February 26, 2024

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Samsung’s 2023 smart displays aim to do it all

Samsung’s 2023 smart displays aim to do it all

Samsung announced US pricing and version information For three of the new “Smart Displays” – the lineup of computer monitors that can also function as a small smart TV. So you get HDMI and USB ports for connecting peripherals, but also built-in video streaming apps like Netflix and YouTube, AirPlay support, and Samsung Game Center With access to cloud gaming services from Xbox and Nvidia in select countries.

At the bottom of the range is the 1080p Samsung M5 (technically M50C) which starts at $279.99 for the 27-inch model, going up 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, According to a Samsung press release. It was the smart screen M80C Originally announced in January at CES.

Samsung M7 Smart Display.
Image: Samsung

While Samsung has offered this combination of monitor and TV functionality since 2020, what’s new for this year is “My Content” feature It is designed to bring up an on-screen Welcome Screen with photos, calendar entries, and weather information when it detects your smartphone is nearby. It looks similar to the kind of information you might expect to see on an Amazon or Google smart display, albeit limited in scope (and without a touch screen).

Other than that, the specs of the screens are roughly the same as 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. It’s 4K with HDR10 Plus support, has a peak brightness of 400 nits, and comes with a webcam in the box for video calling. It has a built-in SmartThings Hub to control compatible smart home devices, and it comes in white, pink, blue, or green colors.

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In the meantime, you drop down to the M7, 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 support for voice assistant via the likes of Alexa, a height-adjustable stand that can swivel and tilt, a 65W USB-C port as well as an HDMI 2.0 port and two USB-A ports.

Finally, the M5 has a resolution of just 1080p, with a peak brightness of 250 nits. There’s no USB-C (but you do get an extra HDMI port as a consolation prize), and it doesn’t come with support for voice assistants.

As in previous years, Samsung’s 2023 smart displays seem intended to be a jack of all trades, and a master of none. Its 60Hz refresh rates mean it won’t compete with more premium gaming monitors, and its smaller sizes and limited selection of ports will put off many TV buyers. But if you’re limited on space and need one screen to do it all, Samsung’s smart displays are brave indicators.