Now that we’ve reached the pinnacle of computers, smartphones, and tablets being able to do everything, we’re starting to see consumer electronics reverse course and specialize in just one or two key features.
The new Lenovo Smart Display is essentially a screen for the voice-enabled Google Assistant. Think of it like a computer without the operating system or touchpad or keyboard. Just your voice and the power of Google at your fingertips . . err, at your mouth tips?
The Lenovo Smart Display has built-in WiFi, which allows you to browse online content, control your connected home devices, and make phone calls with its front-facing camera. You can also use it to take still pictures, although, you’re probably not going to do that.
Like the Amazon Echo, Apple HomePod, and other smart speakers with voice assistants, the Lenovo Smart Display enables you to execute simple requests, hands-free. You can check the weather, hear your next calendar item, look up a cooking recipe video, and see what your commute traffic looks like.
All of these voice-assisted tasks are much more useful with a visual display, compared to the speaker-only systems. And Lenovo also has a touchscreen for additional controls.
Believe it or not, a limited computer might actually be the solution to all of our daily computer woes. Most of us have simple internet tasks, and yet we have to deal with over-built computers for a lot of them. We’ve previously written about this march toward simplicity with the Digital Paper from Sony, which takes all the entertainment out of a tablet and gives you an actually productive tablet for reading and writing.
Whether Lenovo can beat out the heavy competition from Amazon and Apple comes down to its core service: Google Assistant. When you ask a smart speaker something, you’re searching the internet. And we all know how important Google is to searching the internet.