Samsung LNB650 series overview

Among Samsung's umpteen different model lines and feature variations for its 2009 HDTVs, the LNB650 series sits somewhere in the middle. It's significantly less expensive than the LED-based LCDs, like the UNB7000 series, and costs a bit less than the LNB750 series of non-LED 240Hz models, yet still commands a premium over entry-level models. Aside from a couple hundred bucks, 120Hz of refresh rate separates the B650 and B750 models on paper. In person, the B650s have significantly different styling and, it turns out, somewhat less impressive picture quality, although the difference in Hz has nothing to do with it. The LNB650 series still produces a very good picture however, and as usual we liked Samsung's implementation of dejudder processing. Sure you'll pay a bit extra for the numerous features, but you've always wanted a TV that can suggest recipes or keep tabs on your Twitter feeds, right? All told the LNB650 series makes a solid choice for an upper-midrange LCD, as long as you can handle its unusual looks and glossy screen.
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Samsung LNB650 series side view

The standard fluorescent backlight of the LNB650 series doesn't allow it to get as thin as the company's LED-based LCDs, but does that really matter?
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Samsung LNB650 series corner detail

The red accent color is clearly visible on the LNB650 series.
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Samsung LNB650 series bottom panel and stand detail

The point of the "V"-shaped bottom edge angles toward the clear stalk, which allows the TV to swivel.
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Samsung LNB650 series back panel inputs

Three HDMI inputs and a PC input, along with a LAN port for Interactive capabilities, grace the back panel of the well-connected LNB650.
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Samsung LNB650 series side panel inputs

The side includes a fourth HDMI port, an AV input, and a pair of USB ports.
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Samsung LNB650 series remote control

The remote control is basically the same as last year, and we're definitely fans--especially since Samsung ditched the rotating scroll wheel. The buttons are big, backlit, and easily differentiated by size and shape, and we liked the dedicated "Tools" key that offers quick access to picture and sound modes, the sleep timer, and the picture-in-picture controls. We didn't like the remote's glossy black finish, however, which picked up more than its share of dulling fingerprints after a few minutes.
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Samsung LNB650 series Yahoo widgets snippet bar

When activated, so-called "snippets" that lead to full Yahoo Widgets appear in a banner along the bottom of the screen.
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Samsung LNB650 series Yahoo widgets gallery

The Widget Gallery offers access to new widgets when they become available.
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Samsung LNB650 series Flickr widget

The Flickr widget lets you explore other people's photos, as well as view your own.
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Samsung LNB650 series Sudoku widget

A full-screen Sudoku game is one of the earlier widgets found in the Gallery.
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Samsung LNB650 series contact screen

A convenient Contact Samsung screen is available for situations when you need it.
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Samsung LNB650 series built-in content

The Content library has selected games, recipes, and other items, but it's still pretty lame.
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Samsung LNB650 series main picture menu

The red accents in the main menu system match the TV's "Touch of Color."
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Samsung LNB650 series Custom dejudder menu

Samsung's Custom dejudder processing offers more adjustability than other brands'.
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Samsung LNB650 series white balance menu

As usual, the Custom white balance screen proved a boon for fine-tuning color.
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Samsung LNB650 series picture quality

Accurate color in bright scenes and the customizable dejudder processing are among the Samsung B650's picture quality strengths, while its bluish color in dark scenes and shiny screen in bright rooms were the most significant issues we encountered.
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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by:
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