In a world that didn’t really ask for them, smart displays probably haven’t done as well as their creators would hope. But that hasn’t stopped Lenovo from announcing another one.
The company announced its latest ‘innovation’, the 27in ThinkSmart View Plus monitor, at the European Conference on Information Systems in Barcelona yesterday, along with the eye-watering price tag of $2,345 (R40,100).
Lenovo’s target customers for this one are office folks and those working from home that spend all day in video conferences… for some reason. Maybe this is one of those things that appear way too early and only take off in the future, after people realise its potential, like Bitcoin. Unlike Bitcoin, we doubt this is going to make anyone absurdly ‘wealthy’ and then bankrupt in the span of a few years.
‘Smart monitor’ might be an overstatement, Lenovo
If you completely ignore the whole ‘smart monitor’ angle, the Lenovo ThinkView Plus doesn’t seem like a completely terrible monitor. At 27in you’ll have a slightly bigger screen to look at, but it only offers a 1920 x 1080 resolution. We struggle to see how anyone could justify spending that much for these specs.
Connectivity options are slightly better with an HDMI and DisplayPort port along with two USB-A ports and one USB-C port. Unfortunately, none of the port versions were disclosed so they might not even be the new ones.
The probable cause of that seemingly ludicrous price tag is the internal Qualcomm QCS8250 System on a chip (SoC). It provides the monitor with WiFi 6 wireless connectivity and allows Microsoft Teams to run on an as-yet-unknown version of Android.
The SoC is also responsible for powering the AI-based features of the integrated 4K infrared RGB camera, such as automatic image-quality adjustments and auto-framing. There are four integrated microphones and a pair of 5W speakers, which are apparently detachable and upgradeable.
If for some reason you’re interested in picking one up for yourself, you’ll need to wait until later this year when they launch. Although, it’s not clear if they’ll be available here. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing.