Lenovo Home Assistant Pack transforms the Tab 4 into an Alexa speaker of sorts… nothing to do with Google Home or Assistant
Oh Lenovo, Lenovo, Lenovo. I don't wish unemployment on anyone, but I think it's time you fired your product naming and branding team. After the massive headache of the new Moto names, now comes this "Home Assistant Pack" that, unlike what you might think, has nothing to do with Google Home or Google Assistant, but as a matter of fact, works with its competitor voice service, Amazon Alexa. Was "Alexa Thingamajig Pack" taken by another company?
I digress… no wait, I can't. I really can't get over the fact that Lenovo chose two brands that are mostly associated with Google to launch an Alexa product. Was Amazon not consulted during the process or did they think it was funny to hijack the names for a little bit of inter-assistant war fun? I'm sure Cortana put them up to this.
Alright, i really digress now. Beside the silly name, the premise of the Home Assistant Pack (focus, Rita, focus!) makes sense. You have a tablet, you have a smart speaker, why not make them work together? Give that tablet a dock and better volume output, and give that smart speaker a screen where you can get more visual information in answer to your questions. And thus the Home Assistant Pack was born.
It's a speaker where you can dock your Lenovo Tab 4 series tablet. That includes the Tab 4 8, Tab 4 10, Tab 4 8 Plus, and Tab 4 10 Plus (see, confusing names come naturally to Lenovo). This launches Alexa and gives you a visual interface for her answers, à la Echo Show. There are two 3W speakers and two microphones inside, which can listen to your voice at up to 3 meters.
From the images we have, it looks like the dock piece can move up and down to accomodate the two tablet sizes, and the dock itself can rotate so you can attach your tablet to the right or left side.
As I said, the premise is nice whether you want to use Alexa's visual cards in the kitchen, living room, or any other small room. But the execution is very flawed. The Home Assistant Pack isn't fully portable: it needs to be plugged, but it doesn't work when there's no tablet docked so it's a useless cylinder unless you attach a tablet. Plus, at 3W the speakers seem a little weak and so do the two microphones. You'd be better off with a regular Echo Dot to accompany your Lenovo Tab 4, even if you lose the visual cards.
If the limitations don't deter you, you can get the Home Assistant Pack starting October for $79.99.