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Google has intensified competition in the smart display screen market, by unveiling its new ‘Home Hub’ overnight. The device is scheduled to hit Aussie stores October 23, and will compete against Amazon’s Echo Show (A$349).

The Home Hub will retail for A$219, with pre-orders available on Google’s Aussie website here.

Local retail partners include the likes of Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi, The Good Guys and Officeworks, with Google reportedly retaining exclusivity of the ‘Aqua’ and ‘Sand’ variants.

Retail and telco partners (e.g. Optus, Vodafone and Telstra) are said to stock the ‘Charcoal’ and ‘Chalk’ models only.

Pre-orders are also open on retailer websites – e.g. JB Hi-Fi (here), Harvey Norman (here) and Officeworks, with the later offering the product for A$218.

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Users can interact with the Home Hub as though any other Google Assistant smart speaker, with the addition of visual displays for viewing photos, playing video and more.

Whilst Lenovo’s Smart Display and JBL’s Link View are also powered by Google Assistant, Amazon’s new Echo Show runs via Alexa.

As a notable con, the Home Hub does not incorporate a built-in camera, meaning video chatting is not an option, unlike Amazon’s Echo Show or the new Facebook Portal.

Watch the Google Home Hub in action below:

The Home Hub incorporates a 7-inch touch screen with fabric wrapped speakers, and claims to offer hands-free photo YouTube and Google Photo consumption.

Google claims the absence of a camera facilitates its placement in ‘private’ areas (e.g. a bedroom), free from a potential webcam hack.

Integrating with Google’s software back-end (e.g. Google Photos, Gmail etc) is a notable advantage, with reminders and meetings syncing to a compatible smartphone, and vice versa, with ease.

Further information is available on Google’s website here, with technical specifications below:

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