After Lenovo released the first Google smart display device last week, another version of Google display – the JBL Link View – is on the way to the market.
JBL is accepting pre-orders for its Google Assistant-powered touchscreen smart speaker. The device will ship on Sept. 3 for US$250, which is US$50 more than Lenovo’s eight-inch smart display.
While Lenovo’s display has the price advantage and a better design, JBL’s can deliver a better sound quality with its two 10-watt speakers (Lenovo’s only has one).
Other specs are similar. The JBL Link View features an eight-inch display and a 5MP front-facing camera. The display is IPX4 splash-proof for use in the kitchen. There’s also a physical switch to cover the camera and the microphone may be muted to ensure user privacy at home.
Just like talking to a Google Home speaker, homeowners can use wakeup words “Hey Google” or “OK Google” to trigger the voice assistant. They can ask it to control smart home devices, to make a call, to find a nearby supermarket, to check calendars, etc.
Google Assistant with a display is very helpful, according to reviews of Lenovo’s Smart Display device. For instance, when asked about the traffic or directions, the display will present the route in Google Map; when asked about the weather, it will present a one-week forecast on the screen while saying out loud weather conditions of the day.
Furthermore, Google’s Smart Display supports the company’s video-calling service the Google Duo. And it allows users to watch YouTube using voice command. Google removed the YouTube service from Amazon’s touchscreen smart speaker.
More Google Smart Display devices are expected to show up in the second half of 2018, possibly from LG and Sony.
JBL will need to prove its device is better than others. As a speaker manufacturer, its device should deliver great sound quality. The sound quality of the JBL Link View is presumably similar to that of JBL’s Link speakers.