Now that the smart speaker has become established as a key part of the well-appointed smart home, it only follows that they’d advance that category by adding a screen to the equation.

This blossoming category of smart-home tech combines the always-listening voice assistance of a smart speaker with a touchscreen for watching videos, controlling your smart home and more.

These are CNET’s top picks for the best smart displays of 2019.

Google Nest Hub

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 (outstanding).

The good: The Google Nest Hub’s touchscreen is responsive and works well in combination with Google Assistant, whether you ask for help on a recipe or to check what’s on your calendar. Pictures and videos look particularly crisp thanks to an ambient light sensor that adapts the screen brightness and warmth to match the room. A control panel screen makes it easy to organize and control your smart home devices.

The bad: The sound quality is fine for background music, but nowhere near the level of other smart displays like the Amazon Echo Show or the JBL Link View. It’s more on par with the diminutive Google Home Mini.

The cost: $79.99 to $129.

The bottom line: The cameraless, petite Google Nest Hub will blend into any room in your home. It’s affordable, and quite useful as a digital assistant (especially in the kitchen), a photo frame and a smart-home control panel.

Lenovo Smart Display 10

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 (outstanding).

The good: The Lenovo Smart Display is a great kitchen assistant with an elegant design and a high-resolution touchscreen. It multitasks well, responds quickly to both touch and voice commands and offers a rich, personalized home screen and a customizeable ambient mode.

The bad: It would be nice if the screen would do more when you play games or listen to music. You’re limited to Google Duo for making voice calls. Scrolling through content with your voice can be tedious.

The cost: $197.97 to $249.99.

The bottom line: If you’d like visual recipe help in the kitchen, the Lenovo Smart Display performs that task exceedingly well and everything else well enough that it deserves your consideration.

JBL Link View

Rating: 4.0 stars out of 5 (excellent).

The good: The JBL Link View sounds great playing music, particularly with bass-heavy tracks. Thanks to Google Assistant, the Link View works best as a kitchen assistant, with a great guided recipe system, an attractive touchscreen and a knack for multitasking.

The bad: You can’t adjust the EQ settings of the music. It can be a pain to scroll through content with your voice. You can only make video calls with Google Duo.

The cost: $245.95 to $245.99.

The bottom line: The JBL Link View is worth the price if you want a capable kitchen helper that can blast your music while you work.

Amazon Echo Show 5

Rating: 4.0 stars out of 5 (excellent).

The good: The Amazon Echo Show 5 packs a lot of features into a compact smart display that can easily fit on your nightstand. The sunrise alarms make getting out of bed easy. The new smart home control panel gives you a handy way to control your gadgets with a touch. Plus, you have access to all of Alexa’s voice commands and a few handy privacy features like a physical shutter.

The bad: The similar Google Nest Hub is better at showing your pictures, walking you through recipes and organizing your smart home. The Show 5’s screen is a little too bright for a darkened room. You can’t customize your snooze times, see your commands or set a sunrise alarm outside of certain hours.

The cost: $89.99.

The bottom line: The Amazon Echo Show 5 isn’t quite as good as the Google Nest Hub, but it’s a solid smart display that’s particularly compelling as a smart alarm clock.

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