Lenovo Smart Display 10 review: Google Assistant is your sous chef in Lenovo’s take on the Echo Show

    The Lenovo Sensible Show is the primary of four new touchscreen displays outfitted with Google Assistant due out this 12 months, and it enters a pitched battle between Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa for digital assistant dominance. Designed to enhance upon the premise of the Amazon Echo Show ($230 at, the $250 Lenovo Sensible Show combines a Google Assistant-powered good speaker with a easy touchscreen that brings a visible component to the digital assistant idea.

    The concept is display screen can present a richer expertise round utilizing a voice assistant. Ask for close by eating places and the Lenovo Sensible Show exhibits you an inventory of choices whereas the embedded Google Assistant reads them off. You should use your finger or your voice to get extra particular venue info reminiscent of instructions and footage. You get the identical wealthy expertise while you ask concerning the climate, verify your calendar, ask Google Assistant random trivia questions, or difficulty a command to a smart home system. You may as well use Lenovo’s show to make video calls or watch movies on YouTube.

    The Lenovo Sensible Show is not as strong as a pill. For one, it wants to remain plugged in because it lacks a battery. There isn’t any app retailer. It is also laborious to keep away from the truth that you’ll be able to entry Google Assistant from a cheaper smart speaker, and you’ll at all times flip to your cellphone for many of the visible assist. The issues right here mirror our primary points with the Amazon Echo Present, with an exception. Just like the Present, the Lenovo Sensible Show does many duties fairly nicely, however the place the Echo Present is a grasp of none of them, Lenovo separates itself as an impressive kitchen assistant.

    By utilizing verbal and visible cues to stroll you thru recipes in a means that is really useful, the Lenovo Sensible Show proves its value. It additionally has a way more elegant design than the boxy $230 Present. The bamboo end on the $250 10-inch Lenovo mannequin is especially placing, however I like the straightforward grey of the $200 mannequin with an Eight-inch display screen as nicely. I am pleased to advocate both if you would like assist with recipes from a reliable multitasker with a penchant for cooking.

    What can the Lenovo Sensible Show do?

    Because of the built-in Google Assistant, the Lenovo Sensible Show provides the identical breadth of voice managed options as a Google Home speaker. Say the wake phrases “Hey Google” or “OK Google” adopted by a command or a query and Google Assistant will reply. You may play music, hearken to a podcast or the radio, search for the which means of a phrase, add one thing to your purchasing record, purchase one thing from Google Express and control more than 5,000 different smart home devices.

    Just like Alexa, Google Assistant’s full record of options and capabilities is intensive. I will not go into each voice-powered characteristic, however you’ll be able to meet up with everything you need to know about Google Home and Google Assistant here.

    Getting began along with your good show

    As a substitute of working the total Android working system, the Lenovo Sensible Show makes use of the newly launched Android Things. Android Issues is a simplified model of Google’s Android cellular OS meant to energy good dwelling units. On the Lenovo Sensible Show, Android Issues runs a personalized model of Google Assistant tailor-made to a medium-distance person expertise.

    Ask a query, and the Lenovo Sensible Show exhibits data in a big sufficient format which you can learn it from throughout the room. You may’t obtain apps, pull up a browser window, compose an e-mail or sort in any sense. The touchscreen is supposed extra as a complement to the voice assistant than as a strong computing interface. It isn’t as feature-rich as a pill, however the Lenovo Sensible Show is inexpensive than most cutting-edge tablets. It additionally contains higher audio system, a extra finely tuned microphone, and the personalized Google Assistant expertise that makes it higher suited to offering data at a look from a distance.

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    The horizontal 10-inch show we examined features a 2-inch, 10-watt speaker. The vertical Eight-inch show has a 1.75-inch, 10-watt speaker and barely decrease decision (1,280×800 versus 1,920×1,200 pixels). Every thing else is similar between the 2. 

    Josh Miller/CNET

    Plug within the Lenovo Sensible Show and it prompts you to undergo the setup course of utilizing the Google House app. You may assign the Sensible Show to any rooms you have already established within the app, and it is good sufficient to take a number of Google House audio system under consideration should you already personal a number of. If multiple speaker hears you difficulty a voice command, they’ll decide which one you are closest to, so solely that one responds to you. 

    Amongst different customizations, you should utilize the app to regulate the ambient show that pops on the display screen while you’re not utilizing it. I preferred the quaint clock, however it’s also possible to present private images out of your photograph album, Fb images or scenic inventory images. You may add the time and present climate to any of the ambient screens.

    Aside from tinkering with customization and settings, you most likely will not use the Google House app to regulate the Lenovo Sensible Show after setup. 


