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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 lineup of computer displays that can also serve as tiny 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 in select countries, along with access to cloud gaming services from Xbox and Nvidia.

At the bottom 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 the M8 ($649.99 for 27-inch, $699.99 for 32-inch). According to Samsung’s press release, the monitors will be available in the US starting in June. The Smart Monitor M80C was originally announced at CES in January.

Samsung’s M7 Smart Monitor.
Image: Samsung

While Samsung has been offering this mix of monitor and TV functionality since 2020, new for this year is a “My Stuff” feature designed to show a “welcome screen” on the display with photos, calendar entries, and weather information. Done when it detects your smartphone is nearby. It sounds similar to the kind of information you might expect to see on a smart display from Amazon or Google, albeit more limited in scope (and without a touchscreen).

Otherwise, the specs of the monitor are largely the same as what we have seen in previous years. All three models come with built-in speakers, a 60Hz refresh rate, and a remote control in the box, but the M8 is the most feature-rich of the bunch. It’s 4K with support for HDR10 Plus, has a peak brightness of 400 nits, and comes with a webcam in the box for video calls. It has a built-in SmartThings hub for controlling compatible smart home devices, and comes in a choice of white, pink, blue, or green colors.

Meanwhile, step down to the M7, and peak brightness drops to 300 nits, there’s HDR10 instead of HDR10 Plus, and you don’t get a SmartThings hub or webcam in the box. But there’s still voice assistant support through the likes of Alexa, a height-adjustable stand that can pivot and tilt, and a 65W USB-C port in addition to an HDMI 2.0 port and two USB-A ports.

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

Like previous years, Samsung’s 2023 smart monitors aim to be jack of all trades and master of none. The 60Hz refresh rates mean they’re not going to compete with more premium gaming monitors, and their small size and limited selection of ports will be off-putting to many TV buyers. But if you’re short on space and need a single screen to do it all, Samsung’s Smart Monitors are the box-tickers.

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