In our face-paced tech world we often expect product updates to bring enhanced and new features. Lenovo is bucking that trend with the release of their second-generation Google Assistant-powered smart clock, offering a little less, for a little less. The new Lenovo Smart Clock Essential takes the Assistant essentials and merges them with a traditional LED style bedside clock.

We’re quite fond of the original Lenovo Smart Clock having bought a few ourselves as well as recommending them far and wide. The updated version brings the same basic form factor but removes the LCD touch display and replaces it with a traditional LED style clock face.

The Smart Clock Essential maintains the overall size and shape of the original Smart Clock with the same soft textile wrap, rear USB charging port and basic physical controls and surprisingly good 3W speaker all making their way into the new device. Lenovo has added a rear night light perfect for either a child’s room or an adult trying to navigate in the dark.

The new clockface will auto-dim using an ambient light sensor, and this actually addresses an issue with the original device. The LCD panel even when dinned was still a little bright, in a bedroom there was always just a tad too much illumination for some people. The Essential model will solve that due to the lack of a backlight. While we were hoping for an OLED model when we spotted this device going through the FCC a few months ago, this may be great for those who don’t want or need the option of a touch screen.

The Lenovo Smart Clock Essential model is selling for US$49 in the USA which would put it at around AU$75 if normal charges and taxes are added, which is what the original device now sells for. We have reached out to Lenovo Australia for details on local pricing and availability.

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