Samsung announced US pricing and release information for its new trio of “smart monitors” — its computer displays that can also function as tiny smart TVs. So you get HDMI and USB ports for connecting peripherals, as well as built-in video streaming apps like Netflix and YouTube, AirPlay support and Samsung’s Game Center with access to cloud gaming services from Xbox and Nvidia in select countries.
At the bottom of the range is the 1080p Samsung M5 (technically the M50C), which starts at $279.99 for the 27-inch model and rises 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 the M8 (M80C — $649.99 for 27-inch, $699.99 for 32-inch). The monitors will be available in the US from June. According to Samsung’s press release. The Smart Monitor was the M80C first announced at CES in January.
Although Samsung has offered this monitor and TV functionality since 2020, it’s new for this year “My Content” feature It is designed to display a “welcome screen” with photos, calendar entries and weather information on the screen when it detects your smartphone nearby. It’s similar to the kind of information you’d expect to see on a smart display from Amazon or Google, albeit more limited in scope (and without a touchscreen).
Otherwise, the specifications of the monitors are roughly the same as what we have seen in previous years. All three models come with built-in speakers, a 60Hz refresh rate and an in-box remote, but the M8 is the most feature-rich of the bunch. It has 4K, 400 nits peak brightness with HDR10 Plus support and comes with an in-box webcam 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.
Step down to the M7, meanwhile, and peak brightness drops to 300 nits, there’s HDR10, not HDR10 Plus, and you don’t get a SmartThings Hub or a webcam in the box. But there’s still support for a voice assistant like Alexa, a swiveling and tilting height-adjustable stand, and voice assistant support via a 65W USB-C port and two USB-A ports, in addition to an HDMI 2.0 port.
Finally, the M5 is only 1080p, with a peak brightness of 250 nits. There’s no USB-C (but you do get an extra HDMI port as a consolation prize), nor is there support for voice assistants.
As in previous years, Samsung’s 2023 smart monitors seem to aim to be jack of all trades and masters of none. 60Hz refresh rates mean they won’t compete with more premium gaming monitors, and their small size and limited port selection will put off many TV buyers. But if you’re limited on space and need a screen to do it all, Samsung’s smart monitors are bold box ticks.