A couple of weeks ago, I got my hands on Google Home and immediately set out to use it and record myinitial impressions. Now that I've given this odd little device a chance to prove its worth in my home, the time has come to finish the review. Out of the gate, I must confess to a little personal surprise at just how little my opinions have changed from the first 24 hours I had to spend with the device. As such, I'm not going to repeat everything I said in my first post. This is an addendum. I will touch on all of the subjects again and add details where there is more to say – because there is still a lot to say. Also, I want to thank the commenters on that post for bringing up subjects and questions. I've tried to address most of them here.
Look and design
The upper portion of Google Home is made entirely of white matte plastic with an off-angle slice across the top. Hidden within the plastic is a ring of multi-color LEDs that light up to show when Google Home is listening or working to complete a request. The bottom portion is dedicated to a speaker for music and responding to users, but it's hidden inside an interchangeable shell. Google is selling these either with a fabric layer or solid metal.
That's how you might describe Google Home, but it doesn't really convey its design, which is a pretty tricky thing to explain. It's a work of art in the realm of subtlety – both interesting and utterly forgettable. Everything about this device is designed to be easy to ignore. There are no shiny parts (unless you put on a metal base) and everything about it is non-descript. It even shares a couple of physical similarities to a Renuzit air freshener; and I've got no doubt that was an intentional decision to encourage people to glance at it and immediately dismiss it as something else.
This all serves to be a reminder that Google Home isn't a conversation piece or a piece of tech to show off. It's an appliance that you install and use. Period