Alright, so maybe it's a little late, but the Hands-on Friday special is here to stay. And with a great product this week, the future of Hands-on Friday looks even better. So without further ado, check out the sleek and fancy Samsung LN-T2653H.
The Samsung LN-T2653H is a fine 26-inch LCD that offers a slick look and a high-quality picture in a small package. And while I enjoyed the blue light on the bottom of the device when I turned it on, the annoying Samsung chime and the amount of time it took to create a picture, made me refrain from calling this one of the best HDTVs I have ever used.
The Samsung LN-T2653H is simply one of the best-looking 26-inch HDTVs you will find anywhere. With a slick piano black finish in a plastic frame, the device is the perfect blend of looks and portability.
When turning the HDTV on, you get the full-effect of what this product has to offer. With a quick click of the appropriately-designed remote, the TV's blue light emerges under the Samsung logo. Not only does this add some appeal to the look of the product, it helps keep your mind occupied during the excruciatingly slow startup time.
The Samsung LN-T2653H comes with a nice stand and could easily be placed on a wall with little or no backbreaking. Its slender and lightweight design also makes it a nice addition to any dresser while you watch some shows before bed.
One of the nicest features of the Samsung LN-T2653H is its hidden speakers. As a guy who can't stand looking at speakers that make a device even more bulky than it has to be, Samsung's decision to keep the speakers hidden from view while saving space is a welcome addition.
In smaller HDTVs with lower prices, you can usually expect less ports on the back. In the case of this Samsung device, nothing was left to chance. With two HDMI and component inputs along with the inclusion of optical audio, there should be no shortage of inputs for anything you want to throw at it. That said, it would have been nice if the company decided to include one more HDMI ports to bump the total to three -- my new minimum when buying a new HDTV.
After prolonged use with one product, the picture quickly gives way to what you can do with it. Unfortunately, the Samsung LN-T2653H doesn't offer a too much in the way of unique features, but still offers what you would expect from an HDTV: temperature control with full picture modifications; audio control; and an easy-navigable menu.
As I've mentioned in prior Hands-on Friday evaluations, a warmer temperature is usually your best bet. And with Samsung's decision to throw in two cool and warm functions, you have a considerable amount of control over how the picture looks. That said, a slider would still be nice for better control.
The menu system is a pleasure to use when getting your way around the device. With the click of the menu button, you're immediately presented with a typical Samsung menu system that is both intuitive and actually quite appealing to the eyes. But for what the company gains in making its system simple, it overcompensated and made the menu system a little too simple for the more advanced users in the crowd. Even so, you can expect to get the picture and sound almost the way you want it without much fussing.
Overall, the Samsung LN-T2653H picture is average when displaying HD signals. While watching sports on the device, you can expect a relatively solid picture with slight issues when there is too much movement on the screen. That said, the HDTV performs extremely well when displaying SD content and does away with much of the grainy elements we have come to expect in some HDTVs that focus more on HD quality than SD.
One area that stands out on the LCD is its creation of extremely accurate whites and blacks. Without much fiddling, you can get the picture of the Samsung LN-T2653H to display inky blacks and bright whites to give the sense of a higher-quality picture.
Besides image quality, the Samsung LN-T2653H sports impressive sound quality that enhances your overall viewing experience. In a word, the sound quality on this device is exceptional.
Overall, the Samsung LN-T2653H is a great product for anyone who wants to throw a nice HDTV in a kitchen or bedroom. But if you're looking for a device that offers superior quality for sporting events or other HD content, this HDTV is simply not for you.
But for an affordable price ($899 at Amazon), you can have a delightfully small and sleek HDTV that offers impressive functionality for the cost.
For a detailed review of this device from the CNET Reviews Team, click here.
Check back each Friday on The Digital Home as Don performs a hands-on evaluation of some of the hottest home products around. Next week: Sony Micro Home Theater System
If you want to see prior Hands-on Friday articles from Don, click here.