LG’s new 4K monitor can pull double duty if you work from home and don’t have the energy (or space) to flop over to the couch to engage in binge-watching. The $499 LG Smart Monitor (32SQ780S) (via HomeKit News) has a 31.5-inch display, a built-in USB-C hub providing power and ports for your work laptop, and comes with a desk-mounting and height adjustable Ergo Stand that’s similar to the one that comes with LG’s unusual taller-than-it-is-wide DualUp monitor.
What makes the LG Smart Monitor more like a TV is that it supports the company’s Bluetooth Magic remote (though it’s unfortunately sold separately), and it runs webOS just like LG smart TVs, along with support for Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit. It’s similar in concept to the StanbyMe touchscreen display LG launched at CES with its built-in streaming but with more resolution, no touch capabilities, and obviously lacking the wheeled floor stand.
You can install streaming apps like Netflix, and it should also support cloud gaming as well since there’s a GeForce Now app in the webOS store, but no official Xbox Game Pass app or Office productivity apps like Samsung’s similar M8 Smart Monitor has. Samsung has also rolled out a slew of other monitors lately that have its Gaming Hub built-in, including everything from the oversized 55-inch Odyssey Ark to more reasonably sized displays.
In comparison to this LG monitor, Samsung’s M8 is also 32 inches with an adjustable stand, built-in speakers, and a similar refresh rate (60Hz to LG’s 65Hz) and resolution, though LG’s screen lacks HDR. But Samsung actually includes the TV-style remote with its monitor.
The LG has two HDMI ports (one with eARC/ARC), a USB-C uplink with 65W power delivery for a laptop, three USB 2.0 ports for peripherals, and built-in Ethernet. There are no high-speed USB 3.0 ports or built-in webcam, though you could just connect your own. You can also rotate the monitor vertically if you’re into that, but just keep in mind that the stand requires a desk you can mount to and doesn’t have a traditional desktop standing option.
It’s not the most feature-rich smart TV and monitor hybrid, but at $499, it may be a better fit for your budget than the $699 Samsung M8. The only problem is that you can’t buy one yet — LG’s website doesn’t show availability anywhere, and an Amazon listing for the monitor doesn’t have any units in stock. The Verge contacted LG for more information about availability, but we have not received a response yet.