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We've reviewed several good-looking 2.1-channel systems lately, but few have been as outrageously stunning as this effort from Samsung. It should come as no surprise given the company's track record of making affordably priced but drop-dead gorgeous gear, but we were still taken aback by the sheer beauty of the HT-X720G.
In the box are four components - two 'half tallboy' front speakers, a DVD/receiver unit and a cube-shaped passive subwoofer that stands just 256mm high. The sleek and fashionable DVD unit and front speakers are clad in Samsung's trademark 'platinum black crystal' design - a decadent gloss-black finish framed by a transparent border.
Most eye-catching is the distinctive main unit, which stands up vertically on its flat underside and looks uncannily like the BD-P4600 Blu-ray player. There's a discreet disc slot and a row of touch-sensitive buttons along the top that instantly boosts its coolness factor, and when powered up a large dot matrix display appears in the centre to provide all the key information. It really is one of the most attractive one-box home cinema hubs we've come across, and if you've already got a Samsung TV at home then this system is the perfect partner.
The half tallboy speakers, which stand 605mm high, are surprisingly slim and slot onto circular stands, giving them a funky, futuristic vibe. But most significantly they boast speaker cones made of 'Bio Kelp' (aka seaweed), which Samsung reckons has a fast response time and a natural tonal balance thanks to the high tissue density. We'll find out in due course.
Unlike the HB354BS system from Korean compatriot LG, the HT-X720G doesn't play Blu-ray discs - it's a straight up DVD affair. But like any system worth its salt it'll upscale your SD discs to 1080p over the HDMI v1.3 connection, giving you near hi-def pictures until you decide the time is right to upgrade.
But if you fancy upgrading this system to 5.1 in the future you're out of luck, as the main unit only sports 2.1-channel speaker terminals on the back. Thankfully these are plugs as opposed to springclips and each one is colour-coded to minimise confusion when rigging it up. The fronts and sub feature tiny springclips though, making it a little fiddly to feed in the cables.