Samsung has announced US pricing and release information for a trio of new “smart monitors” — its lineup 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 cloud gaming services from Xbox and Nvidia in select countries.
At the bottom of the range there’s the 1080p Samsung M5 (technically the M50C) which starts as $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, per Samsung’s press release. The Smart Monitor M80C was originally announced in January at CES.
While Samsung has been offering this mix of monitor and TV functionality since 2020, new for this year is a “My Contents” feature that’s designed to show a “welcome screen” on the display with photos, calendar entries, and weather information when it detects your smartphone 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 the touchscreen).
Otherwise, the monitors’ specs are roughly in line with what we’ve seen in previous years. All three models come with built-in speakers, 60Hz refresh rates, and remote controls 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’s got a built-in SmartThings Hub for controlling compatible smart home devices, and comes in a choice of white, pink, blue, or green colors.
Step down 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 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.
Finally, the M5 is only 1080p, with a peak brightness of 250 nits. There’s no USB-C (but you get an additional HDMI port as a consolation prize), nor does it come with support for voice assistants.
As in previous years, Samsung’s 2023 smart monitors seem to be aiming to be jack of all trades, and master of none. 60Hz refresh rates mean they’re not going to compete with more premium gaming monitors, and their small sizes and limited selection of ports will be offputting to many TV buyers. But if you’re space constrained and need a single screen to do it all, Samsung’s smart monitors are valiant box-tickers.