I use a smart speaker pretty much daily, but the next one I buy will have a screen as well. Why? More like "why not?" If I can buy a smart display for the same price as a smart speaker, isn't that the, er, smarter buy? Case in point: For a limited time, and while supplies last, the refurbished-- by far the lowest price I've seen. Just last week there was a deal on new ones; they were $95. (The Link View originally sold for $250.)
Like many JBL refurbs I've seen lately, this one comes direct from the company and includes a full one-year warranty.
The Link View mashes together a robust wireless speaker and an 8-inch touchscreen. It incorporates Google Assistant, meaning you can issue all the usual voice commands for things like weather, music, smart-home controls and so on.
Sound familiar? Yep, Amazon's Echo Show 8 is a close competitor in terms of features and price (it's , down from its $130 list price). While that model may be a bit more streamlined in its design, there's no question the Link View has the bigger, better speakers. In fact, in his , CNET's Andrew Gebhart wrote that it has "the best sound quality of all current smart displays equipped with Google Assistant." (Granted, the Echo Show 8 uses Alexa, but you can tell just from looking that the Link View has more speaker meat to it.)
The Link View also offers a built-in Google Chromecast, helpful if you want to incorporate it into a whole-home sound system, and it's a straight-up Bluetooth speaker as well.
There's a 5-megapixel front-facing camera for video calls, with a manual shutter for blocking the camera and a switch that mutes the microphone.
CNET's review awarded the Link View 8.3 out of 10 and dubbed it "the Google Assistant smart display with the best sound quality." That's one reason it made CNET's list of. Over at Best Buy, more than 200 buyers collectively rated it 4.7 stars out of 5.
Even if you aren't that interested in the video features, $69 for a big, boisterous smart speaker is an amazingly good deal.
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