Review Price free/subscription
Having been suitably impressed by the first TV from Samsung's premium new LED range, the classy UE46B8000, we turn our attentions today to Samsung's cheaper Series 7 LED range, as represented by the 40in UE40B7020 (or UE40B7020WW to give you its full name).
Aesthetically, the UE40B7020 is almost as pretty as its more expensive sibling. Again it's the screen's remarkable slimness that first catches the eye; thanks to its use of edge-mounted LED backlighting, it's under 30mm deep at its deepest point - a particularly startling achievement when you consider that Samsung has somehow managed to fit digital and analogue tuners into such a tiny space. Suddenly all those arguments we've heard from manufacturers who say you have to use external tuner boxes with super slim TVs seem rather less convincing.
The transparent neck attachment to the desktop stand is very pretty too, and the platinum black bezel's almost glass-like finish is given extra elegance by the way the glass top-sheet extends out beyond the black section's edge, to give the TV a transparent outer trim.
Personally I felt that the metallic desktop stand and more prism-like edging on the 8000 series give it a slight aesthetic edge, but the UE40B7020 is still a joy to behold.
When it comes to connections, the UE40B7020 matches its costlier sibling all the way. Which is rather good news, since it means you get an excellent roster that includes four HDMIs, a D-Sub PC port, two USB ports - both able to play video as well as MP3 and JPEG files - and a LAN port.
The screen's slenderness makes it impossible for the TV to fit a SCART socket onto its rear. But if you've still got sources that demand SCART connections, don't worry; Samsung includes a SCART adaptor with the TV for free.
As with the 8000 series, the UE40B7020's LAN port serves two purposes. First, you can use it to access files on a DLNA-certified PC. Second, you can use it to access Samsung's ring-fenced corner of the Internet, containing services like YouTube, Flickr, and various news, weather and financial reports.
I've just summed Samsung's 'Internet@TV' service up rather more briefly than it deserves, frankly, to save space and unnecessary repetition from other recent Samsung reviews. But please be under no illusion that while no match for full Internet access, Samsung's online proposition - driven by the brand's exclusive (until September) hook up with Yahoo Widgets - is streets ahead of anything currently offered by any rival brand we've seen.
If you're thinking at this point that having to hardwire the TV to your router seems a bit old-fashioned, then fear not; for an extra £20 or so you can procure yourself a USB-based dongle that enables you to connect the TV to your router wirelessly.
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