While we wait impatiently for Samsung’s second generation of 3D TVs, let’s tide ourselves over with what’s unquestionably one of the most glamorous and iconic TVs of this AV generation: Samsung’s UE46C9000. The fact that we organised Samsung’s flagship 46in LED TV to arrive just before Christmas, so that it was there to make any visitors who popped round come over all unnecessary and jealous, was just a happy bonus, obviously.
Funnily enough, though, this pathetically shallow attempt to make friends and influence people simply by having a fancy TV around slightly backfired – at least as far as Samsung was concerned. For while we’d expected the UE46C9000 to deliver the same sort of futuristic allure as the 55in version of the set that we tested a few months back, actually, it fell just a touch flat.
Initially it’s hard to figure out why this might be so. After all, the UE46C9000 is still just as impossibly thin as its bigger brother, achieving a depth over most of its rear of a smidge under 8mm. And yes, that really is mm, not cm.
The UE46C9000 also shares the same gorgeous metallic bezel as the UE55C9000, and still has its screen beautifully attached to a stunningly well-built brushed aluminium desktop stand.
So what’s the problem? Actually, once you step back and look at it, it becomes pretty obvious: size. For reducing the size of the screen by 9in really reduces the UE46C9000’s impact. In other words, having a 46in screen attached to a pencil-thin rear end just doesn’t seem quite as incredible as having a 55in screen attached to a pencil-thin rear end.
What’s more, only having a 46in screen doesn’t make the UE46C9000 seem as completely out of most people’s reach and experience as the 55in model. So when all’s said and done, while the UE46C9000 is undoubtedly gorgeous, it seems neither quite as mind-boggling in technical terms or as fiendishly aspirational as the bigger version.
Why does this matter so much? Because the UE46C9000 costs £3,200. This is a truly princely sum for a 46in TV, even one with 3D playback and extensive multimedia talents (which we’ll get into later). So the moment it fails to dazzle and stand out from the crowd quite as much as the UE55C9000, it fails to justify its extravagant cost as successfully. As a result, unlike the (seemingly controversial!) 9 out of 10 we awarded the UE55C9000 partly on account of its iconic design achievements, the UE46C9000 only bags an 8.