Samsung's New Smart Monitors Bring Streaming TV App Functionality To Your PC

Samsung Smart Monitor M7
Everything is going 'smart' these days—watches, glasses, speakers, refrigerators, security cameras, and the list goes on. Now you can add PC monitors to the mix. Tapping one of the few untouched categories left, Samsung has introduced two smart monitors, the 32-inch M7 and 27-inch M5, which it is billing as the world's first do-it-all screens. What does that mean?

Well, you can perform a wide variety of tasks on these displays. First and foremost, these are PC monitors with a 32-inch VA screen and 4K resolution (3840x2160) for the M7 model, and a 27-inch panel with a 1920x1080 resolution for the M5. Other core specifications include a 60Hz refresh rate, 8ms gray-to-gray (GtG) response time, 250 nits typical brightness, and 3,000:1 contrast ratio.

None of those specifications really jump out as exciting for playing games (as opposed to something like the CHG70), though you could certainly use it for gaming. It also supports HDR (HDR10) content. However, in that regard as well, the brightness rating is a little underwhelming. At the same time, it is the max brightness that really matters for HDR (on an LCD display), and Samsung does not list what that is, only typical and minimum (200 nits).

Samsung Smart Monitor

Be that as it may, the real selling point is the monitor's flexibility as a smart display, of sorts. It features Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, as well as DeX support, and is powered by Samsung's Tizen platform, just like the company's TVs. The monitor also supports App Casting and Apple AirPlay 2.

Add all this together and you have a PC monitor that you can connect to wirelessly to stream HDR and other content from services like Apple TV, Hulu, Netflix, and others, without having to plug in a dongle or set-top box.

Outside of smart apps for streaming TV shows and movies, having built-in DeX support means you can connect your Galaxy handset and use your phone like a PC. And even without DeX, you can tap into the Wi-Fi capability to display and operate Office 365 applications without a PC connection, Samsung says, to view, edit, and save documents in the cloud.

"Around the world, work, education and entertainment have transformed into home-centered activities," said Hyesung Ha, Senior Vice President of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. "With this new normal, it is no surprise that most indicators show a rise in digital activities and many are rethinking their technology use at home. Our new Smart Monitor is a direct response to that demand. Consumers no longer have to choose between a screen for one or the other as this display brings it all together."

Bixby integration is part of the package too, for those who use Samsung's digital assistant.

Overall these are interesting displays. Whether customers are interested in a jack-of-all-trades in the monitor department remains to be seen. As for pricing, the 27-inch M5 will be available for $230 this month, followed by the 32-inch M7 for $280 in December.