Samsung Area Monitor Overview: Your Desk’s Savior

"The Samsung Space Monitor uses its unique arm with two hinges to protect your desk from clutter."

  • Intuitive hinge design

  • Convenient cable management

  • High contrast ratio

  • Wide range of colors

  • Thick frame with a wobbly stand

  • Disappointing menu controls

  • The color accuracy is slightly different

The monitors are getting bigger, but the space on your desk is getting smaller. Mounting a monitor on a wall might help, but for most people this is not practical. The space on the wall is often as limited as the space on the desk, and not everyone wants to make an ugly bracket an integral part of their office furniture.

The Samsung Space Monitor is an alternative solution with a unique hinge that frees up space without complicating your desk. We tested the 32-inch 4K model, which is priced at $ 500.

Has the rescuer of your desk arrived?

Make room for your clutter

Samsung's space monitor is different from any monitor I've seen before. I noticed the striking sight of a monitor standing upright and defying gravity. Nevertheless, I remained skeptical. Monitors that try to reinvent themselves are usually more complicated than convenient.

Samsung Space MonitorRiley Young / Digital Trends

Surprisingly, the space monitor solves the problem that it wanted to address. It stands straight and imitates the feeling of mounting your monitor on the wall, but has the versatility of its own setting options.

It's brilliant. With two hinges built into the arm and a clamp, the monitor can rest comfortably in numerous positions. It can stand up straight, freeing up maximum space, or pull the display out of the wall so that it feels like a normal monitor with a conventional stand. It is easy to adjust between these positions so that you can choose what is suitable for the task.

The Space Monitor solves the problem that needs to be fixed.

That's not all. The flexible stand can tilt the screen back to an angle of almost 90 degrees, where it looks and feels like a flat resting Surface Studio 2. However, this is not a touchscreen device, so the use of this feature is more limited than it could be.

Compared to standard settings for height, tilt and swiveling, the Space Monitor is far more versatile. However, you cannot simply reposition this monitor on your desk. It is attached where you clamp it. It also cannot be rotated or rotated, which limits its usefulness. There is no VESA mount either, so you have to accept the out-of-box experience.

You might think the unique hinge would mean that this is an expensive, high-end monitor. Instead, Samsung has decided to sell the Space Monitor at an average price of $ 500. It's not cheap, but it is adequate for a 32-inch 4K screen.

Riley Young / Digital Trends

That means other aspects of design are less important than you might think. It is made entirely of plastic and although the stand feels stable, the screen wobbles a bit. This can be a problem if you bump your desk a lot.

The back of the case itself is not too thin and the design has a mild, corrugated texture. There are far more elegant options like the Dell 27 USB-C Ultra Thin. Samsung paid more attention to the function of the hinge than to the appearance of the case.

Clean but limited connections

Cable management is vital for a clean desk, and the Samsung Space Monitor offers an interesting solution. Samsung was able to plug a Y-cable into the stand, which is completely hidden behind a removable panel that can lie flat against a wall. This cable hides the connection of the monitor to your PC from the eyes. While this is a cool feature, it's not as easy as connecting to down-firing ports that can be seen on many monitors.

Samsung Space MonitorRiley Young / Digital Trends

While the position of the ports is convenient, the actual variety is limited. The monitor has only one HDMI connector, a mini DisplayPort and a single USB-A connector. This is not a lot and probably means that you need dongles and a USB hub. Some modern monitors offer options such as USB-C for a single cable setup. It's a shame that this isn't available here because it fits the clean and minimalist theme of the monitor.

A menu from the 90s

The menu control of the Space Monitor is very simple. It's a single joystick located on the back of the lower right corner. You must click on it even if you want to turn off the monitor.

The menu itself is pixelated and looks old-fashioned. You will feel like you were in the 90s, but it does the job. You have access to your typical controls for brightness, contrast and sharpness, as well as some presets for tones. However, you can manually tinker with red, green, and blue, as well as three gamma modes. It's nothing out of the ordinary and we found the default settings to be preferable in most cases.

A solid 4K computing experience

There are two options for the Space Monitor. A smaller option with 27 inches, 1080p and 32 inches (4K) (3840 x 2140). Both have the same unique hinge, but differ in sharpness and image quality. Our test device, the 4K model, has received some impressive measurements from our color measurement device, especially for such a cheap 4K monitor.

The strength of the image quality of the monitor lies in the color scale and the contrast. With a contrast ratio of over 1,000: 1 and a color gamut of 87 percent of the AdobeRGB color space, the Space Monitor is a step above other 4K monitors in the lower price range.

At 321 nits, the Space Monitor isn't the brightest screen we've ever seen. However, the matt surface means that sharp glare is not a problem even in brightly lit office environments. However, the color accuracy was somewhat different with an average color error of 2.53. Compared to more accurate monitors such as the BenQ PD3200U or the Dell 27 USB-C Ultra Thin, the Space Monitor is not as pixel-accurate.

If you move away from the center of the screen, you will notice a rapid loss of contrast.

Interestingly, the Space Monitor uses a VA panel (vertical orientation) in contrast to an IPS or TN display type. The result is better contrast and a wider range of colors than with conventional IPS displays. The compromise? Perspective. They're not quite as bad as a TN panel, but if you move a little bit away from the center of the screen, you will notice a quick loss of contrast.

The space monitor is not on a gaming monitor. VA panels usually have the slowest response time, and the panel is locked with a refresh rate of 60 Hz. In particular, adaptive synchronization technology is not supported, so FreeSync is a no-go. The smaller 27-inch space monitor has a 2,560 x 1,440 panel with a refresh rate of 144 Hz.

Recalibration

We calibrated the space monitor, but it didn't make much of a difference. The most noticeable change was a slight increase in the contrast ratio, which added some depth to some of the darkness of the image. The color accuracy remained practically unchanged.

Our opinion

The Samsung Space Monitor lives and dies on its unique hinge. It was designed for a very specific purpose and is not a monitor that we would recommend to anyone. The stand's space-saving capabilities are still interesting, however, and most of us could use some help on this front.

Unlike most experimental products, Samsung didn't add unnecessary costs to compensate for the innovative design. It's an affordable 4K monitor that delivers decent picture quality – aside from the striking hinge.

Any alternatives?

There's nothing like the Space Monitor, although a 4K monitor mounted on an arm stand might do the trick. The Samsung UJ590 has a traditional stand, but uses a similar 32-inch VA panel for $ 100 cheaper.

Other 32-inch 4K monitors can get quite expensive. The BenQ PD3200U is $ 200 more expensive, while the BenQ EL2870U $ 400 lacks the image quality of the space monitor.

When you're ready to jump to 27 inches, the Dell UltraSharp U2718Q is a good 4K option for just $ 400.

How long it will take?

The Samsung Space Monitor should have a lifespan of more than five years. It's robust and well built, and you shouldn't have to buy a new one soon, even without a USB-C port.

The monitor comes with a one-year warranty on parts and labor. We'd like longer warranties for monitors, but a year has become standard.

Should you buy it

Not if you are not the type who above all wants a clean desk.

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