Lenovo and Google have announced the very first entries in the smart display category will be launching tomorrow, July 27th. According to the companies, the Lenovo Smart Display in both 8-inch and 10-inch sizes will go up for sale tomorrow for $199 and $249 respectively. The devices were originally introduced back at CES when Google announced the Assistant would be coming to smart screens around the world.
Smart Displays are capable of lots of the same things a standard Google Home is. You can ask it questions, get the weather, check your calendar, set a reminder, set a timer, ask for the news, etc. What makes Smart Displays different is their capability for visual responses to queries instead of strictly audible responses. This way, you can ask the Assistant to play a YouTube video or load up HBO to catch up on Game of Thrones. You can also ask Smart Displays about recipes and even video chat with people over Duo.
Whether people buy them or not, it’s clear this new segment is going right after Amazon’s Echo Show which was first to strap a screen to a smart speaker. I called Google’s approach simple and easy to use, therefore making it a pleasure to use every day. It’s unclear if folks will prefer the Assistant on their screen over Alexa like I do, but since the first lineup of Smart Displays are launching in a matter of hours, it looks like we’ll soon find out.
Google also says more Smart Displays from partners like JBL and LG will launch in the future. We’ll keep you posted on any further developments.