When it comes to computer monitors it is often hard to find a good balance between price and performance. There are plenty of low to mid-range options that will deliver most of what you need, but sometimes you want a little extra. This is where the Samsung M8 Smart Monitor comes into the picture, delivering a bright and vibrant 32-inch 4K display with plenty of smart features to raise the stakes on usability.
Out of the box, the Samsung M8 Smart Monitor feels very modern, featuring a solid metal stand, a plastic back, edge-to-edge panel, and a magnetic, clip-on web-camera to finish off the experience. Setting up the monitor is as easy as you would expect from a display released in 2022, simply plug in the power, connect the display to the computer, and you are ready to experience what the M8 has to offer.
While it may first seem like a simple 4K display, the M8 packs some extra features, and runs Samsung’s Linux-based Tizen operating system, featuring a UI that sets it above many displays at a similar price point. This allows the Samsung M8 Smart Monitor to function as a stand alone smart TV when the attached computer is not turned on. This means you can experience everything from Netflix to Xbox Game Pass without ever having to turn on your desktop, something that gives the M8 a leg up above the competition.
The screen manages to be only 13 mm thick, making it easy to set up on most office desks, even with its large size. The 32-inch display provides 4K resolution (3840 x 2160, 137.7ppi) and supports HDR10+ delivering stunning images that feel vibrant especially when gaming or consuming media.
For creative professionals, the Samsung M8 Smart Monitor does feel a bit lacking, and only features 99% of the sRGB colour standard. While this is perfectly serviceable for people doing office work, or basic photo editing, it is not near what people who work on video or high-end production work, and simply does not offer the fidelity many would need. On the other hand, the audio should be serviceable for most light media consumption or gaming needs, even if it is lacking in the bass department to really have the audio stand out.
“The Samsung M8 Smart Monitor features a range of connectivity to get all your devices hooked up…”
The Samsung M8 Smart Monitor features a range of connectivity to get all your devices hooked up and displaying correctly, with a Micro-HDMI, a USB-C port that can be used to connect a PC or Mac and a secondary USB-C port for connecting peripherals and accessories. I would have liked to see more options to potentially connect more HDMI based devices, but at the small size, the included ports should suit most people’s needs. The M8 also supports dual-band Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) and Bluetooth 4.2, along with AirPlay.
Using the Samsung M8 Smart Monitor was incredibly easy, and feels built to work as a stand-alone display with the many smart features on offer, or as the main display for your computer or HDMI based device. With the included remote, the M8 is surprisingly intuitive to use, with it a simple matter to go through and ensure everything is set up as needed, including the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. We wanted to test all aspects of the M8, and gave the game streaming a fair test, along with diving into using it as our display on our test PC.
“Using the Samsung M8 Smart Monitor was incredibly easy, and feels built to work as a stand-alone display with the many smart features on offer, or as the main display for your computer or HDMI based device.”
I was surprised how easy jumping into game streaming was with the M8 Smart Display. For testing, we focused on the Xbox Game Pass streaming, since it has a wide range of games, and has been optimized to work with little lag or issues. I am pleased to report that the process was painless, and once the Xbox controller was set up via Bluetooth, and the account was set on the display, everything worked as expected.
Games loaded quickly, and there was little issue with artifacting or lag. It is amazed to see how painless Samsung and Xbox have made the process, and to be able to use a display for gaming with no console is something special, especially for people who may not be able to have access to a console currently.
Moving over to the PC, and the results were fair if not perfect. As I mentioned before, the colour is not quite as good as you can find on more expensive monitors, but it is more than serviceable for most standard gaming or productivity needs. We played some Doom Eternal and Fortnite on the screen, and it felt fantastic. Granted, you will be limited to 60Hz refresh rates on the screen, but it manages to deliver a solid 3,000:1 contrast ratio, 400 nits brightness, and 4ms response time that makes it great for most people’s needs.
The Samsung M8 Smart Monitor on the surface is a solid all-around offering that pulls double duty of being a 32-inch TV and monitor for your devices, but it does neither as well as a dedicated device. There are many better suited gaming monitors that feature far more ports to get all your devices up and running. The same goes for displays, with there being a large range of 32-inch or bigger displays that would make great additions to most houses. With the M8 you are making some compromises to get everything in one display, and while it delivers most of what people can need, that does lead to some limitations.
Even with this fact, I enjoyed my time with the Samsung M8 Smart Monitor, and I was sad to see it go. The display felt great for most of our office needs, and the included smart features meant it was easy to jump into some light gaming when not working. Provided you are okay with the tradeoffs with the M8, it is a fantastic display that delivers where it needs to. For everyone else, check out some TVs from TCL for one of the many ViewSonic monitors that deliver when it comes to gaming.
This content was originally published here.