Samsung M7 Smart Monitor Review

Samsung M7 Smart Monitor Review

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It’s not unusual to find cheap 4K panels these days. However, the Samsung M7 tries to go beyond rivals by offering more features than one would expect from an office display.

This panel offers smart features usually included on Samsung TVs, and the M7 also provides Office 365 and the ability to use the screen to open a desktop environment from your smartphone or tablet.

Samsung thinks the M7 makes sense, with so many people now working from home and using the same display for computing and entertainment, but this display can really do it all for $ 370.

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Price and availability
The Samsung M7 (part number M70A) has a bloated spec list, which makes the $ 370 (£ 349, around AU $ 719) price particularly impressive. It is available in all major territories, with the only change being the types of apps installed.

Samsung’s closest rival is the Philips 288E2UAE / 288E2E, currently available for $ 300 (£ 289, around AU $ 400). That panel doesn’t have the smart features of the M7, but it’s a smaller, sharper 4K display with plenty of connectivity..

Design and features
One of the best features of the M7 is its connectivity. If you have a compatible Samsung smartphone or tablet, you can use DeX, which allows you to wirelessly open a desktop environment from your mobile device on the M7. Combine this with Bluetooth peripherals and you can quickly get to work.

The M7 can wirelessly extend displays from Windows, iOS and Android devices, supports screen mirroring and Apple AirPlay 2, and includes dual-band 802.11ac wireless. It is effective at creating a versatile multi-display environment without cables, and the Samsung performed consistently when we tested using different types of wireless connectivity.

Wired connectivity is also reasonable. The M7 has three full-size USB 2.0 ports and a USB-C connector that supports DisplayPort and provides 65W of power, enough for a laptop. There are also two HDMI ports. Automatic backlight adjustment and source switching are also included.

The M7 also has many other welcome features. There are all the great entertainment apps and an app store with many additional options. Samsung’s display supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant in eight languages.

Samsung makes a big deal with Office 365, but that’s one of the M7’s biggest disappointments. While Office, Outlook, and OneDrive all work on this panel, the apps and files load very slowly and there is a lot of delay when entering text. It is too frustrating to use.

This hardware fits into a superb looking design. The M7 is sleek and simple, with slim bezels and a sleek, slim metal base. The weight of 6.5 kg is reasonable and is as small as it is for a 32-inch display, so it doesn’t take up much space.

Practice though, and the M7 is more extraordinary. It does not wobbles too much and the plastic around the back does not flexe under pressure.

Fortunately, Samsung includes a nifty remote, so it’s easy to use from across the room and without reaching to the back of the screen to find awkward buttons.

The small and simple stand also means you don’t get any height, rotation, or rotation movement on this display. It tilts and supports 100mm VESA mount, but that’s it.

The two five-Watt speakers are fine for casual media use, but they come with smooth bass, a metallic top-end, and muffled midrange so this audio device can’t compare to a TV at this price. It’s also a shame that Wi-Fi 6, Thunderbolt, and faster USB ports aren’t supported on this panel.

The rival Philips 288E2UAE lacks the smart features, but it does have better USB connectivity, height adjustment and a DisplayPort input. Depending on your needs, the Philips may prove to be more versatile.

Performance
The screen under these functions is a 32-inch VA display with a 4K resolution, which means you have crisp images and plenty of screen space for multitasking and detailed work.

At factory settings, the Samsung provided a contrast ratio of 3,233: 1, which is great and helps deliver plenty of vibrancy and nuance. The maximum brightness of 268 cd / m2 is ideal for an office and the black point of 0.06 cd / m2 is superb, creating admirable depth in darker areas.

Mainstream color reproduction is also decent on this panel. The Delta E of 2.3 guarantees reasonable accuracy, and the color temperature of 6.248K isn’t too rebellious. The M7 rendered a decent 97% of the sRGB color gamut, so it will handle all the shades required by traditional tools and multimedia apps.

Spec Sheet
Here is the Samsung M7 configuration sent for review:

Panel size: 32 inches
Panel type: VA
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
Brightness: 250 cd / m2
Contrast: 3,000: 1
Pixel response: 8 ms
Refresh rate: 60Hz
VESA: 100 mm
Inputs: 2 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x USB-C, 3 x USB 2.0
Adjustment: 24 degree tilt, 100mm VESA
Weight: 14.3 lbs (6.5 kg)
Dimensions: 716 x 517 x 194 mm (28.1 x 20.3 x 7.6 inches) WxHxD

Performance
The screen under these functions is a 32-inch VA display with a 4K resolution, which means you have crisp images and plenty of screen space for multitasking and detailed work.

At factory settings, the Samsung provided a contrast ratio of 3,233: 1, which is great and helps deliver plenty of vibrancy and nuance. The maximum brightness of 268 cd / m2 is ideal for an office and the black point of 0.06 cd / m2 is superb, creating admirable depth in darker areas.
Go further, though, and the M7 starts to falter. It displays only 71% of the Adobe RGB gamut, and the VA panel uses 8-bit instead of 10-bit color, so it can’t handle color-sensitive design and photography tasks. The maximum brightness and DCI-P3 range coverage level of 73.9% mean it’s not good enough to handle HDR media or workloads.

Also, keep in mind that the M7 has an 8ms response time, a 60Hz refresh rate, and no adaptive sync. This makes no difference in business applications, when browsing the web and watching multimedia, but it’s not ideal if you want to play games on this display as well and want a higher refresh rate if you want animation fluid in certain work activities as well.

Philips’ smaller diagonal means it’s a bit sharper than Samsung (Philips offers a density level of 157ppi; Samsung only manages 138ppi) and uses IPS technology, which means better colors than the M7. Conversely, however, the Philips has a poorer contrast.

The M7 lacks the quality or gamut capability to handle color-sensitive workloads, but it does have burst of vibrancy, reasonable accuracy, and stonking contrast, making it ideal for tackling everyday and traditional workloads where color it’s not the key – and it’s also great for media after work.

Final verdict
The M7’s image quality and 4K resolution mean it can withstand many different workloads, and the bright, punchy panel is paired with loads of connectivity options and lots of smart features. The Samsung looks great and is surprisingly affordable given the hardware and software on offer.

Low price means compromise. There are some notable connectivity omissions but it has extensive features, and the Samsung has great build quality and adjustment. Office 365 is a key productivity feature, and the image quality is great.

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