Lenovo Smart Display M10 review: a great bedside companion

Lenovo Smart Display - Feature

Now that I have grabbed your attention with that double entendre, let’s talk about the Lenovo Smart Display M10. The name is enough to tell you what this product can do. The Smart Display M10 slots itself in the emerging category of smart speakers with an attached display. Currently, this category of devices includes options such as the Google Nest Hub and the Amazon Echo Show. 

After using the Smart Display M10 for more than a month now, there’s something completely unique about it that makes me want to use it often.

Design 

That the Smart Display M10 is a behemoth would be an understatement. In a day and age where tech designs are increasingly becoming minimalistic, the Smart Display M10 has no qualms hiding its size. Moreover, the design is unique in the sense that the display is mounted on a body that looks conventional from the front but is totally whacky on the rear. The 10.1-inch IPS LCD panel is slotted inside a plastic body and a massive front-firing speaker grille sits right next to it. Under that grille is a 10W speaker supported by two passive radiators. 

Lenovo Smart Display7
Lenovo Smart Display2

This is not the typical setup you get on most smart speakers. For the asking price, the sound punches above its weight and can easily fill up a 250 sq.ft room. Plus, the bass is fairly tight. However, I would have liked it if Lenovo could’ve worked on some sort of stereo separation and soundstaging. Because, in its current state, it sounds a little lifeless when you are listening to well-recorded tunes. But, I doubt the general consumer will mind that. 

Coming back to the rear, you get a wood-paneled structure that extends outward from the right edge. This helps the Smart Display M10 to be propped up horizontally and vertically. Therefore, if you are strapped for horizontal space on the surface where you intend to place the display, you can very well perch it up vertically. That said, the software doesn’t orient itself vertically which is a big bummer.

Anyway, the one thing that is a big USP for the Smart Display M10 is the built-in camera. The Nest Hub doesn’t have one. This means that you can make Duo calls to a contact on your phone. And, this is where the vertical orientation comes in handy. 

Interestingly, Lenovo has also added a slider to shut the camera when not in use. This is great because you know that the company cares for your privacy. 

Functionality and smarts

Okay, so what can this Smart Display M10 do? Simple:

  1. Use Google’s excellent Voice Assistant to answer your queries, most of them anyway
  2. Function as a photo frame for your Google Photos albums
  3. Playback videos from YouTube
  4. Play Music from apps like Spotify, Gaana, Saavn
  5. Set alarms, timers, and reminders
  6. Playback your morning News bulletin and give you Weather updates

And, all of this works really, really well. You can control all the functions of the Smart Display M10 using only your voice. You can choose to use the touchscreen if you want to but it is a little sluggish to touch and I’d suggest against it. What makes it different from a regular speaker is the display and what it can do with voice commands. For example, if you ask for a joke, it gives you visual feedback. Even a simple command like asking for the Weather gives you a detailed visual representation. This adds to the user experience. And ergo, it works perfectly as a bedside companion. 

Should you buy the Lenovo Smart Display M10 in India?

The Lenovo Smart Display M10 is a cool product that costs Rs 13,999. I can easily recommend it to anyone looking for a Smart Display. But yeah, if you want something more compact and contemporary-looking with its fabric-covered body, Google’s very own Nest Hub could be a better option. Furthermore, the Nest Hub has a far more compelling display with a good ambient sensor compared to the Smart Display M10. The problem with M10’s 1280×800 res display is the Colour Tone Sensor is too aggressive. 

Compared to the Amazon Echo Show, I’d take the Smart Display 10 only because it is far more affordable and still offers a lot of similar features. 

Let me know what you guys think in the comments section below. 

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Ershad Kaleebullah
ershad.kaleebullah@u2opiamobile.com

When Ershad isn't writing, he spends time killing virtual zombies on his PS4. Having worked with a slew of renowned publications like PCWorld, Channelworld, CIO, NDTV Gadgets (now Gadgets360), MySmartPrice, The Inquistr, and 91Mobiles, Ershad brings a whole world of experience to Mr. Phone. He is trying hard to convert all the team members into Apple fans but is facing a lot of resistance. Is anyone willing to help?