Why a Samsung Smart Monitor is different

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For years, your computer’s monitor hasn’t needed to be smart. After all, being smart was your computer’s job. But that was back in the days when a computer was relegated to the study or a nook. Today, with WFH a normality and so much you can get done at a desk (work or play), the age of the smart monitor has dawned. 

So what makes a smart monitor? With Samsung’s M-series, flagshipped by the 32 inch Smart Monitor M8 , you get the excellent picture quality you expect for your computer, plus a whole host of extra features that let you do so much more. From your favourite streaming apps1, to controlling your compatible smart home devices2, you can even experience productivity without a computer via Microsoft 3653. And it’s all wrapped in an iconic slim design that looks amazing in any décor.

When is a TV not a TV?

TVs and computer monitors use similar technology to show images and video, but computer monitors have typically focused on very precise static image control and connectivity with a PC. However, in recent years we’ve seen game and video controls make their way to computer monitors too. A Samsung Smart Monitor, though, is something altogether different.

There’s that UHD (3140×2160) resolution and 3000:1 contrast ratio you’d expect for precision desktop work, but they also include an onboard Wi-Fi adaptor, and a smart-TV-like interface (powered by Samsung’s Tizen operating system). So once the work is done, a simple press of the monitor’s remote brings up all your favourite entertainment right there, without any need to wrestle with sources or switch on another box.

Entertainment in every space

It’s called Samsung TV Plus, and it includes free live content that requires no downloads or sign-up, as well as the streaming apps you’ve come to know and love like Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV+ and more.4 If you can already use a smart TV, you already know how to use your Samsung Smart Monitor as an entertainment hub in your space, it’s as easy as that.

And don’t worry about image quality. The flagship Samsung Smart Monitor M8 has HDR10 and HDR10+ to bring out every nuance in dark scenes, and a billion colours to make whatever you’re watching seem more than lifelike. There’s also Samsung’s Adaptive Sound+ for crystal clear audio no matter the source, and Adaptive Picture to make watching even in broad daylight a joy.

Detachable SlimFit webcam

In recent years, computer monitors have lagged the displays built into laptops in one important respect. Sure, a desktop display is bigger, but it usually lacks a built-in webcam like a laptop, or has to make do with a tiny little camera wedged into the top bezel. The Samsung Smart Monitor M8 changes that with its magnetically attaching SlimFit webcam module. It integrates neatly into the back of the monitor, and the camera itself pops over the top. 

Having a free-standing camera allows the Smart Monitor M8 to offer a bunch more camera features, such as tilting to get that perfect angle for a video conference. There’s also Face Tracking and Auto Zoom, which when used with compatible video call software (such as Google Duo), keeps you in the frame even if you move around your space, and ensures your chat participants can always see you clearly.5

And if you’re ever concerned about privacy, not only can you pop a cover over the camera’s lens, you can even remove the whole SlimFit module entirely for the ultimate in peace of mind.

A PC workspace… without a PC

One thing that computer monitors have always needed is, well, a computer. Whether that’s a laptop using a video out cable, or a dedicated desktop tower PC, you can’t do much on a monitor without a computer, right? 

A Samsung Smart Monitor changes this up with built-in productivity apps, including Microsoft 365.6 That’s the online version of the productivity software you’ve used for years, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more. All you need to do is connect the smart monitor to your Wi-Fi, sign in with your Microsoft account, and add a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard. You can also use Microsoft 365 to access a remote PC.

If you’re a Samsung smartphone user, you can also connect your phone in desktop mode, called Samsung DeX, for a more desktop-like experience and still access all your phone apps, contacts, emails, photos, and other content right at your fingertips.7 

One cable, lotsa uses

Speaking of connectivity, computer monitors are notorious for having a rear panel packed with confusing (and often never-used) sockets. DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort – all have their advantages and disadvantages, but the Samsung M8 Smart Monitor simplifies all of this with a single USB-C port. With USB-C you can connect image, audio, and data all through a single compatible cable, and as long as your device supports it, this can be to a desktop PC, smartphone, or tablet.9 (One-cable USB-C connectivity is also available on the M7 Smart Monitor – see below.)

