The recent release of the Lenovo Smart Display, which has Google Assistant already programmed in, is the latest product designed to compete against the Amazon Echo Show — a virtual assistant with a screen.
Just like with Google’s other assistant offerings — Home, Home Mini and Home Max — the Smart Display is controlled using your voice and can be called upon to deliver news, answer questions and play music.
The difference with the Smart Display is that it is equipped with either an 8 or 10 inch screen, lending a more visual aspect to Google Assistant’s, er, assistance.
Here’s a quick look at the product:
It’s already bigger than the Echo Show, whose screen is just 7 inches wide.
Playing videos, making video calls and even watching security footage is all now available to do via Assistant.
Just like the Echo Show, people are getting excited about using the Lenovo Smart Display in the kitchen — it’s the perfect companion for showing you recipe videos as you cook, with the screen being just bright and high-resolution enough to give you a quality experience.
Android Police love it so much that they dubbed it the best new kitchen appliance since the dishwasher, although they did mention that the sound quality isn’t anything to write home about.
Sounds about right for a smart speaker.
Price wise, it’s pretty similar to the Echo Show, with the 8 inch screen just slightly less expensive at $200, and the 10 inch screen slightly more expensive at $250. The Echo Show clocks in at just under $230.
We’d argue that the Smart Display looks very similar to Amazon’s version thanks to both sporting a wedge-style shape and black-rimmed screen — the difference is that the main body of the Lenovo is white, as opposed to black. Both look reasonably sophisticated, however, and would merge into any kitchen design easily without sticking out too much.
Whether you choose to go for the Lenovo Smart Display or the Echo Show will probably boil down to one question: do you prefer Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant?
Software is the battleground here.
Just like all smart assistants, the Google Assistant is constantly learning new skills and capabilities. Its latest update has seen it develop its news offerings.
Until now, Assistant was only able to provide summaries of news reports, directing you to go online if you wanted to find out more.
Now, if you ask Assistant, “What’s the latest [insert topic here]news?”, they’ll deliver both a summary and links to three reports from different sources. Asking if you want these reports read to you, they’ll deliver the headlines and first few sentences of each of them — but again, directing you to read the full version online.
Hopefully, at some point, there will be the option of having an entire news article read to you if you so desire.