As handy as Google's Home speakers are, though, they're not great at succinctly conveying lots of information. Google's move to embrace these small screens, then, is proof that pictures are worth a thousand words. I spent my time with the Smart Displays asking it to show me restaurants around Las Vegas, requesting YouTube videos to watch and fiddling with a fun little trivia game that should keep parties interesting. These are the sorts of basic requests I throw at Google's Assistant all the time anyway, but the screens really shine in areas you may not expect. Thanks to partnerships with online recipe sources like NY Times Cooking, the Smart Displays offered more nuanced, visual directions as you're trying to prepare some dinner.
More interesting are the ways the Smart Displays tap into existing Google products: video calls over Duo are both super-simple to initiate and worked fairly well despite some lousy Wi-Fi. If you ask the Smart Display for directions somewhere, they'll automatically show up on compatible smartphones. And if you're the sort who has a few Nest cameras around the house, tapping into them through these small screens is a breeze. What remains to be seen is whether -- and how -- third-party developers will work to build experiences for a completely new kind of Google product.
In general, the Smart Displays seem full of promise, even if I'm still not totally sold on the idea of festooning a home with smart displays. Aren't our lives already ruled by plenty of screens as is? Still, if you're already invested in Google's ecosystem, the Lenovo's new screens should slot into your life nicely. The 8-inch model will sell for $199 while the 10-inch model costs $249 -- expect both to be available sometime this summer.
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