Little by little, the famous "Ok, Google" is becoming part of the daily life of many users. The Google assistant can help us to perform simple actions such as asking for an address, starting a call or creating a reminder or other more complex ones such as controlling smart devices in the house or starting a playlist on Spotify. All with a simple voice command. An experience that Lenovo wants to transfer to a smart screen that serves as a speaker, kitchen companion and decorative gadget. The Lenovo Smart Display10-inch (also available in eight-inch) is available on the market for a price of 200 euros. I have had the opportunity to have it at home for a few days, this has been my experience of use.
The main features of the Lenovo Smart Display
- It has an 8 or 10-inch screen with a good level of brightness and vivid colors
- It has a speaker with power of 10 W and two passive radiators to improve the bass reproduction
- The Google assistant is integrated to be able to access all its possibilities
- It has an attractive design to look good as a decoration element
Life with the Google Assistant on the Lenovo Smart Display
"Ok Google, give me Meghan Trainor's Spotify list." "Ok Google, turn off the lights in the living room." These are just two examples of the hundreds of actions that can be carried out through the Google Assistant. The Lenovo Smart Display is designed to become the channel for your conversations with Google in one of the rooms of the house. And this is one of the key points that you have to keep in mind. It is not itself a tablet with its own battery. To work, it has to be connected to the network and you will generally have it in a single room unless you take it with you specifically for a specific task. I'm thinking, above all, of her role as a kitchen boy.
That is one of the most interesting and practical functions that you are going to find. You can take the Lenovo Smart Display into the kitchen and ask it to show you a recipe on YouTube or online. Without a doubt, the highlight is that it is able to read you the list of ingredients and move through the steps of the recipe on the web pages compatible with this mode. There is no doubt that it is something very useful for clueless people who like me return again and again through its steps. Of course, do not expect paradise. In some moments the seams are still noticeable to the Google assistant and I have encountered crazy moments in which the language was suddenly changed to English for no apparent reason, among other problems. Although listening to the assistant try to explain the recipe to me with a British accent is a unique experience, it is not the best cover letter.
In any case, both in the recipes on the web and in those on YouTube you can stop at any time or repeat the steps without having to use your hands.
The Lenovo Smart Display is also a very interesting gadget to centralize the use of smart devices. It is very convenient to control lights or smart TVs with a simple "Ok, Google" without having to reach for your mobile. Of course, I still have not finished getting used to the universe of the smart home and many times I keep turning off the lights or the TV manually (I start to get a dinosaur face).
Other common uses of this gadget are the weather forecast, the review of calendar appointments or their use through apps, which I will discuss in the next section.
The Lenovo Smart Display as a multimedia center
And it is that Lenovo has wanted its Smart Display to become the multimedia center of the home . On the one hand, we have an eight or ten-inch screen - depending on the configuration you buy - with a good level of brightness and definition. It does not seem like the panacea for Netflix series and movies, but it has given me a lot of play when watching YouTube videos in which I was not looking for a big screen. When you are not using the Smart Display, it is intended to become a digital frame . Both for photos chosen from the net with beautiful landscapes and with a selection of your own photos from Google Photos.
The other key use as a media center is for the speaker. The Lenovo Smart Display has a good front speaker on its left side . It is a two-inch speaker with a power of 10 W and two passive radiators. The result is a clear and quite powerful sound, which I have used without problems for the occasional meeting at home. The resonance is also very successful and gives that feeling of depth that a speaker with good bass gives you. Of course, always keeping in mind that we are not dealing with a professional team or for audiophiles.
In my personal case, I have heavily fiddled with Spotify (you have to have a paid account to be able to use Google's voice assistant). This use is very practical, since the commands are highly integrated and natural. For example, you can directly open a song or a playlist. If there is a piece that you like, you can add it to your music.
