Samsung Space Monitor Review
Samsung Space Monitor£330
Samsung’s 32-inch Space Monitor is the ultimate desk saver.
GadgetyNews has been using the Samsung Space Monitor in its 32-inch flavour for the past couple of weeks. Has it made our life easier? Has it handed us back some much-needed desk space? Read on to find out.
The £330 Samsung Space Monitor sounds all very sci-fi, doesn’t it? Well, there’s nothing genuinely futuristic about it, if I’m perfectly honest. However, it is a 32-inch, 4K monitor with minimal bezels and a handy built-in cable-tidy.
Anyone moving from a smaller monitor to a larger one will automatically notice the benefits. The same way as working on a single monitor suddenly seems silly after using a dual-screen (or more) set-up. Personally, I would prefer one large flat monitor instead of using dual screens for most of my work. I do see where a curved monitor would work better, especially for immersive gaming, but I have little chance for that kind of behaviour these days.
So, when the kind folks over at Samsung asked me to check out their Space Monitor, I was intrigued. Not just because a 4K, 32-inch monitor sounds ideal to me but – well, it has space in the name. Geek Mode initiated!
Samsung Space Monitor design
Most of us will agree that size does matter – when it comes to monitors (I’ll leave you all alone to debate other areas amongst yourselves). The thing is, large monitors need big desks. Even then, once positioned and looking awesome, they tend to take over the space they are in. Also, plenty of sizable monitors have equally sizable feet to stop them from falling over. So, if your desk real estate is at a premium and you want a large monitor, you will usually have to see that mascot, holiday snap and, worse of all, your venti cup live elsewhere. That was before Samsung’s 32-inch Space Monitor.
The way that Samsung has enabled space-poor desk monkies the opportunity to fit a 32-inch monitor on their desk is swapping out the usual stand for an arm that clamps on the back of your desk. Furthermore, that arm allows the screen to be brought forward when in use or pushed right back up against the wall or office divider when you need the desk for other things.
Up against the wall
The fact that when in its pushed-back mode, the rear of the monitor is perfectly flat with the arm means that even if you got a ‘normal’ monitor and paid the extra for a monitor arm, you will still not get all the space back you do with the Sammy Space Monitor. Samsung claims this design allows for 40% more usable desk space than a standard monitor stand for the same size display.
Additionally, the integral arm sports nifty cable routing channels and a recessed area for the HDMI, power, and Mini Display Port connections.
The arm allows the display to move forward and down as well as tilting. However, this clever hinging does not enable the screen to pivot nor rotate. Furthermore, as the arm mount is not of the common VESA variety, you won’t be able to easily swap arm for arm.
The 16:9, 32-inch display boasts 4K (3840 x 2160) resolution and slim bezels along the top and sides. The VA panel has a quoted average brightness of 250 nits, which suits most office settings. You also get 100% sRGB and 72% NTSC Colour Gamut coverage, according to Samsung. Finally, a 4ms (GTG) response time and 60Hz refresh rate means that this won’t be on your list if you’re a serious gamer but for the casual shoot em/drive em kind of player that gets the chance to boot up Steam perhaps five times a year the displays’ ‘Game Mode’ will suffice. For the most part, this screen is for productivity and maybe some design/photo/video work.
Samsung Space Monitor in use
Firstly, I had to ditch my VariDesk Pro 36 table-top adjustable standing desk for this review as the Space Monitor refused to dock with it, owing to a bar that runs just below the top tier at the rear of the VariDesk. I did try altering the clamp position but to no avail. However, attaching the Space Monitor to my regular desk was simplicity itself. Additionally, once the cables were run up the monitor’s rear trench, the result was a clean and tidy 32-inch monitor.
The on/off switch has been squirrelled away to the rear, and I will openly admit some mild confusion until I located that pesky button. This little blue nubbin is actually a joystick of sorts and will drive you through the on-screen menu.
Also, I must applaud Samsung for not bothering with adding speakers to this monitor. I understand that some might need speakers in their monitor, but they rarely do a great job and, as the Space Monitor has been designed for productivity, I see no use for integrated speakers here. Furthermore, should I require PC audio, I’ll run it directly from the source device or, better still, via a decent DAC/ amplifier and headphones or speakers. Thanks to the Space Monitor’s negligibly tiny footprint, a compact headphone DAC/amp will hardly undo all of Samsung’s good work.
Furthermore, there’s no FreeSync, G-Sync or kitchen sink, for that matter. What you do get is a slick-looking panel – no more, no less.
Be that as may, I do think that Samsung is missing one trick, though. As the Space Monitor can be positioned like a draughtsman’s drawing board, it would have been very cool if the display had touch support. I know, maybe a bit daft after my applauding the lack of unnecessary faff – but I stand by it.
The out of box settings had the colours somewhat washed-out. To start with, I assumed it was in Eye Saving Mode. As it turned out that all it took was a few tweaks before colours were as vibrant as I was hoping from the spec sheet.
The Picture By Picture (PBP) option is pretty neat, enabling you to run the HDMI and Mini Display Port inputs at the same time and displaying their output side-by-side on the screen. There is also Picture in Picture where the second source can take 25% of the screen space. So, you could be working on something in most of the area while having a boxset running in the corner. Nice.
The imaging is decent and a quick 30 minutes of Counter-Strike was playable enough to have a break and get back to what I should be doing. I do really love the amount of space, both on-screen and on-desk, that the Space Monitor gives me. There have been times where I’ve had my document full screen and the display in its upright position just so that I can enjoy seeing my desk more.
Space Monitor review conclusion
Overall, I think that the Samsung Space Monitor does what it sets out to do. It is a great-looking monitor with decent colour reproduction and brightness once you fiddle with the settings a bit.
I liked the screen’s adjustable eye-level and the clever hinging; however, I would have liked some lateral height adjustment too, though.
I maintain that touch tech would’ve made this display even better but, as it is, and ignoring that it wouldn’t clamp to my standing desk-topper, I would still very much buy one.