For a set that all but disappears if you look at it side, on, this Sammy packs some serious tech. But how phat is its performance?
There’s slim, then there’s Samsung slim. Having just lauded the Philips 42PES001 for, among other things, its svelte 3.6cm depth, we’re confronted by a brand-new 1080pFull HD Samsung screen that’s a vanishing skinny 2.9cm deep.
And, unlike the Philips, the Samsung doesn’t cram its innards into a separate media box – packing two TV tuners, as well as all connectivity, into the chassis of the screen. Nice work.
None more black
It’s not just the depth of the screen that sets out to impress, either. This set is a statement of intent, from the subtle ‘Platinum Black’ finish of the screen and its stand, through the expansive specification that includes four HDMI inputs, a pair of USB inputs, wireless internet connection (providing you’ve paid for Samsung’s £50 wireless dongle) with bespoke Yahoo widgets and sources such as YouTube and Flickr, through to white LED backlighting arrayed around the edges of the screen.
If the battle could ever be won on paper, Samsung would be swaggering back to base without a scratch on it.
A word on the remote, though: for a company that’s delivered some impressive tellies in its time, Samsung has a rotten record with remote controls. This one is pointlessly large, weirdly shaped (we’ve never seen a remote look more like a DustBuster) and less than intuitive to use. And, of course, once you’ve set the screen up, most of the buttons become redundant.
That aside, the ’7020 has the performance to make good on its tech promise. TV pictures are stable, with generally low amounts of noise and notable depth of field. Motion is mostly smooth, colours are of the rich-but-not-too-vivid variety, and black levels are impressive.
Up the quality to DVD and the good news keeps coming. Picture noise is suppressed mercilessly, colours – skin tones especially – are agreeable and levels of black detail are a match for the best. Motion’s smooth, too.
Blu-ray images are the nicest of all. The Samsung is brilliant across the board, combining excellent detail, believable colours, smooth edge definition and rock-solid movement into an extremely enjoyable whole.
It’s not without flaws: sound is no great shakes, being predictably lightweight, and poorer-quality TV broadcasts are done no favours at all.
But overall, this is an impressive set – doubly so considering it hardly exists in the third dimension at all.
Samsung UE40B7020 review
It might seem pricey, but in this instance there’s no doubt that you get what you pay for