I can see the attraction of the Samsung Smart Monitor M8. It's basically a TV and monitor mashup that can help you save money or space. Unfortunately, you don't quite get the best of both worlds. The M8 is decent enough as a 32-inch 4K TV, but merely adequate as a monitor. The same goes for the middling detachable webcam that's included. But overall, it works for those who just want a big 4K monitor with a hefty side of TV entertainment.
- 27- or 32-inch (tested) VA panel, 3,840 x 2,160 pixels. 60Hz
- 99% sRGB, HDR10+
- HDMI 2.0, USB-C, 2x USB-A
- Comes with SlimFit webcam
Despite its monitor moniker, the M8 is just passable as a PC display. For starters, it only has a HDMI 2.0 port and a USB-C port (with DisplayPort Alternate Mode and 65W charging). This is fine if you're connecting it to a laptop, but as a desktop PC user, I would have liked a native DisplayPort. The M8 uses a VA panel, which is typically preferred in TVs for its high contrast and rich colours. However, viewing angles are not as good as an IPS monitor — there's also a fair amount of colour shift from the sides. The M8 has a 60Hz refresh rate, which limits it to office use. Regardless of whether they are using a PC or a console, gamers would want at least a 120Hz display.
To be fair, the M8 is reasonably bright with a peak brightness of 400 nits. You can rotate the monitor 90 degrees to portrait orientation, and there's also height and tilt adjustment. But there's no swivel, and no VESA mount support, though custom adapters seem to be available online. In addition, the integrated 5W stereo speakers sound really thin and hollow. The included SlimFit 1080p webcam magnetically attaches to the monitor, and comes with a privacy cover. But while it lets you use Google Meet (Samsung's Tizen OS doesn't have a Zoom or Teams app) without a PC, the quality is so-so. Videos look dark, but not too noisy. It's not much better than some laptop webcams. Alternatively, you can detach the webcam, and use it with your computer with a USB-C cable.
As mentioned, the M8 runs the same Tizen OS that powers Samsung TVs. Except for the lack of a TV tuner, you'll get the same user experience, including Samsung features like DeX mode with a Samsung smartphone. You can also control smart home devices using the built-in SmartThings hub. I found myself using the included remote control, even to change the monitor's settings. One thing I didn't like: the TV interface occasionally showed me ads. The essential TV apps, like Netflix and YouTube, are all present. The M8 is not a quantum-dot LED TV, but the picture quality is vibrant enough. There's HDR10+ support, albeit with limited impact. Minor grouse: There were several occasions when the M8 seemed to lag when switching between the TV interface and the HDMI PC connection. This resulted in TV processing being applied to the HDMI PC input, so the image looked off.
At S$1,028 (currently on sale at S$928) for my 32-inch review set, the Samsung Smart Monitor M8 is more expensive than a similar standalone monitor or TV. But it makes sense if you only have the space or budget for one display. It has a nice, clean design, with features that work best if you already have other Samsung devices. Personally, I prefer it as a TV than as a monitor, though the speakers are forgettable. It comes in handy when my living room TV is being used by someone else. Get the M8 now from Lazada and Shopee.
Note: Review unit provided by Samsung.
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