CES 2018: Lenovo launches Smart Display with built-in Google Assistant

They have just announced that select products will now get support for two of the most popular voice virtual assistants: Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

Amazon released the Echo Show, a version of its speaker with a screen, last year. JBL's device has an 8-inch display.

The display can be positioned horizontally or vertically to fit almost any space. It comes in two sizes (8-inch and 10-inch), should be here this summer (July), and will cost either $199.99 or $249.99. The first such smart display from Lenovo is also there to be sampled at the CES and does hold an appeal of its own, it must be said. The interface is very intuitive, as the home screen displays your notifications, as well as things like current timers. You can use the displays in either portrait or landscape mode. If you've been living in a cave or something, Google has shamelessly blocked YouTube access to every Amazon product including the Fire TV. With a dedicated display, the Google Assistant is a lot more useful, because as it turns out, it's a lot more effective to see your day's schedule instead of having it read out to you.

"There's a belief that this is in the wheelhouse of what Google can do", he says. It is a touchscreen device with Assistant to provide weather, traffic, and news updates.

And, yes, YouTube videos played at full screen-without any user intervention. The main difference will mostly come down to the fact that the little Google Assistant bubbles will show up sometimes. Besides asking the Google Assistant to find directions, recipes, and make calls, you can watch YouTube videos or listen to music on the Smart Display. And when the device is not in use, you can have your digital photos (if they're stored in Google Photos) scrolling through, with the display acting as a picture frame.

To kick things off, Google has partnered with four hardware makers for building products like these - JBL, Lenovo, LG, and Sony.

It is true that similar functions could be available on a smartphone, and it is if you want to use Google Assistant there.

Other companies will be launching Smart Displays as well, including JBL, LG and Sony.

  • Arturo Norris