Skip to main content

These New Smart Displays include Google Assistant

One of the big trends from CES 2018 was Google's response to the Amazon Echo Show. In 2017, Google matched the Amazon's Echo Dot with the Google Home Mini, and this year it took aim at the Show with its new smart displays with Google Assistant built in.

Smart Displays are Google Assistant-powered speakers that also feature screens, and while we likely won't see a Google Home-branded one until later in the fall, there are already four companies that have announced Smart Displays of their own. Let's take a look at what we know so far.

Lenovo Smart Display

The first of these gadgets announced was the Lenovo Smart Display. You'll be able to get Lenovo's Smart Display with either an 8-inch or 10-inch display, and while the 8-inch model opts for a traditional plastic back, the 10-inch unit has a gorgeous bamboo one.

Both models have an odd wedge on the back, and this allows you to position the Lenovo Smart Display either vertically or horizontally. There are buttons for adjusting speaker volume, and there's even a switch that places a physical lens cover over the front-facing camera that's used for video calls.

Lenovo will sell the 8-inch Smart Display for $199, and upgrading to the larger 10-inch one will cost you $249. It's on sale starting July 27.

See at Lenovo (opens in new tab)

JBL's Smart Display goes by the name of the Link View, and while it serves the same general purpose as the Lenovo Smart Display, its design is quite a bit different. JBL has only announced one version of the Link View and it comes with an 8-inch screen. There's a 5MP camera above it, a JBL logo at the bottom, and both the left and right side are flanked by two 10W stereo speakers that are paired with a passive radiator on the back to enable "rich, deep bass."

The body as a whole favors an oval shape versus the rectangular nature of the Lenovo Smart Display, and while you won't find any bamboo back here, it's arguably the sleeker of the two thanks to the all-black paint job. Along with this, there's also support for Bluetooth, Google Cast, and IPX4 splash resistance.

Pre-orders for the JBL Link View are live right now for $249.95 and shipments are currently set to go out on September 3.

See at JBL (opens in new tab)

LG ThingQ View WK9

LG's first foray into the world of Smart Displays comes in the form of the LG ThinQ View WK9, and while we'll have to get hands-on time with the device before we can make any final judgments, it currently looks like the most underwhelming of the Smart Displays we've seen so far.

The large, boxy design looks boring and not all that aesthetically pleasing, and while the 8-inch touchscreen display itself should be fine, the fact that there's no tilt to it like there is on Lenovo and JBL's options could make for some difficult viewing angles.

Speaker tuning from Meridian Audio still has us interested, however, and this paired with the two front-facing stereo speakers will likely create a solid audio experience. Similar to the other Smart Displays on this list, you'll also find Chromecast support.

LG simply says that the WK9 is "coming soon" with a hefty price of $299.99.

Sony's yet-to-be-announced Smart Display

Google confirmed that Sony will be releasing a Smart Display, but a month on from CES and we still know literally nothing about it. Neither specs or renders for the speaker have been released, and as such, there's not a whole lot we can say about it right now.

As soon as details are released, we'll be sure to share them with you!

Might Google Assistant and the Lenovo Smart Display be the whole-home hub the Echo Show isn't?

Updated July 2018: Added the latest information available.

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

  • Just sell them outside the US goddammit
  • Well, the Lenovo is leading the race for me right now, but I want to see what Sony is going to put forth, in a big way.
  • Maybe I'm boring but I actually prefer the LG one, nice and plain, functional and will look decent in most rooms, that's the one for me unless of course the screen is complete rubbish
  • This is cool. I think ima start creating some cooking playlists. Now, I'll have all the spies at my place...Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and Google. Though Cortana is mostly muted since I don't have any mics attached to my PC. Leaning towards Lenovo since I'll be able to block the camera, something I don't intend on using.
  • Lenovo is the only one I would consider, the others are very uninspiring from a design aesthetic point of view...
  • How are these any different than a tablet on its side?
  • They are more expensive. Actually they have a purpose built interface that works well with the voice driven functionality. You can taken your tablet/phone and ask the same questions, but the display result won't be as well laid out. It would be cool if they delivered the functionality as an app, so you could repurpose and old tablet or a phone to be your Home device.
  • Maybe the Pixel dock will address this. It seems that is what they are doing with it. Code wise anyway.
  • They have better speakers and far-field mics.
  • My Mediapad M3 has stereo speakers, and mics are less important when you have a touch screen to interact with.
  • These look pretty cool. Do hope Google also does one.
  • I'm waiting for someone to complain about the massive bezels. ;-) In all seriousness, I think that the fixed angles on all three are potential negatives...I'd prefer a device with adjustable tilt. Maybe some of them will have adjustable feet on the bottom.
  • I actually think the LG one is better looking than the oval shaped JBL one and a better color option than the Lenovo unless you're only keeping it in the kitchen. Not sure what makes it so boring unless the writer just hates LG.
  • I like the LG one as well. I would place it on my home office desk where the color and shape