Lenovo and Amazon are looking to transform the way you use Alexa on Windows 10 laptops. Now rolling out to newer ThinkPad, IdeaPad, and Yoga Lenovo laptops are Alexa Show Mode — an experience that can turn your PC into an Echo Show-like display. As the name of the feature suggests, Show Mode gives your Lenovo device a hands-free, full-screen, voice-enabled Alexa experience. It is available at no additional cost in the Alexa app and can be summoned by saying “Alexa, open Show Mode,” or by clicking on the Show Mode button in the Alexa app on a Lenovo PC.
With Show Mode turned on, you and your family can use your Lenovo device to play music, set reminders, and see upcoming events. You also can ask for information on a wider range of topics, play games, read audiobooks, view recipes, or watch news highlights. Some other features include the ability to control smart home devices, as well as Amazon’s “Drop” feature, where you can check in on contacts with just your voice. Of course, you also can tap into any one of Alexa’s 100,000 skills for other experiences.
“Users can talk to Alexa on a large-screen display without having to be either in front of their PC at all times or reach for their phone to get things done,” said Amazon in a press release.
The feature was initially announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2021. Since then, Lenovo worked with Amazon to ensure that Show Mode can work automatically when a device is idle. They also ensured that battery, overall performance, and audio quality would be top-notch. Show Mode takes advantage of a laptop’s far-field microphones to ensure that Alexa can hear you clearly. It also uses the high-resolution display of a laptop to ensure crisp and clean visuals.
“We are excited to bring Alexa’s rich, visual ambient experience to PCs,” said Aaron Rubenson, Vice President Alexa Voice Service and Alexa Skills. “Customers love the fact that Alexa is always accessible. With Show Mode, Alexa is helping make PCs more versatile and adaptive, enabling richer experiences throughout the home or wherever customers may take their PC.”
The supported laptops are those advertised as having “Alexa Built-in” and they can also be set up to automatically enable Show Mode when the device is idle. Once active, it can be used just like any other Alexa smart display to set reminders, make to-do lists, plays audiobooks, or take advantage of over 100,000 Alexa skills through voice commands.
“Improving device simplicity and the user experience is at the heart of Lenovo’s customer-centric innovation culture. A voice-enabled interface will be a big part of that endeavor,” said Igor Bergman, Vice President of Cloud and Software, Intelligent Devices Group at Lenovo. “That’s why Lenovo is the first to bring to market Alexa Show Mode on PCs. By enabling Show Mode on Lenovo PCs, we are providing customers with a highly versatile user experience on a natural and convenient interface.”
Amazon says that Show Mode is available on select Lenovo PCs today in the United States, as well as in the United Kingdom, Canada, and 10 other countries. You can find it right now on Lenovo’s flagship Slim 9i laptop. Amazon is planning to roll out Show Mode to additional PC models later this year, but the timing is not certain.