Samsung’s new 4K smart monitor has a wireless magnetic webcam

Enlarge / Samsung sells the monitor in (clockwise from top left): Sunset Pink, Warm White, Spring Green, and Daylight Blue.

Samsung

Samsung’s M8 monitor, announced Monday, is positioned to replace your USB webcam and smart TV. The 32-inch 4K smart monitor has a wireless webcam that you can remove and attach via magnets. The TV also includes built-in apps, including Netflix and Hulu, which work without a PC connection.

The M8’s 1080p webcam attaches to a camera case via a four-pin connector, a Samsung representative told Ars Technica. The case is connected to a port on the monitor, powering the camera and connecting it to the PC. As such, it looks like the camera won’t work with any other monitor. Once in place, you can tilt the camera or remove it for more privacy when not in use.

This differs from a wireless magnetic webcam prototype that Dell showed us in December. Dell’s concept camera detached from the monitor so you can place it in the sweet spot, like the center of the monitor, for the perfect angle. Samsung’s Magnetic Webcam tries to help you find the perfect angle with face tracking and auto-zoom.

Some video chat apps, like Google Duo, are built into the monitor.
Enlarge / Some video chat apps, like Google Duo, are built into the monitor.

The South Korea-based company has announced its first “smart monitor”, the M7in 2020. Displays earn the title by offering streaming services, like Amazon Prime and Apple TV, over an internet connection, without a PC or TV.

Like Samsung smart TVs and some Galaxy phones, smart monitors also have the Samsung TV Plus app, which offers some live tv channels, such as Cheddar News, CBS News and Stories by NBC on the Internet. Both of Samsung’s smart monitors try to make your TV jealous with their own remote control.

Unlike the M7’s remote, the M8 doesn’t include control of voice assistants, like Amazon Alexa and Samsung’s Bixby. In an unusual move, the microphone is built into the monitor. For Bixby users, the Always On Voice feature will display “on-screen conversation information when Bixby is enabled, even if the monitor screen is off.” Samsung’s announcement said.

The monitor has Micro HDMI and USB-C ports, a pair of 5W speakers and a tweeter.
Enlarge / The monitor has Micro HDMI and USB-C ports, a pair of 5W speakers and a tweeter.

Improvements over the M7 claim to be a 75% thinner build that reduces the thickness of the monitor to 11.4mm. The smart displays also have a new look, taking a page from Apple’s equally thin (11.5mm) 24-inch (11.5mm) iMac all-in-ones, offering a range of colors. If you’re okay with a moderately striking white monitor, Samsung will charge you $700but for all other colors there is an extra $30.

You'll save $30 if you can get away with white.
Enlarge / You’ll save $30 if you can get away with white.

Samsung

Samsung has also updated its SmartThings Hub, which lets you check other devices connected to your Wi-Fi, although you’ll need a special dongle coming out in April to use the app with Zigbee devices. The company also added Workspace, which lets you “remotely access another PC, use Microsoft 365 programs” and connect to Samsung Galaxy, Note or Tab devices through the Samsung DeX platform.

On the panel side, the new M8 Samsung USB-C monitor (65W charging) boasts an impressive contrast ratio of 3,000:1, thanks to its vertical alignment panel, as well as brightness of up to 400 nits and 99% sRGB coverage.

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