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Make video calls on the cheap with the Lenovo Smart Display 8 for $55

Never before priced this low, it puts a Google Assistant-based smart screen on your counter.

The Lenovo Smart Display 8 is hard to pass up at $68.
Chris Monroe/CNET

Looking for an easy way to video chat with friends and relatives? Obviously you can do that with your phone, tablet or laptop, but there's something to be said for a dedicated device that sits on a table or countertop (as opposed to in your hand, which gets tiresome really quickly, or a makeshift stand). And when that device is this cheap? Pretty tempting.

For a limited time, and while supplies last, VIP Outlet via eBay has the refurbished Lenovo Smart Display 8 for $55.25 when you add it to your cart. It originally sold for $200; the best deal I've seen prior to this was $68. 

According to the listing page, these refurbs are in Grade-A condition, meaning nearly good as new. The one big difference: You get a 90-day warranty instead of one year. I'm fine with that, given that there's no battery or any other wear-affected hardware here.

True to its name, the Smart Display 8 sports an 8-inch touchscreen and built-in speakers and microphones. It operates much like any Google Home product: Just say, "Hey, Google," or, "OK, Google," and tell it what you'd like it to do. That could be anything from playing tunes to controlling a smart-home device to adding bananas to your shopping list. The presence of the screen adds all manner of video goodness to the mix: YouTube vids, photo slideshows and, of course, calls to loved ones. (One important consideration, though: It appears anyone you're calling will need the Google Duo app. From what I can tell, the Smart Display 8 doesn't support Skype or any other third-party video-calling tool.)

I haven't used this myself, so I'll turn you over to Andrew Gebhart's Lenovo Smart Display 10 review. (The 10-inch model is, I believe, identical to the 8-inch, save for the slightly smaller screen and speaker.) Verdict: "The Lenovo Smart Display is a great kitchen assistant with an elegant design and a high-resolution touchscreen. It multitasks well, responds quickly to both touch and voice commands and offers a rich, personalized home screen and a customizable ambient mode."

But, now, instead of $200, it's $55.

Your thoughts?

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