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    My favourite ambient display screen was the only.

    Chris Monroe/CNET

    You may want to begin most capabilities with a voice command, however it’s also possible to contact the display screen or ask follow-up inquiries to get extra info. The display screen turns out to be useful for basic searches, checking the forecast, purchasing, discovering diet information and extra. Add voice recognition as you’ll on any Google House speaker, and you’ll allow private data on the display screen. You may then edit your calendar and add reminders. Say a command, and you will see a small field seem on the prime of the display screen that exhibits the phrases it hears as you discuss. That type of visible suggestions is beneficial for telling you which of them phrases Google may not have heard appropriately. 

    You may must hold the display screen positioned horizontally more often than not, however you’ll be able to flip it vertically while you’re making a video name. You may name companies or any of your contacts with a voice command and if they’ve Google Duo (which is a free app on iOS and Android), you’ll be able to have a video chat. As you’d count on, your reception on the video name will fluctuate based mostly on the energy of your Wi-Fi sign. With a good sign on each ends, I used to be in a position to constantly have a transparent dialog, although the image wasn’t at all times crisp. 

    You may as well scroll via and watch movies on YouTube, YouTube TV, HBO Now, Google Play Motion pictures & TV and Crackle. You may ask for the information and customise your information feed. Some information sources embody movies as nicely. The HD display screen fares greatest when watching movies. Film trailers from YouTube seemed and sounded significantly nice.

    You should purchase the Lenovo Sensible Show beginning on Friday, July 27. You may discover it in main electronics retailers reminiscent of Best Buy and Walmart. The mannequin with the 10-inch display screen and bamboo end prices $250, whereas the Eight-inch grey mannequin is $200. 

    Each merchandise are US-only for now, however given the way Google’s gradually expanded the territory of Google Home, I would count on each to be out there abroad earlier than lengthy. The US value for the 10-inch model converts to roughly £180 or AU$315, however we’ll replace when we’ve actual costs.

    An awesome sous-chef

    The largest purpose I would choose the Lenovo Sensible Show over the Echo Present is its prowess within the kitchen. Alexa and the Present can search recipes and show the main points, however the Lenovo Sensible Show can stroll you thru the entire course of step-by-step, so you’ll be able to really depend on it to supply significant assist when you cook dinner.

    In a neat contact, you’ll be able to seek for a recipe in your cellphone and ship it to your show while you discover one you want. In case your Android cellphone has Google Assistant built-in, you may see a “Ship to Google House” button beneath sure appropriate recipes. Press it and you’ll ask Google Assistant in your good show to begin the recipe and also you’re up and working. The performance even works on iPhones should you obtain the Google Assistant app.

    You may as well seek for a recipe along with your voice on the Sensible Show itself and scroll via your choices for all kinds of meals. Choose one and it exhibits you an outline with all the obligatory steps and substances. A giant “begin recipe” button sits on the backside of the display screen so that you can faucet when prepared, or you may get rolling with a voice command.


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    The Lenovo Sensible Show will begin recipe help by going over the substances one after the other. When you begin a activity with a faucet or a voice command, you’ll be able to return to the earlier display screen at any time by scrolling proper from the left fringe of the display screen. You may as well scroll up from the underside to entry a fast settings menu that features brightness and quantity.

    Chris Monroe/CNET

    Google Assistant walks you thru every ingredient one after the other each by voice and textual content, and you’ll skip ahead at any time. When you’re trying on the instructions, the ingredient record stays on the best facet of the display screen, and the Sensible Show retains this display screen energetic when you work with out reverting to your ambient or dwelling display screen.

    The recipe mode has a bunch of cool extras. You may scroll via instructions with a contact, then say, “Hey Google, subsequent step” and it’ll advance based mostly on the place you stopped scrolling, as a substitute of reverting to the place you have been while you final gave it a voice command. If a step asks you so as to add an ingredient, you’ll be able to double verify how a lot you want on the panel on the best, or simply ask and Google Assistant will know what you are referring to and reply.


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    The Sensible Show has useful recipe help. You may as well multitask and are available proper again to the place you left off. 

    Chris Monroe/CNET

    Whilst you’re cooking, you’ll be able to set timers, add gadgets to your purchasing record, play movies or music, or do the rest you would possibly need to in your Sensible Show to entertain your self when you work. Once you’re prepared for the subsequent step, simply command it to “resume cooking” and it picks up the place you left off. You may even pause a YouTube video, swap to the recipe to verify the subsequent step, and swap again and the Sensible Show will hold your house within the video too.

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