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


Samsung M8 mnonitor in
Enlarge / Samsung is selling the monitor in (clockwise from top-left): Sunset Pink, Warm White, Spring Green, and Daylight Blue.

Samsung

Samsung’s M8 monitor, announced on Monday, is being 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 features built-in apps, including Netflix and Hulu, that work without a PC connection.

The M8’s 1080p webcam attaches to a holster in the camera via a four-pin connector, a Samsung rep told Ars Technica. The holster is connected to a port on the monitor, giving the camera power and connecting it to the PC. As such, it appears the camera won’t work with another monitor. Once in place, you can tilt the camera or remove it for privacy when it’s not in use.

This differs from a magnetic, wireless webcam prototype Dell showed us in December. Dell’s concept cam detached from the monitor so you could place it in the ideal location, such as the center of the monitor, for the perfect angle. Samsung’s magnetic webcam attempts to help you find the perfect angle through face tracking and auto-zoom.

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

The South Korea-headquartered company announced its first “smart monitor,” the M7, in 2020. The displays earn the title by offering streaming services, like Amazon Prime and Apple TV, through an Internet connection, no PC or TV required.

Like Samsung smart TVs and some Galaxy phones, the smart monitors also have the Samsung TV Plus app, which delivers some live TV channels, like Cheddar News, CBS News, and Stories by NBC over the Internet.  Both Samsung’s smart monitors attempt to make your TV jealous with their own remote.

Differing from the M7’s remote, the M8’s doesn’t include control for 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 show “conversation information on screen when Bixby is activated, even if the monitor screen is turned off.” Samsung’s announcement said.

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

Improvements over the M7 claim to be a 75 percent slimmer build that reduces the monitor’s thickness to 11.4 mm. The smart monitors also have a new look, taking a page from Apple’s similarly thin (11.5 mm) 24-inch iMac (11.5 mm) all-in-ones, offering an array of colors. If you’re OK with a moderately striking white monitor, Samsung will charge you $700, but for any of the other colors, there’s a $30 upcharge.

You'll save $30 if you can settle for white.
Enlarge / You’ll save $30 if you can settle for white.

Samsung

Samsung also updated its SmartThings Hub, which lets you check on other devices connected to your Wi-Fi—although, you’ll need a special dongle that comes out in April to use the app with Zigbee devices. The vendor 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.

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

Ars Technica may earn compensation for sales from links on this post through affiliate programs.



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