When is an Apple iMac not an iMac? When Samsung launched the 32-inch Smart Monitor M8, it seemingly borrowed heavily from the iMac's design and color palette. Samsung first announced the M8 in January at CES 2022, but it is now available to preorder starting at $699.99 (more on that later).
Looking at the design of the M8, it's easy to see why some would think that the iMac was the inspiration for Samsung, especially when you look at the similarly-designed L-shaped stand. Even Samsung's choice of colors seems to pay homage to Apple's selection: you can choose from Warm White, Sunset Pink, Spring Green, or Daylight Blue. However, Samsung improves the M8's design with thinner bezels along the top and sides and a much smaller "chin" at the bottom.
The Apple comparisons don't stop with the iMac. Although the M8 "only" features a 4K resolution compared to 5K for the newly launched Apple 5K Studio Display, it trumps just about every other spec comparison. Samsung boasts a 60Hz refresh rate, 4ms gray to gray response time, 400 nits brightness, and a 3,000:1 contrast ratio. Samsung also claims that the M8 covers 99 percent of the sRGB color space and supports HDR10+ content. It can even double as a Smart TV (powered by Tizen) with support for popular streaming services like Netflix, Apple TV and Disney+.
Samsung doesn't disappoint on the connectivity front either, with two USB-C ports (one up, one down) and 65-watt passthrough charging support. Interestingly, a micro-HDMI port is included rather than a full-size HDMI port, which is a bit odd for a desktop monitor, and dual 5-watt speakers are included. Regarding wireless connectivity, Samsung equipped the M8 with Bluetooth 4.2 and Wi-Fi 5 radios. And unlike the Studio Display, tilt and height adjustment comes standard.
But Samsung didn't stop there. A SmartThings Hub is integrated (allowing you to control ZigBee and Z-Wave smart home and IoT devices) along with a far-field microphone that supports Amazon Alexa and Bixby voice assistants. Rounding out the laundry list of features is support for Samsung DeX, Apple AirPlay 2 and Microsoft 365. Finally, a 1080p SlimFit Cam connects magnetically to the top of the M8, so you don't have to worry about seeing wires dangling from the back of the webcam to plug into a free USB-C port. In addition, according to Samsung, the SlimFit cam supports Auto Zoom and Face Tracking technologies.
The Samsung Smart Monitor M8 is available to reserve today starting at $699.99 for the Warm White version. The other three colors add an extra $30 to the price. The reservation only seems to take your information to let you know when the M8 will be available to purchase and doesn't serve as an actual preorder (Samsung requests no shipping or credit card information). That seems like a relative bargain compared to the $1,599 asking price of the Apple Studio Display and more in line with the $889.99 Dell UltraSharp 32 4K USB-C Monitor (U3219Q).