Cosmetics and Features
Not Your Average Slim Shady
Measuring a mere 29.9mm in thickness, the 40-inch Samsung B7000 LED TV was definitely slim enough to impress our bevy of geeks here. But that's not all to its looks, for we noticed that Samsung has catered for swiveling options in the mix. The B7000 is furnished in a glossy black bezel with crimson trimmings, a Crystal Design color scheme recognizable on many of their flat panels of late.
Samsung's new wall-mount kit is worth of a mention here. In place of bulky brackets used by many conventional TVs, the B7000 LED TV is light enough that you may opt to hang the TV up via its metallic cables so as to minimize the space between panel and wall. Appreciably, Samsung has moved all four HDMI ports to the side. It's a clever thought, considering how you'd rather wall-mount the TV given the B7000's slender frame. All other inputs/outputs are available at the bottom of the unit, again making sure they are not interfering with the flush wall-mount capability of the panel. In our opinion, we would have preferred a mix of ports to be easily reached on the side and not just all the HDMI ports.
The B7000 is big on features as well. Besides its built-in digital tuner and DLNA support, the Series 7 also boasts of networking capabilities such as an Internet@TV option. Take its YouTube widget for instance. It's an integrated service which allows you to sign in to the video site as well. The widget will take a moment to install initially then you're free to indulge in the service. It is largely easy to use, with no network drops encountered on our office's LAN connection.
Obviously different this time, we noticed that the Koreans have made some alterations to the TV's GUI (graphical user interface). The menu is now dressed in a similar red-and-black theme much like the TV's Crystal Design appearance. As expected with Samsung TVs, the panel is also highly customizable. We noticed that tweaks such as changing the color space, flesh tones, and backlight controls were made available under its Picture menu. As for the remote which is your gateway to configuring and using the TV, we didn't notice any major modifications, although its tail-end has been extended to give it a different appearance.
Strangely, Samsung has remained coy with the crucial specs. For example, there's no indication of the LED TV's response time, while contrast ratio numbers were generally publicized as "Mega" to keep up the guesswork. It's a rather odd move, if not wasteful, considering the LED TVs visual prowess as advocated by Samsung. On the following page, we find out how this Samsung B7000 LED TV fares in our assessment against some of the best LCD and Plasma TVs we've reviewed in the past on our sister HWM publication.