Lenovo PCs are gaining a new skill. Starting today, Lenovo Yoga, ThinkPad, and IdeaPad PCs running Windows 10 can be turned into an Alexa-powered smart display with the press of a button or a simple Alexa command. Here's how it works.
Alexa Show Mode, as the feature is called, was previewed on the Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i laptop earlier this year at CES, and essentially changes the desktop to resemble the interface found on the Amazon Echo Show. A similar feature is available on the Amazon Fire HD 10, as well as the rest of its tablets.
To activate Alexa Show mode, Lenovo users can press the Show Mode button in the Alexa app, or say "Alexa, open Show Mode." You can also set your system to automatically enter Show Mode when it's idle
When Show Mode is active, it will fill the notebook's screen to show you upcoming appointments, the weather, and news headlines; from there, it's just a matter of saying "Alexa..." to look up recipes, control smart home devices, and more. (Here's our list of the best Alexa commands).
While Show Mode is available for any of Lenovo's Yoga, ThinkPad, and IdeaPad PCs with Alexa Built-in, it'll make the most sense with 2-in-1 convertibles which can be propped up on a table in tablet mode. It would make even more sense with a model like the ThinkPad X12 Detachable, though its unclear if this business-focused tablet has Alexa built-in.
A laptop with Alexa built in isn't necessarily going to cause a consumer to opt for a Lenovo over a Dell, or keep them from purchasing a smart speaker or smart display, but it's a nice extra feature.
According to Amazon and Lenovo, Show Mode is now available on Alexa Built-in Lenovo PCs in U.S., UK, Germany, Japan, India, Ireland, Austria, Canada, France, Italy, Spain, Australia and New Zealand. Show Mode will become available on additional PC models later this year.
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Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.