Alongside a new 7-inch Smart Display, Lenovo today is unveiling two new Android tablets that can double as Google Assistant-powered Smart Displays. They’re both similar in concept to the company’s previous Smart Tab powered by Amazon Alexa that lets you dock the tablet and turn it into a makeshift Echo Show.
Lenovo Smart Tab M8
The new Smart Tab M8 is basically that, just with the Google Assistant. The tablet isn’t anything to write home about. It has an 8-inch 1280×800 display with a MediaTek A22 processor, 2GB of RAM, up to 32GB of storage, a 5,000mAh battery, and an available nano-SIM slot. The included dock is what makes it special by enabling a similar experience to what you get with a standard Smart Display.
Unlike the Alexa-powered Smart Tab, though, the Smart Tab M8’s dock doesn’t come with a speaker. Instead, the tablet uses its own Dolby-tuned speakers to produce sound. It’s also what you’ll be listening to when you ask Google questions, control smart home devices, and play music. In a nutshell, the dock does nothing but charge the tablet and enable a software function.
Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab
The Yoga Smart Tab, on the other hand, is a bit more interesting. Instead of docking to a special charging or speaker station, it includes Lenovo’s infamous kickstand that’s been on many of the company’s Yoga tablets in the past. By propping up the tablet on its stand and hitting the release button, you can enable the Assistant’s Ambient Mode that unlocks the smart home-like experience.
This particular device includes a 10.1-inch 1920×1200 display, a Snapdragon 439 processor, up to 4GB of RAM, up to 64GB of storage, a 7,000mAh battery, a micro-SIM slot, a microSD card slot, a USB-C port, and an IP52 waterproof rating (meaning you shouldn’t get it wet, but it’ll survive if you accidentally sneeze on it). It also runs on Android Pie, but don’t count on a timely Android 10 update.
The smart home dream of using your Smart Display as a tablet is here, but should you buy it?
Both of these tablets aim to provide a solution for those looking to purchase a Smart Display that they can use as a tablet. That’s been a dream for many since the first round of Smart Displays started rolling out. Now, however, the question becomes whether you should buy one or not.
I have the Alexa-powered Smart Tab and I can definitely say, the tablet and dock combo make for a pretty sweet Echo Show alternative. In the same breath, I haven’t found myself grabbing the tablet as much as I thought I would to do stuff like check emails and play games. I guess you have to know in advance what your particular use case will be after purchasing in order to justify its price.
Pricing & Availability
Speaking of which, the Smart Tab M8 will start at $119.99 and go on sale this October. Meanwhile, the Yoga Smart Tab will start at $249.99 and go on sale this month. I’ll let you know when I get my hands on either device. I actually want to see if either are actually worth using day to day. Stay tuned.