Earlier in the week at CES 2018 in Las Vegas, Google announced Smart Displays. Smart Displays are Google Assistant speakers made by third-parties that have a built-in display. Announcing the first batch on the show floor were Lenovo, LG and JBL. Here’s a roundup of what’s coming and the details.
We just found out about Google Smart Displays, and hardware is already being announced for release later this year. The Google Home-like speakers with a display run off the Google Assistant, but can show key information at a glance when asked for it or when necessary. On Smart Displays, one can also interact using touch through the use of mini apps such as YouTube, Calendar, Google Search, Google Maps, Google Photos, and Home (for smart home). With these smart devices, Google is declaring war on Amazon, who came out with a similar gadget last year, namely the ‘Echo Show.’ Here’s the first bunch that were detailed during CES 2018.
Lenovo Smart Display
The Lenovo Smart Display as pictured above is super slim and can lay both horizontally and vertically, automatically adjusting to the orientation. Not only is this a Google Assistant device with a screen, it’s actually a really nice speaker featuring two 10W woofers. There’s also a built-in 5MP camera for users to video chat over Google Duo, which by the way is pre-loaded. The screen is nothing too special at Full HD, and the neat little gadget is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 624 with 2GB of RAM. There are two mics so that the speaker can hear you from anywhere in the room, and 4GB of storage will let you store a few files. The Smart Display works over Wi-Fi and must be plugged in to work. It also comes with Bluetooth.
The Lenovo Smart Display comes in two sizes: 8-inch and 10-inch. It will hit stores in the US and possibly other regions in July. Pricing has been set at $199 for the smaller speaker and $249 for the larger one. Options will include a Grey color as well as a Bamboo color with added texture.
LG ThinQ (WK9)
The LG ThinQ (WK9) looks more like a large alarm clock, but in actuality, it is a full-fledged Google Assistant speaker with a touchscreen. The screen is at the center and measures 8-inches diagonally. We don’t know the resolution, but there is, though, a front-facing camera for video chats. The Smart Display has dual speakers, one on each side of the touchscreen, and has some physical controls for adjusting volume to your liking. Like the Lenovo Smart Display, it also has two mics.
LG ThinQ comes in just one color which is Black. We don’t yet know when it’ll arrive, nor where and how much it will cost.
JBL LINK View
JBL Link View is another Smart Display. Unlike the others, its body is oval-shaped. The speaker has an 8-inch screen split between two 10W speakers. Up top there’s a 5MP front-facing camera, and the device is also IPX4 splash-proof in case you spill some water. It includes both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
The JBL LINK View will be available in a Black color. Pricing has not been announced, though the speaker’s release is slated for June. It should be available in the US.
More Google Smart Displays just like these will come out over the course of 2018. Anyone can make one using the open source Google Assistant SDK, so it’ll be entirely up to manufacturers how to design a speaker that’s appealing enough and affordable enough so consumers feel the need to buy in. This should bring a number of opportunities to Google, though we don’t yet know exactly how the search giant plans to roll out updates. Does the idea, or any of these Smart Displays interest you? Drop a comment down below.
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