Lenovo released the Smart Clock Essential last year as a digital alarm clock with Google Assistant (and some other smart functionality) built in. The original $49 MSRP was a bit on the steep side, especially considering the more feature-packed Lenovo Smart Clock was often on sale for the same price, but now the new model is discounted to just $29.99.
The Lenovo Smart Clock Essential is a digital clock, with large LED digits, a night light with three levels of brightness, a temperature indicator, and a USB Type-A port on the back for charging your phone (or anything else that can power up over USB). It also functions as a Google Assistant smart speaker, allowing you to stream music, set reminders, control smart home devices, check your calendar, and much more. Finally, the clock is a Chromecast target on your home network, so you can stream audio content from supported apps on your phone or tablet.
Considering the Google Nest Mini normally costs around $49, and Amazon’s latest Echo Dot typically costs $50 (though is on sale for $35 right now), the Lenovo Smart Clock Essential is a cheaper alternative with the bonus of an always-on clock. The main drawback is that there’s no battery backup, so if you frequently deal with power cuts, it might not be as reliable as ‘dumb’ alarm clocks.