Samsung Smart Monitor M8, review: what makes it different is so good that it invites us to forgive its shortcomings
The family of monitors to which this Samsung device belongs has achieved something unusual: blurting the line separating televisions and computer screens. And the strategy it has resorted to accomplishing this simply consists of integrating the operating system and the apps offered by this brand’s televisions into these monitors.
However, this Smart Monitor M8 is not like its predecessors. Its design sets it apart in a resounding way from the M5 and M7 models. This new proposal from Samsung is more stylized. Its aesthetic commitment involves moving away from the appearance of a traditional PC monitor to flirt with the design of an all-in-one device or television. And it is that if there is something leftover from this monitor, it is precisely personality.
Your aesthetic bet is the gateway to a different monitor.
I usually start my reviews of monitors by emphasizing that their real heart is their panel, and in this, this screen is no different. Its 32-inch VA LCD matrix with 4K UHD resolution and a refresh rate of 60 Hz has a profound impact on its image quality. However, we must not overlook that this is only one of the ingredients in the recipe that Samsung proposes.
If your panel is the heart of this monitor, its operating system is its brain. In the photograph that we publish below these lines, we can see that the interface of the version of Tizen that this Smart Monitor M8 offers us is very similar to the one we can find in the latest generation televisions of this brand. And it is good news because this platform is agile and incorporates most of the currently most popular apps.
One point in its favour: its top and side frames are so thin that they go unnoticed at a certain distance.
As I mentioned a few lines above, the most prominent hallmark of this monitor is its design. Its top and side frames are skinny, so they go unnoticed at a certain distance (the same thing happens with the Infinity design of some televisions of this brand). The lower frame, as usual, is a little thicker, but it is 16 mm and does not blur the aesthetics of this screen at all.
In the following photograph, we can see that the back of the monitor enclosure is entirely diaphanous. It is 11 mm thick, and the only protrusion that adds a few more millimetres is the piece that acts as an anchor for the base. Samsung has taken care of the design of the rear panel of this monitor so that it does not clash in those scenarios of use in which it is exposed.
Both the enclosure that confines the VA LCD panel and the base of this monitor is made of polycarbonate. It is not a luxurious material, but, yes, at least the plastic that Samsung has opted for is of good quality. The only metallic element of this screen is the base. It makes sense that it is not made of polycarbonate because it must provide the necessary mass to guarantee that the monitor will remain stable even if we accidentally give it a push of a certain intensity.
The base incorporates a rail that allows us to adjust the panel’s height to a maximum range of about 12 cm. We can also act on its inclination in the field that extends between -2º and 15º, but we can neither pivot nor rotate it. And I miss these two additional adjustment options because it is likely that some users would have helped them find the optimal setting from an ergonomic point of view. In addition, with its Space Monitor 32″ 4K UHD, Samsung has shown that it knows how to solve the ergonomics of a monitor.
The formula it proposes has a profound impact on our experience.
The start-up of this monitor is essentially traced to that of a Samsung television. We have to connect it to our Wi-Fi network and identify ourselves using a user account of this brand if we have one. And a little more. After completing several simple phases, the wizard will give way to the Tizen interface, which, as we have seen above, is very similar to the one offered by this company’s televisions.
Its 60 Hz panel, the response time (4 ms GtG), and the absence of HDMI 2.1 connectivity discourage it from demanding gamers.
If we keep in mind what we have seen so far, we will conclude that this monitor is, above all, a work tool. In that case, is it also used to play? Yes, of course, it works, but there are cheaper and more attractive options for gaming. Its panel with a refresh rate of 60 Hz, its response time (4 ms GtG) and the absence of HDMI 2.1 connectivity discourage it for demanding gamers.
Entities, although it seems correct to me for those who only play occasionally.
The remote control that Samsung gives us together with this monitor is very similar to the one it offers us with some of its televisions. It is a compact accessory with few buttons, although, yes, it allows us to move quickly through Tizen. However, it has four buttons for direct access to Netflix, Disney +, Prime Video and Samsung TV Plus, so access to the content of these platforms is almost immediate.
The connectivity of this monitor has much room for improvement.
In the following detailed photograph, we can see what connectivity this Smart Monitor M8 offers us: it only incorporates a micro-HDMI 2.0 input and two USB-C connectors, one of them with a charging capacity of up to 65 watts none of the Dos is compatible with Thunderbolt 3 or 4. These options don’t sound like much to me. I miss at least a DisplayPort 1.4 input and more comprehensive USB connectivity.
The connector that we can see in the following detailed photograph is housed in the upper part of the rear panel and is used to connect the SlimFit camera to the monitor if we need to use it in our video calls. It is included in the package, so we do not need to spend more money to get it.
The software responsible for controlling this camera incorporates facial tracking and automatic zoom functions. Still, the most exciting thing for users who take utmost care of their privacy is that it includes a magnetic cover that masks the optics. In addition, it can be connected and disconnected thanks to its magnetic connector effortlessly.