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The Right Smart Display For Every Need

Graphic: Eric Ravenscraft

Smart displays, like those made by Google and Amazon, give you a more powerful version of the smart assistant you’ve gotten to know through a smart speaker. They’re also often a lot more specialized, designed for specific rooms and purposes. Here, we’ve gathered up the best smart displays for a variety of use cases.

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Graphic: Eric Ravenscraft

The kitchen might be the best room in your house to put a smart display. You can watch videos while you cook, or get recipe instructions all hands-free. If you’re partial towards Google’secosystem, the large screen Nest Hub Max will be your best bet. On the Amazon side, the Echo Show 8 has a similarly large screen that you can easily see from anywhere you are in the kitchen.

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Graphic: Eric Ravenscraft
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A smart display in your bedroom can replace your bedside clock, play music or ambient noise to help you fall asleep, and even ease you into the morning with a soft, slowly dawning glow. Amazon’s most recent entry in this form factor is the Echo Show 5, a display just a bit smaller than most phones. Lenovo offers a similar Smart Clock that uses the Google Assistant instead. If you like the idea of a smart assistant to wake you up, but don’t need another screen in your bedroom, Amazon also offers an Echo Dot with a digital clock hidden inside its fabric shell.

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Graphic: Eric Ravenscraft
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There are plenty of roomslike a den or work roomwhere you might to watch shows without buying a whole TV. A good smart display can fill that gap if it’s got a decent screen and speakers. In the Echo family, the second generation Echo Show has a 10.1" screen and Dolby-capable speakers. The 10" Lenovo Smart Display similarly has a large bright display and powerful speakers, and it can also work as casting target the same way you can send video from most apps to a Google Chromecast.

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Graphic: Eric Ravenscraft
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Amazon offers a unique option if you’d rather have a smart display that you can pick up and use as a tablet, rather than have one dedicated device you can’t move. This $40 Show Mode Dock can be used to hold a Fire HD 8 tablet. When docked, the tablet will behave just like an Echo Show, fielding voice commands, playing videos, and pulling up recipes. For now, Google doesn’t have a tablet or smart display that can turn into a tablet in the same way, but Lenovo has the Smart Tab M8 in the works that is scheduled to come out later in October and run the Google Assistant.

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About the author

Eric Ravenscraft

Freelance writer for The Inventory.