Watch out Amazon, JBL's Google Assistant-powered Smart Display is up for pre-order

Google Assistant gets a screen

JBL Link View Smart Display up for pre-order

The floodgates are open and Google's Smart Display speakers have begun pouring out. First was Lenovo's, now the JBL Link View is available to pre-order.

The View was announced back at CES and has just gone live on JBL's website for $249, with shipping set to commence on 3 September. The concept of the Link View is the same as Google's other Smart Displays: Slap a screen on a Google Assistant smart speaker.

The View will behave like any other Google Home, so you'll be able to ask it questions and control your other smart home devices. But the display augments the experience by showing helpful information, be it the weather forecast for the entire week or a list of movie showtimes. There are some cases where visual context is more helpful - recipes are another example - and that's what the Smart Displays are trying to solve.

Read this: The best Google Assistant devices

The Link View has an eight-inch display; unlike Lenovo's Smart Display, which offers two screen size options, JBL's has just the one option. There's also a 5MP front-facing camera that you'll be able to use to make calls with Google Duo.

Where the Link View could trounce Lenovo's speaker is in sound quality. This is something JBL is pressing hard on - there are two 51mm 10W drivers built in - and with built-in Google Cast for multi-room audio, could be its killer feature.

But we won't know just how much better it sounds until we hear it for ourselves. We did get a little listen back at Google I/O in May, but a bustling showroom on Google's campus wasn't an ideal acoustic environment for any rigorous sound testing. Expect a full review soon.

TAGGED   google   speakers

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