HP, ASUS, Acer bringing Amazon Alexa integration to laptops and desktops

The digital assistant is being added to select PCs, which could help it win over the enterprise as the go-to AI for professionals.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • Computer manufacturers HP, ASUS, and Acer are all adding support for the Amazon Alexa digital assistant, with more companies likely to continue the trend.
  • The advent of Alexa for Business combined with these integrations could help to set Alexa up as a key business tool.

A host of top computer manufacturers are adding Amazon Alexa capabilities to their core models. HP, ASUS, and Acer all made announcements at CES 2018 that they'd be adding Alexa to select desktops and laptops.

While these firms are the first to make formal announcements, the trend of manufacturers adding Alexa to their machine is likely to continue, as noted by Larry Dignan on our sister site ZDNet. Alexa making its way onto machines made by these brands could win it some favor among professionals, and the integration of Alexa for Business could help further its business appeal by helping with meetings, calendar management, and more.

SEE: IT hardware procurement policy (Tech Pro Research)

HP is bringing Alexa to the desktop with its Pavilion Wave 600-a010t PC, the firm announced in a Monday press release. The device looks like a smart speaker, but features an Intel Core i3 processor, 16GB memory, and an optional SSD drive.

The Pavilion Wave 600-a010t is meant to appeal to audiophiles, but it also includes some features that could make it useful for video calls and productivity. Using voice, customers can "control music, timers, alarms, smart home devices and more," the release said, with a custom LED that will let the user know when Alexa is listening.

Certain models in the 2018 ZenBook and VivoBook lines from ASUS will also be getting Alexa integration. The integration—available in early 2018—will offer new entertainment features along with productivity boosts, a press release said.

"Voice is a natural interface for interacting with technology and can make everyday tasks simpler," Steve Rabuchin, vice president of Amazon Alexa, said in the release. "We're delighted that ASUS will bring the Alexa experience to its laptop models - providing hands-free voice capabilities, and tens of thousands of skills, to PC customers at their desks and on-the-go."

SEE: CES 2018: The Big Trends for Business (ZDNet)

Acer announced in its own press release that it would be rolling out Alexa to certain Aspire, Spin, Switch and Swift notebooks, as well as releasing Aspire all-in-one PCs in the first quarter of 2018. Availability will begin in the US following an update from the Acer Care Center, but it will eventually roll out elsewhere.

"By introducing voice services like Alexa paired with Intel Smart Sound Technology, we anticipate that the PC will serve an even more important role in maximizing your productivity, getting the most from your entertainment, and managing the smart home or office," Anand Srivatsa, general manager of Intel's Desktop, Channel and Systems Group, said in the release.

The announcements are all good news for Amazon, which seeks to broaden the scope of Alexa. However, it means more competition for contenders Google Assistant and Microsoft Cortana, the latter of which could be facing an early grave.

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Image: CNET

About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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