JBL Link View is a smart speaker with a twist, it sports an 8-inch HD display.
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas brought us a ton of new technology. We did not exactly see that many smartphones being announced, as expected, but we did get a ton of IoT and audio-related products, such as smart speakers which are compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Having said that, we're handing out awards in various different categories this year, as we do every year for CES, and in this article we're handing out one such award for the "Best Smart Speaker" that got announced at CES 2018. We've decided to hand that award to one of JBL's products, the JBL Link View smart speaker.
As already mentioned, we've seen quite a few interesting smart speakers at CES 2018, but the JBL Link View definitely belongs in the most interesting ones. This speaker, interestingly enough, comes with a rather large display on its front side, and it's egg-shaped, sort of. This speaker is meant to be placed horizontally wherever you want, and it works with both Google Assistant and Nest cams, and the same can be said for some other Google products as well. Now, the aforementioned speaker measures 8-inches, and we're looking at an HD (1280 x 720) panel here. Now, this display gives you a ton of usability, you can, for example, make video calls, using this speaker, while you can also fire up the YouTube app and watch some of the videos you've subscribed to.
We cannot really say that this speaker can replace your tablet, or phablet, no, not at all, but it can be used for certain actions that you would use either of those two devices for, which is quite interesting, considering that this is mainly a speaker. If you are, for example, in your kitchen, cooking, and this speaker is right next to you, you can check out some recipes that are needed for the meal. This way, you have a visual representation of what ingredients are necessary and what's the exact procedure to cook something, for example, which is far more convenient than getting audio instructions or something of the sort.
Now, let's not forget the audio aspect of this speaker, as the JBL Link View comes with two front-facing 10W speakers, and a rear-facing passive radiator for deeper bass. In addition to all that, you're also getting 24-bit HD audio streaming, not to mention that the JBL Link View has a built-in Chromecast, which allows you to stream pretty much anything to this speaker. Google is also rumored to release a smart speaker, or a similar device, that will ship with a display, but it seems like JBL Link View will be the first to do so. In case you're wondering how much this speaker costs, we cannot answer that as of yet, as JBL did not share such info, but we do know that it will be available in stores by summer of 2018, so… the company will hopefully release more info soon. The JBL Link View sure is an interesting speaker, and if JBL gets the price right, it could become quite popular out there. All in all, this is the best smart speaker of CES 2018, at least according to us, and we will keep you updated when it comes to this speaker's pricing and general availability, so stay tuned for that. If you'd like to take a closer look at the JBL Link View, check out our hands-on coverage of the device.