This versatile TV will accompany you through the cold winter

The M7 had all of those features too, but the more obscure ones like DeX, Office 365, and Remote Terminal worked so badly they were barely worth using.

This time around, I’m happy to say that all of these features work much, much better.

I’m writing this paragraph in my MacBook using the remote terminal feature of my M8, in this case, and while the experience isn’t nearly as good as it would be if the MacBook was plugged directly into the screen via a USB-C cable, it is not terrible.

You could work like this in the unlikely event that you had to. For example, if it was so cold downstairs that you didn’t even want to run downstairs, grab your laptop and bring it upstairs with you.

The MacBook screen, beamed to my M8 over Wi-Fi, isn’t as crisp as it would be with a direct connection, but the MacBook itself is pretty responsive to mouse and keyboard, maybe because it’s on the same network, only in a much cooler room.

The M8 comes with a TV remote and works like any other Samsung TV, except it doesn’t have a tuner.

My Microsoft Surface laptop, also down in the cold, should respond better, but oddly, it doesn’t. Text isn’t as crisp, and mouse and keyboard lag more.

Whether M8’s remote terminal feature lets you leave your PC at the office and work on it from home is anybody’s guess. It depends on the security of your business.

The Office 356 function of the M8 has also been improved compared to the M7, which only requires a Wi-Fi connection, a mouse and a keyboard. Again, it’s good enough if you find yourself stuck without a phone or PC, but not so good if you’re using it as your first choice. There is still a bit of keyboard lag, but it’s not as bad as on the M7.

If you’ve read Digital Life diligently, you might think the Samsung Smart Display M8 looks a lot like the Apple Studio Display that we reviewed a few weeks ago. Like the Studio, it has speakers, a webcam and a microphone, meaning all you need to create a desktop setup is plug in your laptop.

The difference is that the $1199 Samsung wants for the M8 is an absolute bargain compared to the $2499 to $3599 Apple is asking for the Studio Display, especially since the M8 is much bigger and has a lot more features.

(The Studio Display has a better, sharper screen and much better speakers, but other than that, we prefer the Samsung Smart Monitor M8 in almost every way. The remote-controlled TV feature alone makes it a better choice if you live in a confined space, as I assume I will be all winter, or you are looking for a versatile unit for your beach hut or, more aptly given the weather, your ski lodge.)

As with the Apple Studio, the M8’s webcam is perhaps the weakest part of the package, ranging from much worse to much better than the Studio webcam, depending on the laptop and apps you’re using.

Samsung M8 Smart Monitor

You can cast directly to the screen from an Android device or even an iPhone.

Attached to our MacBook (straight, this time: I ran downstairs to get it), the M8’s webcam is pretty awful on Google Meet, and doesn’t work at all in Zoom or native macOS apps like Photobooth. Attached to our Surface Studio laptop (grabbing at the same time so as not to lose too much body heat), the webcam is great on Google Meet but lousy on apps like Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

It’s weird I have to say, although it could be something that can be easily fixed, perhaps by providing better drivers to Apple and Microsoft to get the most out of its camera.

A big difference between the two displays is that Apple has its power supply built into the display, while Samsung has an external power supply.

I’m not usually a fan of the latter, but I have to say I have a good feeling about my M8’s power supply. A feeling of warmth, you might say. With my shoes off and my toes wrapped around them, it’s the only thing that separates me from working in the attic or having to work from my bed.

SAMSUNG M8 SMART MONITOR
Love
Cheaper, bigger and more complete than an Apple Studio Display.
Do not like The webcam works poorly or not at all in some video applications.
Price $1199.

#versatile #accompany #cold #winter

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