I actually saw the Lenovo Smart Display last year at CES 2018. my home is full of smart speakers but 2019 seems to be the year of smart displays. I enjoy using Google Assistant since I am deep in the Google ecosystem. When it comes to smart home functions, I can’t do much with it, since I live in an apartment, but it does help me when I’m lazy about getting information or choosing music. Check out my thoughts on the Lenovo Smart Display after a few weeks of use.
Design and Build
Lenovo smart display is actually very bold not a loud way but you can tell it’s like a more futuristic gadget to me. Similar to the Amazon Echo Show Lenovo smart display as a speaker on one side. The back of the Smart Display has an odd shape to help it lean back. The Smart Display is available in two screen sizes; 8 inches and 10-inch. Lenovo sent over the 8-inch model. The speaker grille is on the side or the bottom of the screen (depending on which way you place the Smart Display). It has a camera with a sliding cover and the back is a soft grey material. When placed horizontally, the Smart Display has the volume rocker and the mic button above the right side of the screen. You can use the Smart Display vertically (the speaker griller at the bottom), or horizontally, the speaker grille to the left of the display. The colors are bright and the image is sharp enough of the 1200 x 800 display.
Experience and Features
Setting up the Smart Display is super simple. If you’ve set up a Google Home device before, the drill is the same. Open the app and it will detect any devices that have not been set up, or you can go to the “account” tab and go to “set up device”. The Home app does a great job of walking you through the setup process. I’ve set up a handful of Google Home devices before so it’s pretty easy for me to go through the motions.
Features: A concern I have with smart displays is being able to see them without glasses when possible. At 8 inches, the display works well in almost any part of my apartment. It’s larger than the Home Hub and the sound is louder too. The best thing about smart displays is the next-level of convenience. Instead of opening the weather app on your phone and going to see the 5-day or 7-day forecast, you can ask Google Assistant to show you the weather for the next few days. Of course, you can handle other things besides entertainment, you can view your calendar and events ahead of your day, by saying things like “Good Morning”. Evening routines can be activated too by saying “Good Night’. You can set the alarm for the next day, turn off lights, and even have the assistant play nature sounds for you to wake up to.
You don’t have to do everything by voice. You can scroll through cards on the screen. You’ll see the weather followed by a calendar card, news card, music card, and more actions. If you swipe from the bottom up, you’ll have the options to adjust the brightness, volume, toggle Do Not Disturb, view/ set alarms, and see device information. If you swipe from the top down, you can view the other Google Devices in your home, or broadcast from one device to the other Google Home devices.
If you want a smart display with a large screen and a camera, the Lenovo Smart Display checks everything off on the list. While you may get new features a bit later on the Smart Display, having the front-facing speaker and camera may make it worth it. The prices have been steady between $129 and $149. If you want a very large display, you can go for the 10-inch version of the Smart Display for about $40 – $50 more.
Lenovo Smart Display
- Has a camera (and a cover)
- Can be used horizontally or vertically
- Available in 10-inch and 8-inch models
- Speaker is front-facing
- Speaker grille on the side of screen makes for a larger footprint
- May not get updates as fast as Google Home Hub