Best Buy is bundling the new Lenovo Smart Display with the Google Home Mini

Apparently, the analysts at Best Buy are on to us after we reported how well the new Lenovo Smart Display works, especially in the kitchen. Now PhoneArena is reporting that Best Buy is including a complimentary Google Home Mini with the $199 8-inch Lenovo Smart Display, automatically saving you $49.

Naturally, Google Assistant is the key to both devices, relying heavily on voice-activated commands, some light artificial intelligence, and a host of ever-evolving Google Assistant apps.

Because it was built for both voice and music applications, the sound on the Google Home Mini makes it a great companion for the office or kitchen, enabling users to play music, listen to podcasts, and catch up on the news, although it’s still up to debate whether the screenless speaker or the display has better sound.

But the incredible resolution of the Lenovo Smart Display — 1,920 x 1,200 on the 10-inch screen and 1,280 x 800 on the 8-inch model — accentuates and augments all the things that the Google Home Mini is designed to enable. It makes a great visual companion when users can customize the home screen with snapshots from Google Photos or just about any other source. Users can also use it to augment the recipes that the Google Home Mini can read out loud by tossing up videos to help users with any tricky parts of a new recipe.

The Google Home Mini is a really constructive tool but the augmentation of visuals and video that the Lenovo Smart Display can display just boosts the appeal of many of the apps that the Google Home Mini is designed to run. From YouTube videos to networked security systems (such as live feeds from a Nest security cam) to home video, the Lenovo Smart Display is a steal at its retail price, let alone tossing in a free $50 Google Home Mini.

However, it’s always good to remember that this is just another example of Google’s determination to win the smart speaker war against Apple. From giving away the devices along with donuts to holiday discounts, it’s still possible to grab a Google Home Mini from time to time. It might just make good business sense, since no less than Morgan Stanley has advised Google to simply give away the devices for free.

Product Review

Invisible until you need it, SimpliSafe is a no-hassle way to watch your home

These days, there a lot of do-it-yourself home security systems out there. How do you choose? Simplisafe’s latest offering brings together beautiful hardware and the ability to customize your home security package. We do wish that we…
Computing

Tired of choosing between Windows and Mac? Check out these Chromebooks instead

We've compiled a list of the best Chromebooks -- laptops that combine great battery life, comfortable keyboards, and the performance it takes to run Google's lightweight Chrome OS. From Samsung to Acer, these are the Chromebooks that really…
Home Theater

Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra: Everything you need to know

Google's Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port, allowing you to stream content from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone directly to your TV. Here's what you need to know about all iterations, including the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra.
Smart Home

Google Assistant will now help Simplisafe keep homes secure

SimpliSafe has added Google Assistant voice commands to its home security system. Customers can now use Google Assistant commands to configure, arm, and check their home security system components.
Smart Home

Images of Google Home Hub leak ahead of company’s October hardware event

Google Assistant has the capability to work with displays. A set of leaked images suggest Google plans to take advantage of this feature with its new Home Hub, an Echo Show-type device.
Smart Home

It cooks! It blends! Instant Pot strikes again with a blender that can cook

From the creators of the popular Instant Pot electronic pressure cooker comes the Instant Pot Ace blender, which can both cook and pulverize food. It turns soups, purees and the like into one-pitcher operations.
Smart Home

5 lessons from Amazon’s head-spinning, head-splitting Alexa fiesta

Yesterday’s surprise Alexa announcement was a deluge of fast-paced devices and software announcements. Here are five takeaways from the event (hint: one is a prediction of Amazon world domination).
Smart Home

New to Instant Pot? A no-pressure guide to using the popular pressure cooker

The versatility of the Instant Pot makes it a great kitchen companion, but it also makes the multicooker a little intimidating if you're a newbie. Here are some tips on how to use the magical device.
Smart Home

Rise and shine with the best alarm clocks to kick-start your day

People are finicky about their sleeping habits, but, fortunately, the best alarm clocks can probably match your lifestyle and budget. Here are some of our current favorites, including the Amazon Echo Spot.
Smart Home

Amazon’s partnership with SideChef makes Alexa your sous chef

Amazon and SideChef are cooking up a new interactive kitchen experience as Amazon integrates SideChef's recipes into its new Echo devices, enabling users to access recipes, photos, and video demos.
Smart Home

A study says kids and security spur people’s smart home purchases

Why are more people inviting internet-connected smart home devices into their households? According to a survey sponsored by Home Depot, the growth is primarily being driven by children and security.
Product Review

Alexa microwaved my corn and it creeped me out

When Amazon introduced its Alexa-compatible microwave, we found the concept strange. Our second thought was whether it would also be an Amazon speaker. We got our hands on the appliance at Amazon’s event. Here’s what we learned.
Smart Home

Second-gen vs. third-gen Echo Dot: What’s the difference?

Amazon's latest Dot promises better sound and a softer appearance than its predecessor for a few dollars more. If you're still debating between the second and third-generation models, here's what you need to know.
Product Review

Bigger, louder, smarter: The new Echo Show is better in every way

The pressure was on to make a bigger, better Echo Show device, and Amazon delivered. Featuring a larger screen and better sound, the new Show is a combined smart speaker, TV, and overall entertainment center in one.