The Good The Samsung PND7000 series has outstanding overall picture quality, with excellent black-level performance and extremely accurate color. The screen can handle bright rooms well and exhibits the nearly perfect screen uniformity of plasma. Key features include built-in Wi-Fi and a comprehensive set of picture controls, and the Smart Hub Internet portal boasts more apps and streaming services than the competition. The PND7000's design is one the most attractive of any plasma we've seen.
The Bad The relatively expensive PND7000 cannot produce full shadow detail or proper 1080p/24 cadence without sacrificing some black-level performance. Smart Hub lacks Amazon Instant, its search is next to useless, and its interface can be cluttered and confusing.
The Bottom Line With picture quality on par with the best TVs we've ever tested, the Samsung PND7000 plasma represents an excellent value for videophiles who don't demand to own the top of the line.
Earlier this year we called Samsung's most expensive plasma TV, the PND8000 series, the "Best overall TV of 2011 (so far)." Now that we've tested its less expensive brother, the PND7000 series reviewed here, that designation isn't as certain. Sure the PND8000 has a few extra features, chiefly a QWERTY keyboard remote and Web browser, but the two have basically the same picture quality: outstanding, second among this year's TVs only to Panasonic's much more expensive series, and better overall than the Panasonic GT30 and ST30 models. If you're in the market for a high-performance plasma TV and want the best blend of picture quality and value, the Samsung PND7000 is our new go-to recommendation.
Editors' note: The Samsung PND7000 series was originally reviewed in August 2011. In October it received the Editors' Choice Award as our most-recommended TV overall..
Updated September 1, 2011: This review has been updated tocorrect a mistake regarding the Samsung PN59D8000 used in comparison;see Performance for details. This TV is also undergoinglong-term testing, the results of which don't affect this reviewas yet.
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