Way back in January of this year at CES 2018, Google took the wraps off its plans for smart displays designed to compete with Amazon’s Echo Show. Powered by the Google Assistant, the company would let third parties build and sell speakers with screens attached to offer more options for those who may care about sound quality or form factor. One partner Google signed on with was LG who, 10 months later, is just now showing signs of eventually launching its own smart display.
Called the “LG XBOOM AI ThinQ Smart Display” (a.k.a. the WK9 which I’ll be calling it since “LG XBOOM AI ThinQ Smart Display” is the dumbest name in branding history), LG’s first attempt at a Google Assistant-powered smart screen comes with an 8-inch display and Meridian Audio speakers. It has a built-in camera for video calling over Duo and features Chromecast built-in and Bluetooth connectivity. It does all the normal smart display things like display recipes, play music, stream YouTube, and the works. What makes it special are the audio technologies onboard that should aid in better sound quality overall.
According to LG, whenever it launches, the WK9 will be priced at $299 which, while relatively steep, shouldn’t exactly shatter your bank account. Of course, since it’s LG, the smart display has already been discounted for the holidays by $100 to $199 which is a much better price to pay. Unfortunately, sales aren’t open just yet for the device which is kind of confusing since it’s being discounted for the holiday season which is happening right now. If it does eventually become available for purchase, however, we’ll let you know.
Also published on Medium.