Game harder and wider

Let’s talk gaming. The Samsung Smart Monitor range includes gaming modes and Samsung’s Game Bar, an on-screen menu that lets you adjust game-related settings including response time, sound output (to the monitor’s built-in speakers or an external audio device), and aspect ratio. This is ideal for competitive gaming, where you can change your monitor’s native 16:9 aspect ratio to instead show a 21:9 image, like an ultrawide monitor. Depending on the game, this may let you see more of your environment and give you a killer edge. 

And to help ensure there is a screen for every type of gamer, Game Bar features alongside Samsung’s Smart TV experience in the premium 55 inch Samsung Odyssey Ark personal gaming theatre and the  Odyssey G6 curved QLED QHD gaming monitor (available in 27 and 32 inches). 

A smart monitor in a smart home 

Work, games, streaming, and computerless productivity. Surely that rounds out the Samsung Smart Monitor M8 repertoire? But no. Thanks to that built-in Wi-Fi module, you can also use the M8 (and others in the range, such as the M7 and M5) as an IoT control hub for your smart home. 

If you use SmartThings compatible devices, from lights to blinds, AC or smart speaker, you can control it all via the smart monitor, for a perfectly relaxed evening.11 And you can make it all happen via voice control, with support for Samsung’s Bixby and Amazon’s Alexa too.12 You can even use Apple AirPlay to connect devices with a tap or two and enjoy content from your Apple phones, tablets and computers on the bigger screen4.

Meet the family

As mentioned, the Samsung Smart Monitor M8 is the range flagship, so let’s meet a couple of the others and how they tailor their features to your particular needs.

Samsung Smart Monitor M7

At first glance, you might think of the M7 as a more ‘traditional’ monitor design, but it packs the same smart features as the M8 (and the same UHD 3140 x 2160 resolution), including Samsung Smart TV and PC-less Workspace. However, it also includes two HDMI2.0 ports to connect additional devices, and a USB hub for external hard drives and other productivity peripherals. It comes in a conventional 32 inch and a massive 43 inch version, and is a great go-to for families in need of more than one monitor in the house.

Samsung Smart Monitor M5

Ideal for a student looking to maximise space and value – or even as second (or third!) display – the M5 is a full HD (1920×1080) monitor with two HDMI inputs for a computer and a second device. There are also two USB ports for peripherals like hard drives or cameras. Don’t let the spec fool you – the M5 still includes all the smart functionality you need, from Samsung Smart TV to that PC-less Workspace mode via Microsoft 365. It also works as a smart home hub for Samsung’s SmartThings. You can grab an M5 in 32 inch or a space-saving 27 inch, and like the M7 Samsung Smart Monitor, it comes in black or white. 

Read more Samsung articles on GadgetGuy

  1. A Wi-Fi connection is required.

2. Requires a Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or other wireless network connection and devices registered to SmartThings app. For full compatible device list, please check https://www.smartthings.com/products.

3. Microsoft 365 requires Microsoft account.4. App availability may vary by country and separate subscriptions may be required. Requires internet connection and TV tuner is not included.

4. App availability is subject to change without notice.  Subscriptions and internet connection required.

5. Face Tracking and Auto Zoom work on the integrated apps only. 

6.  Microsoft 365 requires Microsoft account. Fees may apply. 

7. Wireless DeX supported on selected Galaxy, Note, and Tab devices. 

8. Microsoft 365 requires Microsoft account. 

9. USB Type-A devices can be connected with a USB Type-C to USB Type-A adapter (must be purchased separately). 

10. Availability limited to source devices which support 21:9 output. **May function differently depending on game or content being viewed. 

11. Available technology, are subject to change without notice. Requires a Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or other wireless network connection and devices registered to SmartThings app. A separate SmartThings Dongle is required to connect to Zigbee devices. (Connection to Z-Wave device is not supported). Connected devices are sold separately. For full compatible device list, please check https://www.smartthings.com/products.

12. Voice commands recognise English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Chinese and Korean. Not all accents, dialects and expressions recognised. Supported languages may differ between Bixby and Alexa. Amazon, Alexa and all related logos are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.