This story was originally published and last updated .
The Lenovo Smart Clock Essential is not a massive leap in technology—it's a clock radio. A glorified clock radio. A more sensible, smart clock radio. But it's still a clock with a speaker. It tells the time and weather, and it's got Google Assistant. It's missing a few features, and the audio is about what you'd expect for $50, but I found it to be a great addition to my home. Whether or not you agree depends on what you want out of your Assistant devices, but there's a lot to like about the Smart Clock Essential.
Lenovo currently sells two alarm clocks with Google Assistant built-in: the older Smart Clock with a touchscreen, and the newer Smart Clock Essential. Both products are now at their lowest prices yet, beating the previous records by $1.
Lenovo was the first company to release a smart display powered by Google Assistant, even before Google itself came out with the Home Hub (later renamed to the Nest Hub). Lenovo followed it up with a new 7-inch model in 2019, which you can now buy for $40 off the original price.
When Lenovo released its first Chrome OS-powered tablet, the Chromebook Duet, earlier this year, it quickly became one of the most popular Chromebooks available. We called it the first Chrome OS tablet that (mostly) makes sense, and now you can snag the model with 128GB storage for just $229 from Best Buy — a savings of $70.
If you're looking for an inexpensive smart device, you should consider Lenovo's Smart Clock and Smart Clock Essential. Both offer a handful of convenient features, and are currently down to just $25 and $35, respectively, instead of launch prices as high as $50 and $80, making them very affordable.
Lenovo first got into the smart clock biz last year, with the creatively named Lenovo Smart Clock. That device was essentially a tiny Google Assistant-powered smart display positioned as a clock replacement. It was a neat idea, but an introductory MSRP of $80 made it a tough sell. Lenovo is trying again this year with the Smart Clock Essential, a smaller, simpler, less expensive take on the same idea.
It's been quite a while since Lenovo last released a ThinkPad-branded Chromebook, but it's now back with the C13 Yoga convertible. The productivity-focused machine is powered by an AMD Ryzen 7 3700C Series processor and comes with a slew of ports and features. It starts at $579, although a range of optional extras can be added to configure the ThinkPad to your needs.
Android tablets might have long become passé, but there are people out there that want them. Some of those people might not even want to turn to the market's most prolific maker of Android tablets, Samsung, and go along with its overbearing experience. For them, Lenovo is presenting two alternatives for the holiday season — a refreshed Tab M10 HD (2nd Gen) and the all-new Tab P11 Pro 2-in-1.
LineageOS is the most-used custom Android ROM around, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for others. Paranoid Android was a popular choice back in the KitKat days, and while the ROM returned in full force with Nougat builds in 2017, there hasn't been much news since. Now the project is back (again), touting Android 10 builds for nine phones so far.