, it is devices and apps that work in augmented reality.  These apps and now the Phab 2 Pro allow you to do thing like measure distances, fly through the solar system and other things all from the device.  A good example is the Lowe’s Vision app for Tango. It allows you to measure a space in your house and virtually put an appliance or other furniture you buy from Lowes in your house.

As for the Phab 2 Pro, you are getting a lot of horsepower in the package from Lenovo, starting with the 6.4″ display that renders 2560 x 1440.  Coupled with this is the Snapdragon 652 octa-core process running at 1.8GHz.

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Moto Z Now Available Unlocked on Amazon

For the past few months, the Moto Z has been exclusively tied to Verizon here in the United States.  While the CDMA version is still tied to the, you can now pick up the GSM version of the phone from Motorola directly or on Amazon.  Starting at $699 for the phone with 64GB of storage, the phone is available in Luna Grey and you can use Moto Mods with this phone to turn it into a variety of other useful things (like a projector for example).  The phone has a 5.5” AMOLED Quad HD that renders at 2560 x 1440.  That gives you an impressive 535 ppi which makes view for long periods of time easy on the eyes.

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Microsoft Apps To Be Pre-Installed on Future Lenovo Phones

Microsoft and Lenovo have entered into an agreement which will see the Redmond company’s apps appear on the Beijing based company’s future Android phones.  The announcement by the companies will bring Microsoft Office apps, OneDrive and Skype to select Lenovo devices going forward.  Which specific devices is not laid out in the press release.

“Microsoft’s thrilled that our productivity apps will be pre-installed on Lenovo’s premium devices,” said Nick Parker, corporate vice president OEM Division, Microsoft. “The marriage of Microsoft’s apps and Lenovo’s Android-based devices will enable customers around the world to be more productive, more connected and achieve even more.”

For Lenovo, they are gaining access to some of Microsoft’s patents and IP (Intellectual Property) to be cross-licensed in Motorola and Lenovo devices.

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Lenovo and Google Team Up for Project Tango Device

One of the interesting tidbits that came out of CES 2016 this week was an announcement yesterday from Lenovo and Google around Project Tango.  The companies announced that such a devices will be available sometime this summer, bringing what has been a somewhat quiet project for Google this past year to the market.

So what exactly is Project Tango?  By Google’s definition it is…

Project Tango technology gives a mobile device the ability to navigate the physical world similar to how we do as humans

Now that’s a bit broad but essentially what it does is bring a whole new level of awareness to your device through various sensors.  These sensors allow for the device to understand motion, depth perception and area learning so your device learns and becomes aware of its surrounding.  The most obvious example of this would be a game being played in the physical work of your house with things like walls being walls and sofas being barriers as you play.  But really, the potential of this technology is hard to grasp.

One of the best articles explaining Project Tango I have read is from Mike Elgan for a piece he wrote for Computer World.  I highly recommend reading it to get a grasp of what it is and how it could impact so many facets of life.

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