Alongside the new Pixel 3 and Chromecast, Google announced also recently announced the Google Home Hub. The Hub is Google’s first entry into the smart display market, aiming to improve on the smart speaker formula by throwing video and touch screen interactions into the mix.

The Google Home Hub looks and feels much like its other products. A grey fabric texture covers the speaker returns, and the rest of the hub is clad in a utilitarian white plastic. You’ll find the familiar microphone mute slider on the rear, accompanied by a volume rocker on one side. The hub isn’t powered by a USB port like the Home Mini but takes an older looking DC adapter from the original Google Home.

Honestly, I think the Home Hub seems a little cheap, down solely to the 7-inch, 1,024 x 600 resolution display. It looks like a bog standard white-box tablet stuck on a speaker. The bezels are too fat and softly curved to make for an appealing photo frame, yet there isn’t a clear need for them outside of housing the small ambient light sensor at the top. The Home Hub isn’t ugly as such, but it certainly doesn’t radiate good taste. There are chalk, charcoal, aqua, and sand color options, but you’re out of luck if you don’t like the pastel palette. At $149 (139 pounds in the U.K.) I suppose we can’t have it all.

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