The wait is almost over for another Google Assistant equipped smart speaker with a screen. The JBL Link View is available for preorder starting Wednesday for $250 on the company's site. The expected delivery date is just over a month away -- Monday, 3 Sept. From the specs, it looks like the Link View will try to stand out from the crowd with sound quality.
The JBL Link View follows Google's first such device -- the -- which was released last week and was meant to imitate and improve upon the Amazon Echo Show. The basic concept of the JBL Link View will be the same as those other two smart speakers with a screen.
You'll be able to give the same commands to the Link View that you'd give to a Google Home smart speaker using the same wake words "Hey Google" or "OK Google." You can tell it to control your smart home, make a call, find a nearby restaurant, check your calendar and more. The built-in Google Assistant will respond and show you helpful extras on the screen. You'll see the long term forecast if you ask about the weather, for example, or a control panel when you control your smart home devices.
You can also use the screen to watch videos on YouTube, make calls with Google's video chat app Google Duo and watch news videos, all similar to the Lenovo Smart Display, which also uses the Google Assistant.
I liked the. I found it particularly helpful in the kitchen, as it uses its screen to great effect when walking you through recipes. You can also multitask and set timers, watch videos and add items to your shopping list without ever losing your place in the recipe. Since the JBL Link View will make use of the same software, I'd expect it to have similar strengths. I thought the Lenovo Smart Display was smarter and more useful than the competitive Amazon Echo Show.
The JBL Link View might have a tougher time proving it has merit above and beyond the Lenovo Smart Display, and it'll be more expensive than Lenovo's model with a similar screen size. The $250 JBL Link View has an eight-inch screen. Lenovo offers two smart displays. The $250 model has a ten inch screen and the model with an eight inch screen is only $200.
Both the Link View and the Smart Display are part of what will eventually be a quartet of Google Assistant-equipped smart displays.and are expected to release models soon as well, though Sony's might be further behind. Google isn't putting their own brand on any of the models yet.
The JBL Link View might find a way to stand out with sound quality. The model will have two 10-watt speakers instead of just one on the Lenovo Smart Display. From the pictures, I think the Smart Display looks better, but while it sounded fine, the music quality didn't blow us away. If the JBL Link View sounds better, it could easily stand out as a solid option for those wanting more punch to their music from their kitchen assistant.