The battle for the living room is heating up. Not content with their existing suite of Google Home devices, Google is working with Lenovo to offer one more critical device for homes.
Revealed at CES2018, the Lenovo Smart Display comes with two options: An 8-inch screen running at 1,200×800, or a larger 10-inch panel running at 1,920×1,200 resolution. Armed with large vertical speaker screens next to the left of their screens, we noticed tiny sliders on their right sides to physically cover their built-in 720p cameras. Privacy in the living room, with a touch of classiness (no tape!) – that’s what the Smart Display is all about.
While it certainly looks like a tablet, and has hardware like a tablet, the Smart Display is nothing like an Android tablet, UI-wise. The Smart Display runs Android Things OS and boots directly into the Assistant Interface. To us, this sounds like even more fragmentation in the Android ecosystem, but it works right and will have longevity in support…right, Google? Right?
The Lenovo Smart Display is certainly out there to gun down the Amazon’s Echo Show. Plus, it’s integrated with YouTube, so you’ll be able to catch up on those cooking recipes while in the kitchen. Owing to Amazon’s recent feud with Google, the Echo Show is lacking this handy feature, which means it’s 1-0 for Lenovo.
Google’s partnership with Lenovo is a good thing for consumers considering how hard it is to purchase their products in pretty much any part of the world apart from the US. Having launched a whole suite of devices in October 2017, only a sliver of the announced devices are available worldwide.
Google Home Max, where art thou?
That being said, the real litmus test of how well this Smart Display works will be determined after years of use. Looking at how my Asus tablet has significant burn-in after 24/7 use, Lenovo should very well know the demands for such a device.
The Lenovo Smart Display 8-inch model will retail for US$199, while the 10-inch model costs US$249. Both are slated for release in Summer 2018.