LAS VEGAS--Last year Samsung introduced a TV with a bezel just 0.2 inch wide, and I couldn't help but gush that "the picture comes as close to naked as you'll ever see outside a projector."
This year the company offers that sexy all-picture look on three series of high-end LED TVs announced at CES, the least-expensive of which is the UNES7100. Available in three sizes, its main differentiator compared with the other two--the UNES7500 and the flagship UNES8000--is lack of the company's new Smart Interaction voice/gesture control feature.
By the way, if anybody's counting Samsung's inches it's LG, who says its thinnest-bezel sets, seen in models like the LM6200 series, have frames measuring "less then 5mm" thick. A quick bit of math tells me that 5mm equals 0.1969 inches. So technically LG's new 2012 bezel is barely thinner on the spec sheet; I'll wait until I can measure both in person before I declare a fractional winner.
In 2011 the only Samsung LED to include local dimming of any stripe--dubbed "micro-dimming plus" by the company--was the edge-lit UND8000 series. All three of Samsung's edge-lit, 0.2-inch bezel beauties get it this year. The feature is designed to improve contrast and black-level performance by dimming certain zones on the screen independently. In my review of the D8000 I found it worked relatively well, albeit not as well as full-array local dimming as seen on TVs like the Sony XBR-HX929, LG LW9800, and Sharp Elite.
The 2011 UND8000 was actually a disappointing performer overall, however, because of its inferior screen uniformity--the edges were much brighter than the middle. Perhaps Samsung has improved that aspect of picture quality on the 2012 ultra-slim-bezel models, but we won't know until we can test one.
Aside from the bezel width and micro-dimming plus, as well as a 240Hz refresh rate, the UNES7100 shares essentially the same features as the UNES6500.
Pricing and availability were not announced, although I expect these and other Samsung LEDs to arrive as early as February 2012.
Samsung UNES7100 series features:
- 0.2-inch thin bezel
- Micro-dimming plus local dimming
- Edge-lit LED backlight
- Includes two pair of 3D glasses
- 240Hz refresh rate
- Smart Hub connected TV suite
Samsung UNES7100 series models (price and availability TBD):
- Samsung UN46ES7100: 46-inch
- Samsung UN55ES7100: 55-inch
- Samsung UN60ES7100: 60-inch