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Google partners with Lenovo for Meet hardware kits

Google on Tuesday announced new Google Meet videoconferencing hardware as part of a partnership with Lenovo. The new Series One hardware comes in the form of a bundle which are slated for pre-order soon.

The entire kit is powered by a Compute System which has a version of Chrome OS designed for Meet. The platform uses AI to provide a smarter and more user-friendly way of conducting meetings. Features include joining meetings using voice, enhanced noise reduction, and participant framing.

The Series One hardware is comprised of a 12-megapixel Smart Camera; an alternate 20.3-megapixel Smart Camera XL is offered for larger conference rooms.

A Smart Audio Bar houses a 2.5-inch woofer, one-inch tweeter, and eight beam-forming microphones that Google says can process “up to 44 channels simultaneously.” It advises that it can filter out distracting sounds such as typing and snacking.

This isn’t Google’s first approach to workplace tech, nor is it the first attempt at hardware for Google Meet. Asus introduced gear for Google Meet back in May.

Depending on what version of the Series One hardware you purchase, you’ll may also be able to control meetings via a rechargeable remote control or a 10.1-inch display. Both of support Google Assistant for hands-free meeting controls.

Companies interested in adding one of the Series One kits to their conference rooms will soon be pre-order one. Exact timing isn’t known yet, but pricing starts at $2,699 for the Small Room Kit.

For the money, you’ll get a Smart Camera, Smart Audio Bar, Compute System, and remote control ($2,699). Alternatively, a $2,999 Medium Room Kit and $3,999 Large Room Kit will be sold. Color options include “charcoal” (black) and “chalk” (white).

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