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Samsung’s 2023 smart monitors aim to do it all

Samsung has announced US pricing and release information for a trio of new “smart monitors” – its line of computer displays that can also function as small smart TVs. So you get HDMI and USB ports for plugging in peripherals, but also built-in video streaming apps like Netflix and YouTube, AirPlay support, and Samsung’s gaming hub with access to Samsung’s cloud gaming services. Xbox and Nvidia in some countries.

At the lower end of the range is the 1080p Samsung M5 (technically the M50C) which starts at $279.99 for the 27-inch model, rising to $299.99 for the 32-inch version. Then there’s the 4K M7 (M70C – $549.99 for 27-inch, $599.99 for 32-inch) and M8 (M80C – $649.99 for 27-inch, $699.99 for 32-inch). In the US, the monitors will be available from June, according to Samsung’s press release. The Smart Monitor M80C was originally announced in January at CES.

Samsung’s M7 smart monitor.
Picture: Samsung

While Samsung has offered this mix of monitor and TV features since 2020, new this year is a “My Content” feature designed to display a “welcome screen” on the screen with photos, calendar entries and weather information when it detects your smartphone nearby. It looks like the kind of information you might expect to see on a smart display from Amazon or Google, although their scope is more limited (and without the touchscreen).

Otherwise, monitor specs are pretty much in line with what we’ve seen in previous years. All three models come with built-in speakers, 60Hz refresh rates, and in-box remotes, but the M8 is the most feature-packed of the bunch. It’s 4K with HDR10 Plus support, has a peak brightness of 400 nits, and comes with a webcam in the box for video calling. It has a built-in SmartThings hub to control compatible smart home devices and comes in a choice of white, pink, blue or green colours.

Upgrade to the M7, meanwhile, and peak brightness drops to 300 nits, there’s HDR10 rather than HDR10 Plus, and you don’t get a SmartThings hub or webcam in the box. But there’s still voice assistant support via Alexa, a height-adjustable stand that can swivel and tilt, and a 65W USB-C port in addition to an HDMI 2.0 port and two USB- AT.

Finally, the M5 is only 1080p, with a maximum brightness of 250 nits. There’s no USB-C (but you do get an extra HDMI port as a consolation prize), nor does it support voice assistants.

As in previous years, Samsung’s 2023 smart monitors appear to be aiming to be jack-of-all-trades and master of none. The 60Hz refresh rates mean they’re not going to compete with more high-end gaming monitors, and their small sizes and limited selection of ports will be off-putting to many TV buyers. But if you’re limited by space and need one screen to do it all, Samsung’s smart monitors are stalwart box-tickers.


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