Lenovo continues to turn Android tablets into accessible smart home devices

Android tablets have really struggled to find their groove in the market, outside of things like Amazon’s Fire tablets. Lenovo thinks they have a solution, though, and they’re continuing what they started last year.

You might remember the Lenovo Smart Tab M8, which offered a full Android tablet with a separate dock that turned it into a vital piece of your smart home. At CES 2020, we’re getting the Smart Tab M10, which improves on that idea.

It’s a 10.3-inch tablet running a full version of Android, so you can easily use it as such. Watch movies, play games, browse the web, you name it; but when you’re done, it sits back in its dock, which kicks on Android’s relatively newer Ambient Mode. Here’s where it gets interesting.

At this point you can basically use the tablet like a Google Smart Display or Google Home, issuing commands, receiving content, or controlling other things around your house, all totally hands free. When it’s idle, it turns into a digital photo frame, too.

At just $189 when it’s available later this year, this really is a pretty compelling option over some other Smart Displays simply because it’s so much more flexible. You can pick it up if you need a screen in another room, and it’s easier to look up very specific things or to let kids use it as a gaming device thanks to the integrated Kids Mode. Lenovo’s taking a different approach to Android tablets, and we like it.

Additionally, Lenovo announced a new Smart Frame that’s literally a large picture frame with a screen built-in. It takes your photo collection and uses AI to intelligently select the best looking photos, then slideshows through them. It’s simple, but for someone that likes those smaller digital frames, it looks like a very nice improvement. It can also do videos, and it can be controlled via hand gestures as well. It’s expected to ship in August of 2020 with a 21.5-inch frame starting at $399.

Lastly, for those of you concerned about smart home security, a new Lenovo Connected Home Security is now available through Lenovo Vantage’s vastest update. It monitors your entire network and will shoot off alerts if it detects anything suspicious on your network, your connected cameras, or anything else. You can also use an Android tablet as a hub of this now, instead of a Lenovo computer, and it’s just $29.99.

Be sure to check out the rest of our CES 2020 coverage.

Born in southern Alabama, Jared spends his working time selling phones and his spare time writing about them. The Android enthusiasm started with the original Motorola Droid, but the tech enthusiasm currently covers just about everything. He likes PC gaming, Lenovo’s Moto Z line, and a good productivity app.

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