Samsung is having a pretty big year in mobile tech, with the Galaxy S22 Ultra resurrecting the Note lineup (at least in spirit) and the massive Tab S8 Ultra doing its best to redefine our expectations for Android on big screens. But Samsung is having an equally important year outside mobile technology – in particular, it has some really cool new screens available now or coming soon: a desktop monitor, some really cool TVs and a smart projector. You haven’t seen them? Here’s your chance to catch up.
Freestyle smart headlamp
Samsung’s Freestyle projector might not be a particularly convenient way for most people to watch movies and TV, but it’s definitely cool. The Freestyle is a unique looking cylindrical projector on a swivel base, which means positioning its image is considerably simpler than on many projectors, and it incorporates Samsung’s Smart TV user interface for easy access to the content from providers like Netflix and Disney+. . It also has a mini-HDMI port on the side, so you can plug in just about any source. There are several tantalizing accessories planned for the future, including a battery base and an adapter that lets you screw the thing into a light socket to power it.
User reviews have not been particularly kind – the quality of the material is apparently not up to the extravagant $900 Samsung asks. Still, hopefully we’ll see a second generation that fills in the gaps of the first. Surely there’s a place in much of our lives for a high-end smart projector, perhaps not this one in particular.
Samsung’s first OLED TV
Samsung is renowned for the high-quality OLED panels it uses in its high-end phones and tablets. So you might be surprised to learn that until very recently the company didn’t offer any OLED TVs to speak of. That changed in March with the reveal of the new S95B, available to pre-order now. And that’s not all: not only is it Samsung’s first OLED TV, it’s actually a QD-OLED TV.
If that outrageous acronym made you roll your eyes, I’m with you. But QD-OLED is a fairly new type of display that combines an OLED panel with a layer of quantum dots (yes, that’s a real thing, and no, the term wasn’t coined by Samsung) to improve the color and brightness. The result, theoretically, should be one of the most beautiful screens on the planet. They’re definitely priced that way: Samsung’s S95B TVs start at $2,200 for the 55-inch model.
Even if you’re not willing to spend that much on a TV (again, same page there), more manufacturers competing in the OLED TV space means prices should start to come down as companies fight over our dollars.
Samsung’s Frame TVs are designed to look like framed works of art when you’re not using them. Its new models for 2022 feature a matte finish on their screens, which minimizes reflections and glare to improve the experience both when the TV is playing video content and when it’s idle and displaying art. Note that these aren’t OLED panels, so the effect won’t be perfect – in dark rooms especially you’ll be able to tell it’s a TV and not a real painting. But it should feel more natural than the glossy models Samsung has offered in the past.
The matte texture is present on Frame 2022 TVs and will also be available on upcoming versions of Samsung’s Serif and Sero TVs. The company claims the finish was “engineered to maximize light-diffusing surface irregularities” and “creates the look of texture in art.” It seems a bit of a stretch, but I’m still excited for more matte TVs to hit the market. The new Frame TV starts at $1,000 for the 43-inch model.
Very Apple monitors
Samsung announced the M8 smart monitor late last month. There’s really no getting around it: built as it is and offered in a handful of pastel colours, the thing looks like an Apple product – somewhere between the latest iMac and the Studio Display. But that’s not a bad thing.
The 32-inch M8 incorporates Samsung’s Smart TV interface and comes with a USB-C rechargeable remote control, so it can also double as a smart 4K TV when you’re not using it with your computer. It even has a web browser, so you can do light work with just the monitor, no computer at all. It also comes with a 1080p webcam with face tracking that magnetically attaches to the back of the screen.
At $730, it’s definitely a luxury – you can get a 4K display this size for hundreds less. I’m also worried that its very trendy look in 2022 will look dated long before the monitor is obsolete. But if you find you work best in a remarkably stylish office, this might be the one to watch out for.
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