Samsung's UE40C7000 finds itself in a handy position: sure, it's not the only £1,800 40in telly on the planet – but right now it’s one of the few 3D-ready TVs you can buy.
Let's not get hung up on the 3D thing just yet, though – first up, it's nice to be able to report that the UE40C7000 is just a brilliant screen.
The sleek, elegant design is up to Samsung's usual high standards and incorporates an edge-lit backlight. The newly styled zapper is a real eye-catcher, too, and makes short work of the intuitive user menus.
It’s in the detail
Spin a DVD and the internal scaler shows it's ready and willing to keep edges smooth, detail levels high and motion silky and consistent. Colours are bold, yet skin tones remain natural.
The jump to Blu-ray gives the UE40C7000 an even greater opportunity to impress. The detail on offer blew us away, and the set's motion-processing tech does a great job of tracking action scenes.
You're not left behind in the connectivity stakes, either. There's an Ethernet socket for connecting to Samsung's 'internet@TV' service, which even includes full streamed movies from Lovefilm.com – though you'll need Samsung's £50 dongle if you want wireless.
OK, we've kept you hanging on for long enough: let's talk 3D. Put on a pair of Samsung's SSG-2100AB active-shutter specs (£100 a pair) and you'll be impressed: objects launch out of the screen, giving a depth of field we haven't seen before on a mass-market telly.
Review continues after the break…
If you don't have a 3D source, the TV can create a pseudo-3D effect from two-dimensional content. It delivers an interesting-looking image, but can't match the quality of a dedicated 3D disc being played through a 3D Blu-ray deck – the £350 Samsung BD-C6900 Blu-ray player is a good start. And don't forget that the functionality will be coming to Sony PS3s soon, too.
We were critical of the sound quality of Samsung's last slimline sets, but pleasingly the UE40C7000's speakers are more stable and substantial than those on the previous B7000 series.
The 3D support is a great feature, and if you're hell-bent on adopting this new format then this Samsung is one of the must-have TVs of the year so far. But even if you view 3D as a novelty, you should feel safe in the knowledge that the UE40C7000 is a brilliant set regardless.
More after the break...
A fantastic TV with a brilliant, extensive spec and terrific picture. The 3D functionality is just the icing on the cake