Very simple interface
The truth is that the Lenovo Smart Display, despite being a touch screen, is not intended to interact much with its touch interface . Both Lenovo and Google have opted in this case for a very simple platform, sometimes I would even say too much. To return to the main window you have to drag your finger from the left to the center. The options can be viewed by dragging your finger from the bottom up. Here we have options to change the brightness, the volume, open the do not disturb mode, the alarms and the settings.
The settings are so basic that you can't even directly change or configure the device's WiFi. This is done through the Google Home app on the mobile. In fact, more than anything you can find information about the Lenovo Smart Display or return it to its factory settings . I miss a higher level of control at this point.
What I did like a lot is the Smart Home menu that appears when you lower your finger from top to bottom. In this case, you can quickly access the different smart devices that you have connected to Google Home. For example, smart bulbs, televisions, robot vacuum cleaners ...
The last option on the interface is to see some interesting information about the apps by dragging your finger from right to left. They are the Google assistant cards that you can also see on your mobile phone.
Design with bamboo
When it comes to the design of the Lenovo Smart Display, it should be noted that the company has opted for a more precious design , typical of a premium digital photo frame and a decorative item. And at this point it performs very well. The front is blank with the speaker on the left occupying a fairly wide strip and the screen on the right. Of course, used to the current designs of mobile phones with an infinite screen, I miss some thinner frames (as if we see in other devices of the Asian company).
On the back, the white stripes are combined with the bamboo shell. Very attractive, by the way, and with a pronounced curve from the center part to create the base on which the screen is supported and to increase the resonance space for the speaker. At the level of appearance it looks really good, although it is a pity that in the end you will hardly ever see this rear part on a day-to-day basis. And the front does not look in comparison for details such as the frames.
The measurements of the 10-inch Lenovo Smart Display are 173.8 x 311.3 x 12.5 - 136 millimeters . That is, in the right area it is only 12 millimeters thick while in the left corner it reaches 136 millimeters. Its weight is 1.2 kilos. The truth is that it is quite manageable, although not as much as it would be for example a tablet.
There are many people who do not like the idea of having Google constantly listen to us (and for good reason). For those cases, the Lenovo Smart Display includes two physical switches: one to mute the microphone and the other to disable the webcam. This webcam is 5 megapixels and allows video calls in 720p through the Google Duo app.
Price and reviews
Currently, the 10-inch Lenovo Smart Display can be found in stores for a price of 200 euros . In case you want to opt for the configuration with a smaller 8-inch screen, the price is 150 euros . In short, we are facing an interesting gadget if you want to take your relationship with the Google assistant to a new level. If you are used to using this service, having the Smart Display in the living room or bedroom is really comfortable. With voice commands you can carry out different actions and control the smart devices in your home.
But perhaps what I liked the most is its use as a loudspeaker, due to its power and the quality of the bass for a device of this format. It is very nice to open your favorite Spotify list with a simple voice command. The option to use it as a kitchen companion seems most practical to me, but I think that the Google assistant still has to refine this mode more to avoid the problems that sometimes occur.
The thing that has least convinced me is that the greatest appeal of its design is lost by being on the bamboo back (you will rarely turn the equipment and it will not be usual for you to take it with you when you need a plug). And the fact that its interface is too simple when you don't want to use your voice. For the rest, a very interesting proposal if you are a regular user of the Google Assistant or Google Assistant.
Lenovo Smart Display Datasheet
|screen||10.1-inch Full HD IPS touch panel|
|Audio||2 ″ 10 W long throw loudspeaker, 2 dual passive radiators|
|Microphones||Two sets of dual microphones|
|Wifi connectivity||2 x 2 WiFi 802.11 ac 2.4G / 5G, MIMO|
|Bluetooth connectivity||Bluetooth 4.2|
|Connections||Power plug, Mute switch, Camera shutter, Volume control|
|Dimensions and weight||173.8 x 311.3 x 12.5 - 136 mm|
|Camera||5 megapixel webcam, 720p video calls|
|Price||200 euros (10 inches)|
150 euros (8 inches)