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.
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.
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.