Review: Lenovo Smart Display 7 Impressive But Compromised By Limitations
The Lenovo Smart Display 7 boasts of a sleek, sophisticated aesthetic that is well suited for any home or office environment, alongside the additional personalisation functions that enable optimal control for any user.
Featuring Google Assistant, the device can take your day to new levels of convenience with voice commands that will interpret and respond with clarity. In my experiences, the Lenovo Smart Display 7 never once faulted when I issued a voice demand.
The device uses Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and connected home features to give it smooth operations that can be connected to any home. With an array of stunning picture albums to use as a home screen, the device was a stunning and a useful addition to my desk space at work.
However, the Lenovo Smart Display 7 does not operate without a Wi-Fi connection, which was disappointing. I felt that it the device could still be provide functions for younger people who perhaps only relied on Personal Hotspot when they needed access to the internet but may still wish to view the time, set an alarm and have a nice, picturesque display at home.
Another aspect that hindered the device was the short cord that limited where it could go. With lots of smart home devices on the market now being offered as wireless, the small cord does seperate this device from the others – in all the wrong ways.
Aside from being dependant on a Wi-Fi connection and not being wireless, the set up was easy enough for an impatient young person who wants immediate rewards from an electronic product. Once connected to the internet, I could personalise my display, set alarms, access news and even be shown an array of different news broadcasts from my select media companies upon voice demand.
It proved useful throughout my day when I wanted to hear the latest news without distracting myself from my work – asking Google to show me the latest news resulting in broadcasts from ABC News, BBC News and The New York Times, as I had previously selected.
But I did find that this function could have been further enhanced if the display offered a bottom bar of upcoming news videos and services, instead of being a blank screen only showing what I was on display at that time. I felt as though my engagement in the news would have been much longer if I had more knowledge and control with what was coming up.
This being said, a simple touch of the next button on the touch screen moved onto the next broadcast easily enough, but without knowledge of what I was going to be shown, I mostly likely disengaged sooner rather than later.
Navigating the device was sometimes fidgety, with some controls not being as expansive as I would have liked. One example of this was the ‘Top stories for you’ section once I swiped right on the home page, which displayed a maximum of three stories.
Despite being a digital native, I haven’t yet figured out how to access more news stories aside from the random selections that was shown to me that was sometimes entirely unrelated to my interests.
The connectivity aspect of the device, however, worked well with music. After signing into my personal Spotify account, next to the news stories section, a display appeared of my latest music playlists that I could easily select to be played out loud.
Next to the Spotify feature sat a YouTube tab which also hosted three suggested videos, with a right arrow further taking me inside the app for more selections.
In another tab, four tabs were shown that offered popular functions, such as ‘What’s on my calendar?’ and ‘Set a timer’ – all very useful for a time poor user.
However, one embarrassing mishap was the final tab which offered ‘Explore more things your Assistant can do,’ which never opened for the first five days of my reviewing. Now, upon the function finally working, I can see an array of useful apps including checking movie times, setting reminders, finding recipes and translation tools.
Another shortcoming I felt was the devices inability to access Google Chrome, Safari or the internet browser in general for users to search for information that they cannot find through the device. A disappointing software feature that could have easily enhanced this device tenfold.
Overall, the Lenovo both surprised and delighted me for the majority of the time I spent reviewing it. I enjoyed having a smart and hassle-free desk assistant that effortlessly broadcasted news from my favourite journalists at just the sound of my voice and the display was brilliant.
I can very easily see this device being a fitting enhancement for any home or office space, if people are happy to accept the sometimes fidgety functions and lack of internet browser access.
For just $119 at JB Hi-Fi, the device is delivers value for the dollar indefinitely.