All at once, it seems like, Google Assistant-powered smart displays are starting to hit the market after JBL, Lenovo and LG all announced earlier this year at CES that they’d be coming soon. Lenovo got there first with its smart display launched last week that’s already started shipping, and now audio company JBL has joined the fray by opening up preorders for its own $250 version of basically the same thing.
JBL’s Google-powered smart display is called the Link View and is expected to start shipping on Sept. 3.
We’ll see if these end up being strong Echo Show rivals, but that seems to be of course be what these are aiming at. The display gives you everything from the time of day to YouTube videos and basically anything you could use your voice to get Google Home to serve up for you. From JBL’s production description:
“The integrated display included on JBL Link View allows you to get things done easily, it also has the Google Assistant built in, you can ask questions and tell it to do things. Just start with ‘Hey Google’ to quickly enjoy your entertainment, stay connected with loved ones, view glanceable answers, manage daily tasks, and control your smart home.
“Your Assistant can help free up your hands and time, so you can focus on the things that matter most. Like watching videos of your favorite YouTube creators, reliving memories of your latest family vacation, making a video call to your best friend, receiving step-by-step baking instructions for delicious chocolate chip cookies, or dimming the lights for movie night.”
JBL goes on to explain that it’s all delivered through a JBL transducer array driven by a digital amplifier and tuned to deliver rich bass and clear highs. Among the features are an 8-inch high definition touch screen, a 5 MP front-facing camera, built-in Chromecast and wireless Bluetooth streaming.
For comparison, Lenovo’s display comes in 8-inch and 10-inch sizes, both with a 10-watt speaker. The 8-inch costs $200, and you have to shell out $50 more for the 10-inch. You get a 5 MP front camera on both size models, and you can check out other specs here.
Here’s the page for LG’s WK9 Google Assistant-powered touch screen speaker, which is listed as “coming soon.” Its features include an 8-inch touch screen display, plus the built-in Google Assistant and built-in Chromecast, among other things.