The demand for high performance computing in laptops has never been greater.
Google Home Mini smart speaker review
- Access to Google Assistant
- Underwhelming music sound quality
- No audio line-out
As long as you don't care about music quality, the Mini is a welcome addition to the Google Home smart speaker family.
Price$ 79.00 (AUD)
Talkative smart speakers are jostling for position at the heart of Australian smart homes, with the tiny Google Home Mini making it easier than ever to bring Google Assistant to life.
Google has a head start in Australia's smart speaker war, while we wait for Amazon's Echo speakers running the Alexa smart assistant – which should arrive in the next few months along with Apple's Siri-powered HomePod.
Following Amazon's lead with the Echo Dot, Google has unveiled the Home Mini as an affordable little brother for the $199 Google Home speaker. Both tech giants want to bring their talkative smart assistants to every corner of our homes, so interacting with them becomes second nature in the post-smartphone age.
The Home Mini has the same footprint as the standard Google Home speaker, around the size of a 600ml carton of milk, but it's only a quarter the height so it's easier to hide away on your kitchen bench, coffee table or bedside table.
A cloth top, available in a choice of three colours, hides four lights which shine when you have the speaker's attention. It doesn't start listening until you say "Okay Google", with the ability to recognise multiple voices, but there's also a physical switch to disable the mic when you want some privacy.
While the speaker is voice-controlled, you can also tap the sides to manually adjust the volume. One frustration with both the Home and Home Mini is that they don't feature separate volume controls for the Google Assistant voice and music, so if you've turned it up to hear the voice across the room it's often too loud when you play music – streaming from services like Google Play Music and Spotify.
Google is working on a solution for this volume issue, which will hopefully be in place before the Sonos-style Google Home Max speaker is launched – with its extra grunt you wouldn't want Google Assistant shouting at you.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P30 Pro review: A photography powerhouse that leans into and elevates its natural strengths
- 2 Samsung Galaxy S10 review: Messy decisions mar smart evolutions
- 3 Nokia 8.1 review: The more things change, the more they stay the same
- 4 Huawei Watch GT review: Battery life isn't everything
- 5 Oppo AX7 review: New looks, same old budget buy
Latest News Articles
- Australian pricing and availability detailed for Hisenses' 2019 TV range
- Amazon expand Australian offering with Echo Link and Echo Link Amp
- IKEA's Sonos-powered SYMFONISK lamp-speaker gets confirmed for Australia
- Samsung show off their shiny new 2019 QLEDs
- The Amazon Echo Input is now available in Australia
PCW Evaluation Team
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
- Huawei P30 Pro: Full, in-depth review
- Panasonic Lumix S1 review
- Want to play Apex Legends?
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?