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Samsung’s new Smart Monitors bring the TV to your desk without the PC

Capitalizing on the work-from-home era that’s been accelerated by the global pandemic, Samsung’s new Smart Monitors are designed to help you stay entertained and productive — all without requiring the power of a PC or desktop. These monitors can be used as a stand-alone panel for video streaming  — similar to a living room television — or serve as companions to smartphones and tablets for wireless casting.

While Samsung’s new M5 and M7 Smart Monitors function like any other desktop monitor by allowing you to connect a compatible PC or laptop via a USB-C or HDMI cable, these panels also come with built-in Wi-Fi, which enables several new tricks to help them stand out. The M5 and M7 come with smart TV apps borrowed from Samsung’s lineup of living room televisions, integrated smart assistant features, and the ability to wirelessly cast to the screen via AirPlay 2 or Samsung DeX.

Watch and stream without a box

Perfect for small spaces — like dorm rooms and kitchens — the M5 and M7 Samsung Smart Monitors run the company’s Tizen operating system and support popular streaming apps that are available on much larger living room televisions. The M5 and M7 can run the Netflix, Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and YouTube apps natively on the display without any external devices. This means you don’t need to plug in an Apple TV box or a PC to stream some of your favorite online content, making these monitors the perfect small streaming TV set.

“The Samsung Smart Monitor is the first UHD display to double as a smart TV and offers a full suite of apps and content to take users’ minds off the needs of the day,” the company said in a statement.

Other apps available for the platform include Disney+, HBO Max, and more, which will help the Smart Monitor to “further blur the line between a monitor and a smart TV, making it the perfect way to watch whatever the user wants, where they want it.”

A companion for your smartphone and tablet

With Wi-Fi built-in, the Samsung Smart Monitors support wireless casting, including Apple AirPlay 2 and Samsung’s own wireless DeX standard. This allows you to cast content from a laptop, desktop, or compatible smartphone or tablet to the monitor without wires or cables to easily share content on demand.

For those within Samsung’s ecosystem, you can use Samsung’s wireless DeX to connect your Samsung smartphone or tablet to the screen wirelessly. With wireless DeX, not only can you cast pictures and videos, but you’ll also get a desktop-like UI — complete with multiple, resizable windows — when your device is connected. This will allow you to be even more productive, with an experience that mimics what you can get on a Chrome OS, MacOS, or Windows 10 device, all from your smartphone. If you want a more simple experience, wireless DeX also allows screen mirroring.

A built-in assistant

With the integrated stereo 5W speakers, the monitors can serve as a hub for your smart assistant. These panels come with access to Samsung’s Bixby 2.0, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google Assistant. Samsung also promises SmartThings integration to help access and control your smart home.

The M5 and M7 monitors also come with a full-featured remote that allows users to control the display and access hot keys that will link directly to streaming apps.

Available in two screen sizes with HDR10 support

Samsung’s Smart Monitors are available in several configurations. The M5 series is available in 27- or 32-inch FHD screens, while the M7 is available in a 27-inch UHD 4K configuration. All configurations reach up to 250 nits of brightness, support HDR10, and can be placed on a stand or mounted to a wall to save space. The 27-inch M5 is available for $229, while the 32-inch version starts at $279. The M7 is available for $399.

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Chuong Nguyen
Silicon Valley-based technology reporter and Giants baseball fan who splits his time between Northern California and Southern…
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