Smart screen prices continue to plummet. Witness the Google Nest Hub (formerly the Google Home Hub), which retails for $129 but routinely goes on sale for as low as $60. Then there's the Amazon Echo Show 8, a $130 smart screen that's currently (and, some would say, continually) . With those kinds of prices, it's harder to justify buying a plain old smart speaker that doesn't have a screen.
Amazon and Google aren't the only players here, though. Case in point: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Daily Steals has the refurbishedwith promo code CNETLNVO. It originally sold for $200.
Prefer to get it new? Lenovo proper also has a deal running: Thewith promo code VALENDISPLAY2020. However, the Daily Steals gang assures me that the refurbs are in Grade-A condition, so the only real variable here is the warranty: 90 days versus one year. Personally, I'm fine with the former, 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, calls to friends and relatives and so on.
I haven't used one 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 $68.
Add a sweet-sounding soundbar to your TV for just $30
Two things every TV owner should do immediately: Turn off motion-smoothing (which results in the dreaded "") and add a soundbar (which will yield a vast improvement over built-in speakers).
Here's an option for the latter for an impossibly low price: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Topyo Pro via Amazon has thewith promo code 89GZYNPE. The last time I ran a deal on this, it was $45.
I've owned this soundbar for around six months; it's wall-mounted just below the TV that's in front of my elliptical and connected via an HDMI cable. Before, I could barely hear the TV due to its small, down-facing speakers. Now, it sounds great, even over the noise of the machine.
I particularly like the remote, which has individual buttons for switching between the various input modes. I did test Bluetooth with streaming video and encountered no lag issues, but your mileage may vary.
Simply put, if you want a decent soundbar (that's also a Bluetooth speaker), this is the best deal I've seen in recent memory.
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