Update, August 28, 2018 (1:32AM ET): JBL originally listed a September 3 shipping date for its Link View Smart Display, but it looks like buyers will have to wait a little longer…
According to the JBL website, the Smart Display is now expected to ship on September 13. It’s not a massive delay, but it means Lenovo is still the only major Smart Display vendor on the market right now.
JBL’s audio expertise should help make this an interesting prospect for the smart display world, and the Link View will also include a splash-proof design, as well as a privacy switch to disable the microphone and turn off the camera.
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Original article, August 1, 2018 (3:06PM ET): At Google’s I/O 2018 developer conference, Google announced that Smart Displays would start to ship sometime in July. Lenovo was the only company to meet this deadline as it began to sell its two Smart Displays just last week. Now, JBL has the Link View Smart Display available for pre-order, but customers won’t receive it until September 3.
The Link View features an 8-inch 720p display made for looking at visual responses from the Google Assistant, videos, and more. While the screen resolution isn’t impressive as most people carry around smartphones with 1440p displays, it does get the job done.
The primary feature that makes the Link View stand out from the competition is the inclusion of two 51mm 10W front-facing speakers. As JBL has a reputation for quality audio, this Smart Display should sound better than most Google Assistant devices.
Speaking of audio quality, users will be able to play music on the Link View via Bluetooth, Chromecast, or by requesting specific songs or podcasts from popular streaming services.
As the $249 Smart Display is potentially going to sit in customer’s kitchens, the Link View is IPX4 splash-proof. This way if water, grease, or any other liquid accidentally gets onto the device, nothing should be affected. Additionally, JBL includes a slider that will turn off and cover the Smart Display’s 5MP camera and mute the mic.
At this time, the only other Smart Display that we’re still waiting to learn more about is the LG ThinQ View. There has been no word yet on if Google plans to release a Smart Display of its own any time soon.