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JBL’s $250 Google Assistant smart display is now available for pre-order

It’s been a week since Lenovo’s Google Assistant-powered smart display went on sale . Slowly but surely, its competitors are launching their versions, too. Today, JBL announced that its $249.95 JBL Link View is now available for pre-order , with an expected ship date of September 3, 2018. JBL went for a slightly different design than Lenovo (and the upcoming LG WK9 ), but in terms of functionality, these devices are pretty much the same. The Link View features an 8-inch HD screen; unlike Lenovo’s Smart Display, JBL is not making a larger 10-inch version. It’s got two 10W speakers and the usual support for Bluetooth, as well as Google’s Chromecast protocol. JBL says the unit is splash proof (IPX4), so you can safely use it to watch YouTube recipe videos in your kitchen. It also offers a 5MP front-facing camera for your video chats and a privacy switch that lets you shut off the camera and microphone. JBL, Lenovo and LG all announced their Google Assistant smart displays at CES earlier this. Lenovo was the first to actually ship a product, and both the hardware as well as Google’s software received a positive reception. There’s no word on when LG’s WK9 will hit the market. Review: Lenovo’s Google Smart Display is pretty and intelligent

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Google brings Chrome to Daydream VR headsets

It's been a long time in coming, but Chrome browsing in VR is finally here. Google has released a version of Chrome that supports both Daydream View and stand-alone Daydream headsets like the Lenovo Mirage Solo. It can visit any website and includes...

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Review: Lenovo’s Google Smart Display is pretty and intelligent

Smart speakers have come a long way over the past few years as Amazon, Google and Apple have delivered pretty noteworthy strides in the IQs of their assistants. Where speakers haven’t advanced as much is in how they offer users choices; Google Assistant can only list out so many options before you get sick of listening, so throwing a screen onto these devices was a pretty inevitable evolution. At CES earlier this year, Google showcased what it called Smart Displays, basically an answer to Amazon’s Echo Show. Today, Lenovo’s device, the first of the bunch, goes on sale. The device, to be clear, pretty much just looks like an Android tablet that you plug in with Google Assistant on it. What’s interesting is how the device handles visual feedback for audio commands, giving lightweight visual context for some queries and more robust video/photo content for others. Google clearly doesn’t have all of the core tenets of its Smart Display interface philosophy hammered out, and yet for the most part this is a very pleasant product that strikes all of the right notes on design. gallery ids="1680847,1680844,1680843,1680845" The device comes in two flavors, a $249 10-inch 1080p version and a $199 8-inch 720p version. There aren’t any differences beyond the screen size, so it really depends on where you’re keeping it. I’d imagine that people who are putting something like this on their nightstand as a way-too-smart alarm clock might want the smaller version, whereas if you have a bit more room in your kitchen or living room the 10-inch version might offer some needed screen real estate. For this review I tested the 10-inch $249 variant

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Lenovo’s ‘all-screen’ smartphone is a lie

After ramping up the hype for the Z5, Lenovo revealed the goods, and they weren't as advertised. Its new phone, teased since May, landed with a bit of a chin at the base -- and a notch at the top. So, that's the worst of both worlds? Now, we'd make l...

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