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Samsung UNES7100 series LED TVs get slim bezel, micro dimming

The Samsung UNES7100 series of LED-based LCD TVs from Samsung is only the company's third-best announced for 2012, but it has the features equivalent to the 2011 flagship's.

David Katzmaier Editorial Director -- Personal Tech
David reviews TVs and leads the Personal Tech team at CNET, covering mobile, software, computing, streaming and home entertainment. We provide helpful, expert reviews, advice and videos on what gadget or service to buy and how to get the most out of it.
Expertise A 20-year CNET veteran, David has been reviewing TVs since the days of CRT, rear-projection and plasma. Prior to CNET he worked at Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com. He is known to two people on Twitter as the Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics. Credentials
  • Although still awaiting his Oscar for Best Picture Reviewer, David does hold certifications from the Imaging Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology on display calibration and evaluation.
David Katzmaier
2 min read
Please ignore the little bump along the top center bezel; this image is of the step-up and otherwise similar-looking UNES7500, and we'll replace it with the proper image, sans bump, when we can. Samsung

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