Amazon's Alexa, Google's Assistant compete at CES to control the smart home

Amazon's Alexa, Google's Assistant compete at CES to control the smart home

Lenovo's making friends with Google Assistant through a new device called the Lenovo Smart Display, that will play music, connect to other smart devices, including Nest products, and even let you make video calls.

Steep discounts during the holidays on the most affordable models of Google's Home smart speakers and the Amazon Echo likely meant both companies were taking losses to get them into millions of homes, analysts told Reuters.

Expect a "summer" release date in the United States of America, but we couldn't get a confirmed United Kingdom date.

Harman and Lenovo are now working with Qualcomm on home products, such as the new Lenovo Smart Display, that use the Qualcomm Home Hub platforms.

But that's not good enough, apparently, and Google is teaming up with a number of its hardware partners to launch what it's calling smart displays.

For that reason, the Lenovo Smart Display can be seen as an upgrade to a smart speaker.

The Google's Pixel Buds and Bose QuietComfort 35 II were the first headphones to come with integrated Google Assistant, and now the search giant reveals we can expect more from companies like JBL, LG, Samsung, and Jaybird.

These devices will be primarily controlled with your voice, but also offer a touchscreen, much like Amazon's recent Echo Show and Echo Spot speakers.

The company's GVA line will feature three speakers ranging in price from $140-$200, and all of them will allow for direct use of Google Assistant. These smart displays will also be Chromecast-compatible, so you'll be able to cast videos from apps like Hulu and HBO Go to these devices. Well, the new partnership is in-line with Google's effort to expand its suave digital assistant support across wide-range of electronic devices.

Whichever way the ongoing squabble plays out, consumers will have to wait until later in the year before they can buy the new Smart Displays. This will all be handy if you are a Google Services user and part of the whole Google/Android ecosystem. Lenovo is already prepping two different smart displays for release, an 8-inch model for $199 and a larger 10-inch version for $249.

What's more, the device features a single 10-watt speaker to the left of the display for what I suspect are design reasons.

Beyond our privacy concerns, Google's new product has one more advantage over Amazon's gadgets. The 10-inch model comes with a classy bamboo back, while the 8-inch model gets a soft touch grey back.

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