Lenovo Smart Display Puts A Head On Google Home For A More Complete AI Assistant

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Way back in January at the Consumer Electronics Show, Lenovo announced its Smart Display family. The Smart Displays take the concept of the Google Home or Google Home Mini and add a touch screen into the mix. Lenovo and Google announced today that the Smart Display will be available in U.S. retail locations and online stores starting this weekend.

The Lenovo Smart Display is available in two screen sizes: 8-inches or 10-inches with HD resolutions. Looking at the devices, you wouldn't be out of line to say that it's a Google Assistant-backed alternative to the Amazon Echo Show

Given that it leverages the Android Things Platform with Google Assistant, you'll be able to perform the same commands that you might expect on a Google Home or Google Home Max, but the integrated display also gives you access to other Google services like Google Maps, YouTube and Google Photos. In addition to services within the Google ecosystem, you also have access to Spotify, Pandora, and iHeart Radio. And three free months of YouTube Premium are thrown in with the purchase of a Smart Display.

It stands to reason that most of these Smart Displays will end up in the kitchen, and the Google Assistant allows you to browse through thousands of recipes by voice so that you don't have to worry about flipping through a recipe book while your hands are dripping with raw chicken juice. Because the Smart Displays have a built-in camera, you can also initiate Google Duo calls with folks using Android or iOS devices. 

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The Smart Display 8 features an 8-inch 720p display, while the Smart Display 10 has a 10-inch 1080p display. Both devices are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 624 processor, 2GB RAM, and include a 5MP front-facing camera (which includes a physical shutter if you don't want the camera on you all the time), Bluetooth 4.2, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. Depending on your viewing needs, the Smart Displays can be positioned either horizontally or vertically. 

In our time with the device, we were impressed with its overall performance along with the sound quality from the stereo speakers. The ability to pull up YouTube videos, interact with your smart home devices and make video calls is a big plus of the platform. One quirk that we did run into is that there is no way to power off the device once it is plugged in. If you ask the device to turn itself off, you're simply told that it can't process the command. Instead, you have to unplug the device to turn it off. Bummer.

The Lenovo Smart Display 8 and Smart Display 10 are available for $199.99 and $249.99 respectively. To see how the Google Home compares to the Amazon Echo, be sure to take a look at our comparison review.