Lenovo sells quite pricey ThinkSmart Hub conferencing devices, and It also sells far less expensive smart displays. This week at CES, it announced that it will be crossing the streams on the two distinct product lines with the arrival of the ThinkSmart View. The device looks to essentially be a Google Assistant-style smart display, repurposed for the office setting.
Instead of centering around Google’s home AI, the new Lenovo system is essentially powered by Microsoft Teams. It’s a way for offices to offer up a devoted Teams audio/video conferencing device at the fraction of the cost of its other enterprise solutions. The price of ThinkSmart View starts at $349 (or $449 with an included pair of Bluetooth headphones for open offices). Compare that the $1,800 asking rate for last year’s ThinkSmart Hub 500.
This device will probably make more sense for smaller conference rooms and SMBs on higher budgets. It could also work at individual desks or for remote workers, though it’s going to make heavy use to justify the purchase of one of these, versus just installing Teams on your PCs. Still, it’s an interesting push for the smart display, as manufacturers look for life beyond the kitchen and bedroom.
Benefits to ThinkSmart View includes quick access to Teams meetings and a physical shutter for privacy. No reason why Lenovo couldn’t also do one of these for Google office Hangouts, as well. They certainly beat paying exorbitant prices for one of those Microsoft or Google smart whiteboards.
The ThinkSmart View is set to launch this month.