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Worth a thousand words

These smart speakers have a screen, too. Combining the capabilities of a smart speaker such as an Amazon Echo with a touchscreen for video calls, pictures, directions and more, smart displays are gaining momentum as a category. 

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The Amazon Echo Show

The Amazon Echo Show helped kick off the trend. The $230 Show features the full power of Amazon's assistant, Alexa. With a voice command, you can control your smart home, search the web, set a reminder and more, just like you would with an Amazon Echo smart speaker. 

Beyond what an ordinary Echo can do, you can use the Show to make video calls and see pictures. Alexa will show you information to help illustrate the answers to your questions. Plus, specific skills from Uber, Starbucks, CNN and others take advantage of the Echo Show's new touchscreen.

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Amazon Echo Spot

A smaller smart display meant to double as your alarm clock, the Echo Spot squeezes a lot of the same functions as the Echo Show into a much more compact frame. At $130, the Spot also sounds surprisingly good for its size. 

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Google's smart displays

Not to be left behind, Google debuted a quartet of smart displays at CES 2018 from Lenovo (pictured), JBL, LG and Sony. It's notable that Google isn't making the smart displays themselves, but each product looks to have the company's full support. 

Similar to the Echo Show, each Google-equipped smart display will have the same smarts as the Google Home smart speaker along with a touchscreen to illustrate answers. 

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Lenovo Smart Display

Lenovo actually showed off two smart displays at CES -- an 8- and a 10-inch version that cost $200 and $250, respectively. In a hands-on demo, we saw the screen in action. You can pull up a feed from a Nest Cam with a voice command. You can also make a video call.

The Lenovo Smart Display looks pretty stylish, and it'll even pull videos from Youtube if you need help cooking. The built-in Google Assistant can walk you through the directions, and if you ask for clarification with a certain step, the screen will pull up a vid showing how that step is done.

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JBL Link View

JBL will bring its speaker prowess to bear with the JBL Link View. It'll try to stand out from the growing crowd of smart displays with high-end sound quality courtesy of its stereo speakers. 

JBL hasn't announced a price for the Link View yet. All of Google's smart displays are expected to ship this summer. 

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Third-party Shows

A couple of startups are also trying their hands at smart displays. 

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Lynky comes with Google Assistant built-in (the same digital assistant built into the Google Home). You can prop Lynky on a table as shown, or mount it on a wall. In addition to normal smart display features, you'll also be able to control smart home gadgets with a touch on Lynky.

The crowdfunded gadget is expected to start shipping soon at a reasonable price of $150. 

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Brilliant Control

The Brilliant Control puts an Amazon Echo Show on your wall in place of an ordinary light switch. You can control your lights or other smart home gadgets with a swipe or tap using Brilliant, or just speak a command and Alexa will listen. 

Brilliant also works with Amazon's skills specific to the Show, so you'll be able to see Alexa's visual responses. Brilliant is due out soon and will start at $200. 

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Titan AI

The Titan AI bot supposedly tailors its response based on your mood. That's right, this futuristic smart display goes a step beyond the current Amazon- and Google-equipped options by actually reading your emotions. It'll recommend TV and music based on how you're feeling, and when you give a command, it'll pivot to face you.

In addition to its emotional sensitivity, Titan boasts the normal smart display tricks such as answering your questions and showing you the answer on its display. We'll see if its emotional intelligence works well enough to elevate this bot above the pack. The company hasn't announced pricing or availability for Titan AI yet. 

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