Samsung PN60E7000FF Plasma TV Review
The Samsung PN60E7000 is a feature-heavy TV that's got the performance to back up all of its frills.
Samsung’s E7000 series is a step down from the E8000, the most expensive, feature-heavy series out of Samsung’s 2012 plasma line-up. The PN60E7000 (MSRP $2529) is identical to the E8000 models in almost every way, except that it does not have voice and gesture controls.
We were extremely impressed with the E7000’s screen performance: Its viewing angle is huge and it has great motion. While it tested with worse color accuracy than the E8000, it’s still one of the best TVs to hit our labs all year.
The E7000 is both modernistic and practical.
Samsung’s design schematic for this year’s plasmas allows them to be relatively thin, fairly lightweight, and flexible, staying right in line with the aesthetic ideal we’ve seen from so many of its LCDs. In short; the E7000 is a handsome TV.
Considering that all of Samsung’s 2012 TVs have followed the same sensible layout for on-set control and port placement, we concluded rather quickly that the PN60E7000 is on the smarter side of the design spectrum shortly after assembling it.
Smart TV Features
Samsung's software menus and the Smart Hub are still knocking it out of the park.
If there’s one thing Samsung does with consistent excellence, it’s bringing TVs to life with user-friendly menus, easily accessible content, and very well explained set-up procedures. We’re very fond of Samsung’s software. Each click of the remote to adjust volume or jump to a heading in a menu is heralded by a soft ‘ping;’ the TVs have more sound effects than some early Nintendo games, but it never becomes annoying. The menus themselves are very well organized and should be a breeze to figure out no matter your HDTV experience level.
Perhaps the best example of this approach is found in Samsung’s Smart Hub, which is easily one of the best smart platforms available on the market right now. We're not crazy about internet-enabled or app-heavy TVs, as a rule, but feel the Smart Hub could make a believer out of anyone. It’s got a huge supplement of apps, tools, and access to streaming content without being heavy-handed or overly complex.
While color is good, motion performance is near-perfect
When we tested the flagship E8000 a few months back, we discovered that, on top of being loaded with features, it was also a superb performer in the important areas of contrast and color. The PN60E7000 is a little less feature-heavy and is supplanted by the more expensive E8000 in the realm of color accuracy. While it’s a solid performer all around, its best assets all fall into the category of screen performance—viewing angle, motion, and uniformity.
The PN60E7000 tested with some of the best motion we’ve seen since its big brother hit the labs a few months ago. Moving pictures depicting face details, hatched brickwork, lattice, and shafts of sunlight were completely blur free without motion assistance. A more complex montage of banded, monochrome pixels maintained its crispness throughout a full range of motion, and eschewed those pesky artifacts we almost always see. A brilliant result.
Samsung’s 3D is consistently high quality—even the free 3D content within the Smart Hub looks good.
So far, our experience with Samsung’s 2012 TVs has shown us a consistent quality of 3D imagery. That’s not to say it’s perfect—for example, the default depth of field is a little on the “shallow” side when compared to IMAX 3D, with one advantage being that this eliminates most crosstalk. On the whole, 3D looks good most of the time and is a positive addition to the E7000.
My one complaint would have to be filed with the included glasses. While it’s a nice touch to get two free pairs, I wish Samsung had followed the design schematic for the LCD variant of their 3D glasses. The included glasses are more square, and very flat, leaving little room for spectacles. They're also made of a harder plastic that grows uncomfortable pretty quickly.
A wide spectrum of versatility cements the PN60E7000 as a great TV.
Being a plasma, the E7000 provides deep blacks and smooth motion, without being bulky and cumbersome like the plasmas from yesteryear. It swivels and is easy to interface with and use. While its color accuracy wasn’t as good as we were expecting it to be, we also had very high expectations, and the E7000 is still miles ahead of a lot of plasma TVs on the market right now.
The PN60E7000 (MSRP $2529) may be a touch expensive, but it’s large enough to serve as a decent home theater hub. Video game fans should keep an eye on this one: It tested with very good, blur-free motion and its Game Mode function all but eliminates input lag. Between the 3D immersion, Samsung’s excellent Smart Hub, and this TV’s solid performance and interface usability, it's a wise investment.
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