The Samsung Space Monitor is a very nifty device, but only for a certain kind of person — a very niche kind of person. If you're not this person, your enjoyment of the Space Monitor will dip greatly.
To know whether you are this person, ask yourself this question: "do I have a flat, rectangular desk?" If yes, great! The Samsung Space Monitor is for you. If your answer is no, all hope is not lost — but you do have a wonderful and complicated journey ahead of you.
So, what is the Samsung Space Monitor?
The $749 Samsung Space Monitor I reviewed was a 27-inch WQHD (2,560 x 1,440) 144Hz screen with a foldable stand for easy storage. This model is also available in a $899 32-inch 4K UHD variant.
It uses a clamp system for easy installation and sits neatly against a wall (it can also be freestanding, if needed). When needed, you can pull it down and use it as a regular monitor via basic pull-down height adjustment. The arm is sturdy and readily adjusted — it never felt flimsy or fragile. The monitor itself is about 3cm thick and simply designed, so it'll blend well into any office setting, and fit into any desk situation.
The screen on the 27-inch version is solid, but not particularly flashy. It was a definite step up from my basic 720p monitors though, and I appreciated the crispness and vividness of the colours.
Images look fantastic, particularly if you're playing a game that can take advantage of the higher resolution. That said, if you're investing in the Samsung Space monitor range, the $899 4K variant might be a more impressive leap for only $150 more.
Samsung Space Saving Monitor
WHAT IS IT?
A flexible, space-saving WQHD monitor.
Starts at $749
Easy manoeuvrability and sleek design.
Only for a specific type of desk.
So, how does it work?
Getting this to work with my own desk was a trial and half. When I opted to review this monitor, I was under the naive impression that my desk would easily accommodate the clamp system with no dramas. But, oh there was dramas. This is my beast of a desk. It is not rectangular.
First, it turned out that I had a support beam that was at least 20 centimetres wide and exceeded the extensive jaws of the Space's clamp. I thought, "great, I'll just take off the beam," but it was locked in with hook screws and couldn't be removed without dismantling the entire thing. Given the mounds of books attached to it, and the fact that it probably needed the support, it wasn't the most practical solution.
Then, I was convinced I could MacGyver my bedside table into a temporary desk just for the review. I quickly realised that was stupid, and briefly moved on to the equally-dumb "why don't I buy a new desk" thought, before I decided I would need to drill the monitor in.
Luckily, my father is a handy sort of fellow. An hour and a handful of curses later, the Samsung Space Monitor was drilled firmly into my desk using the already-existing holes in the pivoting arm. This worked just as well as the clamp system would have, but it does mean that I now have four (very imprecise) holes in my previously unblemished desk. Sometimes, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
Still, I can hardly hold that against the monitor, and once it was installed, it worked wonderfully.
So, what was great about it?
The Samsung Space Monitor is simple, sturdy and sleek. It features minimal bezel and maximum screen, as well as a matte finish that makes it look polished and clean. It does mean that your grubby fingerprints will show up in force from all the manoeuvring, but it's also easy to clean and put away when needed.
Its space saving abilities really are a blessing, and gaining a whole chunk of space back for your desk means that you'll have plenty of room for more stuff on there. It's hard to resist the temptation of empty space, after all.
My desk is bedazzled with a variety of accessories. I have two monitors, a wall of PlayStation, Switch and Xbox games, a pen organiser, a filing system, a large (fake) goat skull and a commemorative Wonderland spoon to house on it. Everything needs space.
Using the Samsung Space Monitor meant that I regained space I desperately needed — in fact, I gained about 30 square centimetres of prime horizontal space. It might seem small, but it made a heap of difference. It even made my room seem lighter and more open. Conveniently, it also hid a particularly bare-looking patch on my wall that I'd mean meaning to cover up (probably with a wrestling poster). It also fit squarely in the gap I needed, as you'll see above. As far as ergonomics go, the Samsung Space Monitor is a great choice.
Despite the fact that the monitor I reviewed was the lower tier variety, the colours and visual fidelity of the screen were great! Samsung makes solid monitors, and I was upgrading from a basic tier 720p Samsung to this wonderful WQHD 2,560 x 1,440 variety.
Not only are the visuals crisp and shiny, it's also big, which means you can open up as many tabs as you like and split screen it with ease. Do you want Netflix on one side and Twitter on the other? No problem.
Gaming was great too, with a wider scope of view than I was previously used to. Defeating Mirelurks and Mothman in the wasteland? Cake. Hunting down Alduin in Skyrim? Pie. In fact, it looked good enough that I got cocky and tried to render The Sims in WQHD. My computer promptly crashed and reminded me how desperately I needed to replace my fried processor.
Even still, it was gorgeous while it lasted.
So what wasn't so great?
Lack of flexibility
The Samsung Space Monitor was great, but as mentioned earlier, it's for a very specific kind of person. If you aren't that rectangular-desk dweller, then you'll have a very bad time with this monitor. The lack of flexibility means that you can only really use the monitor on one kind of desk, and if you have anything with supportive struts, you likely won't be able to use it at all.
The clamp system is only compatible with surfaces less than about 15cm in length, so anything thicker won't work. In that case, you'll have to do away with the clamp (it's easily unscrewed) and attempt to attach it to your desk surface any way you know how.
Should you buy it?
I really liked the Samsung Space Monitor. It's well designed (besides the limiting clamp system), simple to use (provided you have the right type of desk), and it's a great idea for people who are strapped for space. But — and it's a big but — it has enough competition in the monitor world that unless you really, really need the space, you can opt for something cheaper and higher quality.
As I said before, this is a $749 WQHD monitor, but even on a $500 budget, you can get a solid 4K UHD monitor and save yourself $350. In fact, Samsung's even competing with itself in this respect, because you can get a 4K Samsung monitor for between $350 - $380. There's even a $499 32-inch 4K monitor from Samsung. And that's not to mention a $479 LG competitor, or a $599 28-inch 4K Acer.
None of these offer the (admittedly cool) folding abilities of the Samsung Space Monitor, but they do offer higher resolutions than the $749 iteration of the Space Monitor. Whether you should buy it will depend on what you're looking for in a monitor, but cost-wise, there are far better options. Ergonomics wise? You'd be hard-pressed to find a better space-saving solution.