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Have an idle laptop sitting on your desk on a kitchen counter? Lenovo has a novel idea: Turn it into an Amazon Echo Show, complete with Alexa.
Slated to debut on various Lenovo Yoga and IdeaPad laptops later this year, Lenovo’s Show Mode brings the Echo Show interface to a Lenovo PC, complete with support for voice commands and smart home control.
With Show Mode enabled, a Lenovo laptop or desktop system would essentially act as an Echo Show smart display. Just as with a standard Echo Show, you could ask Alexa questions, command her to turn your lights on and off, get weather reports, play music, read your schedule, or make calls to other Echo speakers.
Lenovo released images showing the familiar Echo Show display on a Lenovo laptop, complete with a clock, an upcoming event, and hourly weather conditions. Lenovo says you can also set the Show Mode interface to cycle through news headlines, Alexa tips, and upcoming agenda items, just like on a regular Echo Show.
Of course, you won’t be able to use Show Mode on any Windows system. Initially, Show Mode will only work on “select” Lenovo PCs, including laptops from the Yoga Slim 9i, Yoga 9i, Yoga 7i, Yoga AIO 7, and IdeaPad 5 lines.
Also, while typical Echo Show displays are intended to be left on all the time, a laptop would (of course) need to be open, booted up, and active (i.e., not in sleep mode) for Show Mode to work.
Still, Show Mode makes for an interesting way to make the most of your PC when you’re not actively using it. We’ll be eager to try it once the feature debuts in the second quarter of the year.
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Ben has been writing about technology and consumer electronics for more than 20 years. A PCWorld contributor since 2014, Ben joined TechHive in 2019, where he covers smart home and home entertainment products.