Google officially showed off some Smart Display devices with other manufacturers earlier this year, but we weren’t given much information on the actual availability of any of them. The wait is over, though, as Lenovo’s Smart Display is the first to be available to buy in stores and online. Google also detailed some more of what these things are actually capable of, too.
More or less, a Smart Display is a Google Home with a screen for richer media experiences. They fully support apps like YouTube TV, HBO Now, and Google Play Movies so you can simply yell at your screen to get some content going on the admittedly small screen. I can’t imagine binge watching Game of Thrones on one of these, but to have some background TV going in the kitchen or bedroom could be cool.
The 10 watt speakers will also allow you to stream music from the typical selection of music sources, plus listen to podcasts, radio stations, and news. That new Google podcast initiative is going to start paying off.
One of the cooler features, in my opinion, is the option to get step-by-step cooking recipes with Google Assistant. Cooking with a Google Home is okay but having a screen to actually see steps and instructions is going to be game changing, especially since you won’t have to drag your phone all of the place and get flour on your screen to do it. This won’t stop you from playing music or setting timers, either.
Outside of the kitchen, these displays will still support regular Google Home/Google Assistant features, like schedule and agenda management, calendar appointments, custom shopping lists, video calling, and Google Photos playback. It’s really a ton of different devices jammed into one, and we’re excited to get our hands on one.
Lenovo will be first to market with their Smart Display in both 8-inch and 10-inch flavors. The former will run $199 and the latter will cost $249 and will be available at places like Walmart, Best Buy, and Amazon, plus from Lenovo directly.
Personally, though, I’m holding out for the JBL version. I want to blow the windows out of my kitchen with rock music.