The Samsung Smart Monitor M7 Has Saved My Entire Lockdown

The Samsung Smart Monitor M7 Has Saved My Entire Lockdown
Image: Kotaku Australia
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Being stuck in a major, city-wide lockdown sucks — but being stuck inside with a shiny Samsung Smart Monitor M7 is making it so, so much better.

With phenomenally crisp visuals, great colour, a handy speaker, and a bunch of useful hybrid TV settings it’s an absolute gem you’ll want to keep an eye out for. Whether you’re thinking of upgrading your current set-up or adding a spicy second screen to your day-to-day, the M7 is a very worthy option.

What is the Samsung Smart Monitor M7?

The Samsung Smart Monitor M7 is a 32-inch 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) VA TV/Monitor which offers smart app integration, a 60Hz refresh rate, 250 nits of adaptive brightness and the capacity to connect via HDMI, HDMI ARC or USB-C.

Basically it looks good, has a great brightness range and is perfect for gaming or everyday work. While it may be too large for some desks (it just couldn’t fit under my lowest shelf) it’s a great companion for anyone, and lends a sense of wide-eyed immersiveness to any gaming sessions. As a first-time 4K monitor user, I was mightily impressed by everything it has to offer.

That said, it’s not perfect.

At $699 it’s a significant investment and it does fall down in some areas, particularly audio quality.

The monitor has sound, but it isn’t spectacular

samsung smart monitor m7
Image: Kotaku Australia

Most monitors lack a sound output, so the M7 already has a leg up — but the simple fact is the sound isn’t all that impressive, and you’ll likely want to use a soundbar with the monitor for the best outcome.

Luckily, the M7 rocks two HDMI ports — and one of them is HDMI ARC. That means you can loop an audio source into the monitor, and have it output through a separate soundbar. It’ll leave you with one lone HDMI port (as well as the additional USB-C), but it is an option if you want better quality sound.

Via the included remote you can adjust sound up to blistering volumes, but you may find the monitor’s lack of bass and tinniness a bit grating.

The sound on the M7 is fine and does offer directional output, but it tends to be echoey and flat. For everyone used to laptop speakers, it’s a slight step up but it’s not nearly as good as your average TV or soundbar.

The colours are immaculate, and the fonts are crisp

samsung m7 smart monitor font screen
Image: Kotaku Australia

What I most noticed while gaming with the monitor was just how crisp fonts were, and how much colours popped. The example I use here is The Sims 4, a game known for being bright and colourful.

Every locale in this game was absolutely vibrant and the screen made every location look more vivid and beautiful. As mentioned, the fonts were also immaculate and had an impressive crispness that looked great even close up. The Witcher 3 looked stunning. Two Point Hospital was colourful, cartoonish and fun.

The darker blacks in these games were very dark, and the M7 has an impressive colour contrast and balance that makes every environment look absolutely gorgeous. While the 60Hz refresh rate means the M7 isn’t technically classified as a ‘gaming monitor’, I found it perfectly serviceable for my use and never ran into any obvious issues as I played.

Beyond gaming, the monitor is also great for everyday use. It makes spreadsheets look as smooth and crisp as you’ve dreamed, and 4K videos on YouTube and other streaming services look fantastic with minimal colour bleeding or haloing.

The visual clarity of here is great, and one of the core reasons you should consider making the upgrade.

The monitor design is great, but it can wobble

samsung m7 smart monitor bezels
Image: Kotaku Australia

The M7 screen is great, but because it’s large it relies on a heavy 20cm x 20xm base which can make fitting into your setup difficult. On an empty desk it’s no trouble, but people with more ‘stuff’ on their desks will need to sacrifice a lot of space for this beast.

And while the footplate itself is fairly sturdy, the largeness of the screen means it still wobbles if you knock your desk or use your computer too vigorously. It’s a minor wobble, but a noticeable one.

That said, the screen itself has a tiny bezel and is fairly thin — about 1cm – 2cm around the back. It’s a small sacrifice for a good-looking setup.

But it’s not just a monitor

The Samsung Smart Monitor M7 isn’t your average monitor. See, it’s a cool monitor. Rather than operating as a standard plug-and-play device, the M7 takes cues from Samsung’s TV range. You get a remote included in the box, and you can use it to install smart apps via the monitor’s Tizen interface.

It means if you don’t want to use the monitor with your PC, you can actually have it double as a smart TV packed with all your favourite streaming apps. Some people may want to use it as their sole TV, and that’s perfectly fine too. You may need better audio to make the monitor feel like the ‘real deal’, but it’s a very serviceable alternative.

With an impressive array of features, picture quality and functionality, it’s easy to see how this monitor could be adapted to any entertainment setting.

Should you buy the Samsung Smart Monitor M7?

At $699 the Samsung Smart Monitor M7 is a significant investment, but it’s one absolutely worth considering. Investing in a 4K UHD monitor is an easy way to become more productive at work, and to enhance your gaming — gaming, of course, being more important.

If you’re currently stuck with a piddly little laptop screen or something with a middling resolution, you won’t know what you’re missing out on, but the benefits of having a larger 4K screen are enormous. So much so I wish I’d made the leap sooner.

While a 32-inch monitor may be a bit too large for some (a 27-inch is a more manageable, but still impressive size), being able to play games on a large, crisp screen with vibrant colours and minimal screen-tearing has made my gaming so much more enjoyable. As I mentioned, it’s also getting me through a pretty rough lockdown.

The smart features of the monitor are less useful in my daily life, but they’re great additions to the monitor regardless — and while the sound doesn’t stack up, there’s plenty of other reasons to love the M7. The price requires a leap of faith, but this is one investment you’re unlikely to regret.

The M7 is an impressive smart monitor that’s very easy to love.

Comments

  • I love it.

    but the lack of a regular audio output is a reprehensible design decision.

    Wading the market of “HDMI Arc audio extractors” is a nightmare and can add up to $100 to your purchase.

    I already have great speakers so I’m not interested in buying an “arc soundbar”
    It’s like apple removing a headphone jack to sell more airpods.

    Even cheap $150 computer monitors have a headphone out for hdmi audio extraction, and this isn’t even so important a feature, as those monitors only produce sound when there’s a computer connected. But because this can run youtube and Netflix apps…. and produces sound regardless of the presence of my laptop, having an audio output is very important to me!

    Pros:
    Great picture quality, awesome having the integrated casting features etc.

    Cons:
    Wobbly stand (which I can deal with or get a VESA mount, I read this part in reviews before purchasing)
    No regular audio output besides ARC

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