The Good The Google Home Mini is a stylish-looking speaker with surprisingly strong sound quality. The Google Assistant is a capable Alexa competitor, especially thanks to its ability to search out detailed answers to a wide variety of questions.
The Bad There isn't much the Home Mini does that Alexa can't do, too. It also lacks a line out jack, and requires Chromecast Audio in order to connect with at external speaker setup.
The Bottom Line The Google Home Mini is a great device, and a no-brainer for existing Google Home users -- but it isn't the Echo Dot-killer Google probably needs it to be.
Sounds great but lacks vision
If you want something from the internet, you Google it. We've been doing it for decades — more than a trillion searches per year by Google's own estimates. Google is so good at it that it gets to be its own verb.
But then came Alexa, the virtual, voice-activated assistant in the Amazon doubled down with the , a much smaller smart speaker with an irresistibly low $50 price tag. After yielding Amazon a two-year head start, Google finally released the to compete with the Echo, but Amazon had already captured a commanding share of the market. Even more problematic — the Echo Dot had quickly become an even bigger hit than the Echo had been.smart speaker. People started getting what they wanted from the internet just by asking for it. Soon,
All of which brings us to October of 2017, and the arrival of the Google Home Mini. It's the product of a company that's still in catch-up mode, a verb that's trying to remain present tense in a category that's evolving rapidly. And, like the Echo Dot, it's a very good product.
After CES 2018, how close are we to the Jetsons?
With automated homes and consumer-ready robots on the rise, are we ready and able to finally bring the future into the present?
Google to fix Wi-Fi-slaying Chromecast bug on Thursday
An Android update should keep your home network from succumbing to potentially crippling data bursts.
Siri will keep you posted with 'give me the news' feature
Now you can reportedly play a news podcast with a voice command.
Alexa, Google Assistant want to be everywhere in 2018
These voice assistants want to be on the go with you, plugging in to smart glasses, smart earbuds and even smart toilets.
The robots of CES 2018: Cuteness reigns supreme
But we also saw the foundation for substantial innovation.
August CEO Jason Johnson says in-home delivery is the future
The August Home CEO, whose company was just acquired by Assa Abloy, has big plans for in-home delivery. Get ready for more retailers looking to get their foot in your front door.
At CES 2018, cute robots, smart hearing aids, KodakCoin (The 3:59, Ep. 337)
We get a visit from LG's CLOi robot. Plus: We discuss one of the weirdest booths at the show.
Ovie Smarterware lets Alexa manage your leftovers
This Bluetooth button sticks on your Tupperware and tracks how long until your food expires.
Google, Amazon and the future of smart home shopping
A CNET-hosted panel at CES discusses getting people comfortable with strangers in their homes and making sure everyone gets the right kind of toilet paper.
Gourmia multicooker will have Google Assistant built right in
The Gourmia GKM9000 kitchen machine will include the voice-activated assistant, the company announced at the CES tech show.
CES 2018: Watch our smart home panel
Our CES 2018 smart home panel will invite representatives from Amazon, Google. Walmart and Yale locks to the CNET Stage to discuss the exciting, rapidly evolving dynamics around shopping and smart home technology.
Facebook reportedly plans 'Portal' video chat device
Later in 2018, maybe we'll chat with $499 voice-controlled smart screens, not just with Facebook Messenger on phones and PCs, Cheddar reports.