Thursday , October 18 2018 Ausdroid » News » A hands on look at the LG ThinQ WK9 and JBL Link View Smart Displays


The upcoming new Smart Displays which give Google Assistant a screen to display things on, are launching later this year – first in the US from July, but everywhere else later. We checked out the Lenovo 8″ and 10″ Smart Displays at Mobile World Congress, but we got the chance to check out the JBL and LG models here at Google I//O.

The JBL Link View is an oval shaped Smart Display, with an 8″ display built-in to the front and dual front-facing 10w speakers mounted either side of the screen and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera above. The JBL Link View is splash proof with an IPX4 rating, so you can safely use it in places like the kitchen. It’s essentially a Google Assistant powered smart speaker, so you can Chromecast to it, it listens for commands and it’s overall pretty cool.

The pill shape isn’t going to fit in everywhere but it has a certain appeal to it. The speaker has a microUSB port underneath next to the power input and it sits flat on a surface with the screen slightly tilted upwards.

JBL hasn’t yet announced pricing for the Link View, but it should be announced shortly ahead of their US launch in July.

If the pill shape of the JBL isn’t to your taste the LG Smart Display ThinQ WK9 may be more to your visual taste. The LG unit also includes an 8″ display with dual front-facing speakers either side powered by ‘Meridian Audio’s advanced technologies’. There’s no info on the LG site about the power of the dual speakers but they sound pretty decent.

As with the Lenovo and JBL Smart Displays the LG model is also compatible with all the usual Google Assistant features with Chromecast built-in. You can control all your smart home devices and there’s visual improvements to some Assistant as well like with the Trivia Game ‘Ok Google, let’s play a game’.

The LG ThinQ WK9 will sell for around $299USD when it hits the US market in July. You can check out the product page on LG’s US website.

One common feature I noted on all three (four if you count the two Lenovo models) of the Smart Displays coming is options to both mute the microphone, as well as manual cover slide for the camera on the units so you can effectively deafen and blind your Smart Display at will. These two additions will go a long way to assuage privacy fears for some users.

If you want a look at what the Smart Displays will do when they arrive, you can check out this hands-on demo from Mobile World Congress.

We’ve been given no direct launch dates for any of the Smart Displays in Australia but we hear that we may be seeing them by the end of the year.

Are you contemplating a Smart Display? Which one do you like the look of?

Daniel Tyson   Ausdroid's Editor in Chief

Dan is a die-hard Android fan. Some might even call him a lunatic. He's been an Android user since Android was a thing, and if there's a phone that's run Android, chances are he owns it (his Nexus collection is second-to-none) or has used it.

Dan's dedication to Ausdroid is without question, and he has represented us at some of the biggest international events in our industry including Google I/O, Mobile World Congress, CES and IFA.

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nigel
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nigel

they will slowly get thinner, then run apps, then…..oh, i just bought a tablet.

Jeni Skunk
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I’m most interested in the LG, to replace a well outdated tablet as bedside clock.

Fred
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Fred

They really make no sense.

Just do a proper tablet and have done with it. I mean, seriously, US$300 for an 8″ display, when Amazon charge US$60 for their 8″ tablet.

Quasar_
Ausdroid Reader

The Lenovo ones looked most interesting to me. Dunno if i will import or not. Probably will wait for reviews of final devices. Certainly not really a fan of the oval designs.

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