In our continued quest to have a smarter home that helps us manage our hectic life and create as much of a hands-free environment as possible, we’ve been busy for the last couple of weeks testing out the 10” Lenovo Google Assistant Smart Display thanks to Aeroplan. Consider this a preliminary look at our experience rather than a full-blown review.
With a huge sale on this compact countertop hub starting today through the Aeroplan eStore (more details below!), I’d like to give you a taste of what kinds of fun and helpful things you can expect from this slick-looking device.
What is a “smart display” anyway?
Before I tell you more about what you can do with the Smart Display from Lenovo, let me give you the 4-1-1 on what a smart display actually is. Simply put, it’s a smart speaker with a tablet-like, touch-screen interface.
You can talk to it — just start each command or question with “Hey, Google” — to get specific information up on the screen and/or played through the device’s integrated speakers. You can touch the screen, too, but you don’t have to. And that sure comes in handy when you have fingers full of raw chicken or used baby wipes.
What can the Lenovo Smart Display do?
With Google Assistant built right in, it can do quite a lot. More than I’ve even had the opportunity to try inside of the two weeks we’ve been playing with our Lenovo Smart Display.
Here’s what we’ve tried out so far:
Playing music — Google Assistant connects seamlessly with my Spotify account and can play music genres, special stations and playlists or even individual songs. The Lenovo Smart Display speaker is very good, too, with a full, rich sound that fills our kitchen and living area with ease. According to the tech details, it boasts a “10W full-range and dual passive radiator that expands the low end bass range.” I have no idea what this means. But it sounds super good.
Finding recipes — the kids wanted to make Rice Krispy Squares on Mother’s Day, so we said “Hey, Google, find us a Rice Krispy Squares recipe.” Not only could we browse several different recipes online but once we selected one, the Smart Display with Google Assistant allowed us to follow step-by-step cooking instructions — all hands-free.
Watching YouTube videos — because, you know, we don’t already do enough of that on the other devices and screens in our house (#FacePalm). But at least this way, it’s out in the open for everyone to see and hear, which helps my helicoptering immensely.
Streaming my ridiculous HayU reality TV debauchery to the screen — somehow it magically works with the Chromecast in the bedroom and we have “kitchen display” (the Levono device) as an option now. Genius!
Doing the daily — like checking the weather, reviewing our family calendar, making appointment reminders, jotting down the kids’ school trips or even looking at Big B’s morning commute…and the list goes on.
Connecting to our nest products — we can easily control the temperature because our nest learning thermostat is now integrated with our Lenovo Smart Display. Anyone in the house can adjust the temperature, and we can still do it remotely with our smartphones.
We’ve also tried the TrueBlock Privacy Shutter and microphone mute button; these features help safeguard our privacy and are easy-peasy to turn back on whenever we want.
Here is the Lenovo Smart Display in action:
Here’s what we’ve got coming up on our must-try list:
Google DUO video calling (you can even turn the Lenovo Smart Display vertically when you make a call if you want!) — as long as the person you’re calling also has the Google DUO app installed, which is free for both iPhones and Androids, it looks like we’ll be able to make free video calls!
Directions from Google Maps — handy dandy to map out a route together ahead of time, even during dinner time while you’re sitting around the kitchen table.
Controlling the lights — inside and out, since the Lenovo Smart Display is compatible with the Philips Hue app and lighting products. We’re just beginning our foray into smart lighting, so this is going to be very convenient. We’ll probably include lighting in a few routines with our Google Assistant, like “Hey, Google — good morning,” which will turn upstairs lights off and downstairs lights on. Because somehow no one except me knows how to turn lights off when they leave a room. So weird.
Here’s what we hope the Lenovo Smart Display will be able to do next:
We’re keeping our fingers crossed that in a near-future software update Lenovo will add more functionality for the nest hello doorbell, too! With a quick “Hey, Google…show me the home camera,” or “Hey, Google, who’s at the front door?” it’s easy to see and hear who’s at the door, but we aren’t yet able to talk back like we can using our nest home app on our smartphones. This will be a very welcome feature once it’s available!
How much is the Lenovo Smart Display?
Aeroplan and Lenovo have partnered up to help you get all the tools you need to live a tech-savvy life — and earn miles at the same time! From May 27 to June 3, 2019, Aeroplan Members can earn up to 7X the miles when shopping at Lenovo via the Aeroplan eStore.
Add all those miles to big discounts and this is what my kids would call a “winner, winner, chicken dinner”!
You can choose from the Lenovo Smart Display 10″ at $80 off (regular price, $329.99) or $60 off the Lenovo Smart Display 8” model (regularly $259.99) — just note that you’ll need to use the code “AEROPLANJAM” to access the discounts.
This is the perfect time to get your hands on a Google Assistant Smart Display; I can tell you from even our limited experience with it that it makes juggling our here-there-and-everywhere schedule a breeze.
DISCLAIMER: Lenovo provided me with a Smart Display and Aeroplan compensated me to facilitate this post. All opinions are my own.