The Lenovo Smart Display was announced at CES 2018, but was released July 27, 2018. Why the delay? Because Lenovo worked closely with Google to optimize the new Android Things-based operating system for both touch and Google Assistant, the core artificial intelligence powering this innovative product.

The Smart Display is exactly how it's described — a screen that improves Google Assistant by showing rather than telling you what's happening. With Assistant-powered speakers, you can ask for the weather, or to follow a recipe, but on the Smart Display you can see the results in vivid, beautiful detail.

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There are also powerful speakers, a dedicated camera for video calling through Google Duo (and a privacy slider, which is super useful), and a flowing, elegant design that looks good in any room like an office or a kitchen.

From the ability to stream Spotify to YouTube to HBO Now, the difference is huge between the Lenovo Smart Display and a smart speaker like Google Home. The Lenovo Smart Display can do everything a Google Home can do and much, much more.

One of its best features is taken from the Chromecast: Ambient Mode. If you have a set of albums stored in Google Photos, or just a series of artwork that you love from famous painters, you can cycle between new images every minute, creating a dynamic digital photo frame from which you'll never want to look away.

And if it's audio you're most interested in, the Lenovo Smart Display has a tremendous-sounding speaker, which can stream Spotify, YouTube Music, Deezer, or Google Play Music, all by using your voice. But if you want to touch the screen, you can — visualized simply and beautifully using Google's powerful Android Things operating system.

The Lenovo Smart Display is available with an 8-inch screen for $199.99, or with 10-inch screen that is also covered with a lovely bamboo finish, for $249.99.

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