Samsung UN55C8000 3D LED LCD HDTV First Impressions Review$3,999.00
Samsung UN55C8000 3D LED LCD HDTV First Impressions Review
Tour & Design
The Samsung UN55C8000 is mostly screen, as you might expect—a big, 55-inch screen. Samsung has clearly spent a lot of time developing new finishes on their TVs, starting with last year's 'Touch of Color' series. While the jury is still out on whether they actually look good, Samsung is steamrolling ahead with a second-gen aesthetic called 'mystic earth.' The photos seen in this review are not what you should expect on the final model. Samsung representatives informed us that the model on the CES show floor was mock-up. The final model is expected to have a brushed metal finish, which should (we suspect) make it look like a 55-inch iPhone.
Along the bottom, there's a translucent plastic strip. Samsung has told us that, despite changes between the photographed version here and the final version, this strip will remain. Look closer, and you'll notice this is where the on-board controls are located. The strip won't have buttons, but rather touch-sensitive areas for the standard functions: channel, volume, menu, and power.
The back of the Samsung UN55C8000 is definitely not finalized, as was emphasized by the Samsung staff. They did not want us photographing the back. We're not sure why, because it looked pretty much like every other ultra-thin Samsung TV. The version we saw was matte black, but again, we were told the finished model will have a brushed metal finish.
The ports were arranged in an L-shape, and they all ran parallel to the back of the TV. This design is to allow for easy wall-mounting: the cords won't stick out of the TV, pushing the set away from the wall.
We should note that the power supply appears to be hard-wired into the back, not removable. If you break it, you've bought yourself a very expensive trip to the repair shop.
The sides on the Samsung UN55C8000 are very thin – not quite as ridiculously thin as the new 0.3-inch Samsung 9000 series, but still quite thin. As such, there are no ports or controls on the sides.
The base of the Samsung UN55C8000 is a big departure from standard television design. Rather than a large oval or rectangle of plastic they try to minimize, this TV features a 4-legged, clawfoot design. It's a savvy marketing move on Samsung's part, encouraging you to embrace your TV as part of the living room design.
Samsung is pushing their HDTVs as aethestic components of your home, not something you want to hide in a cabinet. It's not merely the thinness of the TV (which is incredible): Samsung has been experimenting with new finishes and textures, like last year's Touch of Color series. Our own editorial offices were decidedly split on the red Touch of Color TVs, but generally favorable to the rest. Samsung has expanded further into experimenting with a new 'mystic earth' finish, which is meant to harken natural patterns found in leaves and trees. Sound pretentious? Maybe a little. It's hard for us to judge, because we didn't see a finished product at the Samsung booth. The finish on the Samsung UN55C8000 pictured here is not a final production model: as stated above, the final model should have a brushed metal finish.