Monitors are getting interesting. We are now getting a variety of displays with 4K resolutions, HDR, and at great sizes. Those with Apple computers looking for a similar Apple experience have been left out for a few years since Apple stopped producing their own displays.
Now, with the release of the Apple Studio Display, Mac users can get a perfect match. That isn’t all there is today, however, as competitors like the Samsung M8 offer compelling features and great design in a more affordable package. If you are on the fence about where to put your money with a new computer setup you should check out this comparison between the new Apple and Samsung displays put together by Max Tech.
Pulling the Samsung M8 out of the box you can tell it isn’t the same Apple experience, but it is much more affordable. It comes with a solid plastic build and comes with a simple tilt-and-height adjustable stand (no need for an extra purchase to get the height).
The M8 is more solid than many other consumer displays, but it still doesn’t match up to the Apple Studio Display. The solid metal construction is hard to beat. Plus, Apple uses a glass front while the M8 is plastic. Though, the M8 is plenty good and shouldn’t concern anyone looking to pick it up.
Looking at the rear you will find the I/O for each. The Apple Studio Display has a Thunderbolt host port with up to 96W Power Delivery for connecting to the computer alongside three USB Type-C ports with full 10 Gb/s bandwidth. The M8 has USB Type-C with 65W of power along with a 5 Gb/s USB Type-C port and a mini-HDMI port.
Samsung did manage to make the M8 thinner. How they did that was likely by moving the power supply to an external brick. Apple made a much cleaner design by keeping that clutter all built in.
A super interesting aspect of the Samsung M8 is that it is a “smart” monitor. The smart comes from built-in streaming apps, much like a smart TV. Something you don’t see much on monitors. There is even a remote and webcam included to complete the setup.
Getting into the setup process you are getting a TV-like experience on the Samsung M8. It even features wireless connectivity for computers as well as for things like keyboards. Depending on how you have your workspace setup this could be a huge benefit. Hooking it up to a Mac it all seems to work without any messing around.
Apple’s thing is that (as long as you use a Mac) it all just works. And it does.
Comparing the speakers first I think it is an easy win for Apple. Even in the recording Max shows off here the clarity and richness of the audio coming from the Studio Display destroy the performance of the Samsung.
Using the webcams you have an interesting comparison. Apple is underperforming from expectations, but did bring Center Stage for automatically reframing when you move. It’s fine image quality but not amazing. Samsung may have better image quality in some ways but not in others.
Where there was a real issue was again in audio. Samsung just didn’t deliver pleasing audio while Apple turned in something very good. There was also an issue with the Samsung that may or may not be hardware.
A big comparison point is the size and resolution. Samsung has a larger 32” panel with UHD 4K resolution. You don’t need to do much scaling with this image if you don’t want it. The Studio Display does the whole 5K Retina display with a 27” screen. This means that the Apple option does look a lot sharper. Still, the Samsung looks good.
Brightness is another difference. The M8 hits 400 nits and the Studio Display gets up to 600 nits. Practically this isn’t going to be visible unless you are looking at them side-by-side and most people will find them both plenty bright.
Now, Samsung does lose out in off-axis quality. There is a lot of color shift and contrast loss. Also, the corners show some uniformity problems and are a little darker. Straight on they both has great contrast.
Color accuracy is easily in Apple’s camp. The Samsung M8 is good with 99% sRGB—which is plenty for most—while Apple delivers 100% of the DCI-P3 space.
Overall you have to then factor in the price. The Samsung M8 is less than half the price and comes with the added smart features. It’s also bigger and has some good looks. Apple delivers exactly what you would expect with some top-tier performance at high-end pricing.
What do you think about these two new displays? I think the Samsung M8 delivers a great product for most, but it is worth seeing just how much better Apple products are even if they seem overpriced at first.
[source: Max Tech]
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