This article was published on November 17, 2020

RIP my Lenovo Smart Display — sleep tight, sweet prince


RIP my Lenovo Smart Display — sleep tight, sweet prince
Callum Booth
Story by

Callum Booth

Editor of Plugged by TNW

Callum is an Englishman in Amsterdam, but not in the way you're thinking. He's the Editor of Plugged, TNW's consumer tech vertical. He w Callum is an Englishman in Amsterdam, but not in the way you're thinking. He's the Editor of Plugged, TNW's consumer tech vertical. He writes about gear, gadgets, and apps — with a particular focus on Apple — and also makes the occasional odd video. Basically, he's halfway between an abrasive gadget nerd and thinky art boy.

It’s heartbreaking when a beloved bit of technology finally gives up the ghost, so here I am, pouring one out for my Lenovo Smart Display. You’ll be sorely missed, sweet prince.

I’d guess you have two questions now. The first is something like “what’s the Lenovo Smart Display?” The second is probably in the vein of “my god, man, grow up. You’re sad about a bit of lifeless tech breaking? Who are you? Get out of here.”

I shall answer these in turn.

First off, this is the Lenovo Smart Display:

lenovo smart display

Unsurprisingly, it’s a smart display. It has a screen (obviously), Google Assistant, and Chromecast streaming support. This means you can not only control it with your voice and get it to show you useful shit, it also acts as a media hub if you so desire.

On top of that, it has physical buttons for you to turn off the camera and microphone — making me feel far less weird about it being in my home. And that, friends, is the Lenovo Smart Display in a nutshell.

Now comes the part about why I’m pouring one out for this lifeless rectangle of metal and plastic.

Over the past two years, the Lenovo Smart Display has become an integral part of my household. I have an open plan living space, meaning the kitchen and lounge area are connected — and this gadget has sat in the middle of it.

In that time it’s become an incredibly useful companion. I use, sorry, used it for checking the weather, setting timers, and answering questions. So much so that during the course of writing this piece, I’ve glanced over at where it used to be multiple times and even started asking it to begin a countdown timer for my cup of tea.

Before the smart display, I was suspicious of voice-activated assistants. Now it’s gone, it’s like missing a limb.

That element of it I think I could get used to. But there’s something else I’m struggling to let go of: the photography frame feature. The Lenovo Smart Display has Google Photos support, meaning you can set an album (or your entire library if you’re a psychopath) to be displayed on the frame.

And this has been revolutionary.

Until I owned the smart display, thousands upon thousands of my photos just sat on my phone. I rarely looked at them, they simply existed. But the Lenovo Smart Display brought them to life. Each day, some of those pictures would bring a smile to my face.

So yeah, that’s why I’m sad the Lenovo Smart Display broke.

To conclude this piece, there’s one more question: what’s next? Well, to be honest, I’m not sure. Lenovo has released the new Smart Display 7, while the Google Nest Hub is also a fine piece of technology. And then there’s always the option of switching to Alexa and the upcoming Echo Show 10.

I’ll make the decision about what’s next soon, but until then? Well, you can find me mourning for my original Lenovo Smart Display. May god have mercy on your soul.

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