Google makes the software powering both of these experiences, but the way the hardware is designed and the price tag means these displays are for very different kinds of users.
The smartest display
You can put a Lenovo Smart Display in the kitchen and get a great experience with heaps of features, but Google's Home Hub was clearly designed to live in more places. It's compact enough to be a bedside clock of sorts, or to tuck away on a shelf in the laundry room. These design decisions aren't huge when it comes to the overall experience, unless the amount of space you have really matters.
|Lenovo Smart Display||Google Home Hub|
|Speakers||10w + 2 passive tweeters||"Multi-room" audio|
|Microphone||2x2 Dual mic array||2 mic array|
|Wireless||2x2 802.11ac MIMO||802.11ac|
|Bluetooth||Bluetooth 4.2||Bluetooth 5|
Google's Home Hub comes in at $100 less than the 10-inch Lenovo Smart Display, but it's clear you lose a lot more than three inches of display with that price drop. Instead of using a privacy shutter on the camera like Lenovo did, Google chose to release a smart display capable of receiving video chats as a core feature with no camera to send back video. Google's microphone array and WiFi array in the Home Hub also appear to be less capable than Lenovo's offering, and while the speakers are certainly comparable the design of the Home Hub places the audio away from you by design. This doesn't work well in every room, especially places like the kitchen where the audio is competing with everything else making noise.
Still, that price tag is difficult to argue with. At $149 you get an extremely capable visual companion to Google Assistant, including the ability to stream video not only from YouTube but also dozens of other video streaming apps through Google Cast. That makes it possible to basically have a TV in places you wouldn't ordinarily put one, and the compact design makes it very easy to put in places you simply can't fit a Lenovo Smart Display.
Lenovo Smart Display
This is the Google Assistant display you get when you want the best of every feature.
With it's killer speakers, huge display, and clever design this is one of the coolest things Lenovo has ever made. And if you've got the room for it in your home, it's going to do a great job every time.
Google Home Hub
An excellent and inexpensive way to make Google Home a big part of your day to day life.
It's not quite as big or featureful as some of the more expensive smart displays, but it looks incredible in each of its four available colors and will do a great job delivering Google Assistant to every room in your home.
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