Thanks to Edge LED backlighting, the ES6300 has an ultra-slim 4.7 cm casing. The screen bezel is an even more impressive 5 mm, like in Samsung's other ES-series TVs. The image therefore looks almost like it's floating in thin air.
The ES6300 has DLNA 1.5 support, as well as Samsung's usual host of connected services. You can therefore download all kinds of applications (VOD, Google Maps, Skype, etc.) but the majority of them aren't displayed in Full HD resolution.
The TV's internal menus are nicely designed. Since last year, an explanatory text has been added to the right of each setting to help you find what you're looking for more easily. This can be particularly handy for non-expert users.
One real strong point of Samsung TVs is the built-in media player. Simply hook up an external storage peripheral (USB flash drive, external hard drive) to one of the three USB ports for quick, easy access to all kinds of multimedia files. Loads of formats are supported. In fact, the only things that can sometimes cause problems are chapters and subtitles.
The remote control has been redesigned for this 2012 TV. It has been slimmed down and it's nicer to hold thanks to a sleek new rounded design and a handy notch to rest your index finger in. However, the buttons aren't backlit. Samsung has also developed iOS and Android apps so you can control this TV with a compatible mobile phone or tablet. These can be a life-saver when you can't find the remote!
After changing a few settings to get the best possible results for films (see inset), the ES6300 displays a pleasant, although not excellent-quality image.
Colours in Movie mode: average Delta E = 4.7
To be honest, colour fidelity could be better, as our sensor measured an average Delta E of 4.2. Delta E measures the difference between perfect colours and those displayed onscreen, with anything under 3 considered accurate. Flesh tones and the grey scale prove particularly problematic here.
We measured contrast at 2260:1. That's fine for watching TV in a room with subdued lighting, but it pitch darkness, black parts of the picture might not look so great.
Display quality is relatively consistent over the screen. The average variation in brightness is just 8%, which is excellent for an LCD TV. However, viewing angles are still too tight. This TV scored just 1.7/5 in our viewing angle tests due to variations of up to 40% compared with the onscreen image viewed straight on.
This graph shows the ghosting time, measured in ms, which measures the time it takes this TV takes to entirely remove the previous frame. The shorter the time, the more fluid moving images will appear.
Good news—the screen panel used in this TV is nice and responsive. In fact, it's not far behind the best plasma screens. With an 8 ms ghosting time and just 33 ms input lag, this TV is perfect for gamers—there's no noticeable latency between your actions and the onscreen results.
Another good thing about the Samsung ES6300 is that there's hardly any clouding. A slight trace of light can be seen leaking through in the corners of the screen, but a touch of mood lighting is all it takes to make that perfectly unnoticeable.
As with its other 3D TVs, Samsung has opted for active-shutter technology in the UE40ES6300.
Two pairs of 3D glasses are supplied. And seeing as Samsung's models are among the cheapest on the market, extra pairs can be picked up for around £15. They're not the most stylish eye-wear around, and there are lighter models out there, but they're quite comfortable to wear.
Left: Series 6000 TV from 2011 / Right: ES6300
Unlike 2011's 6000 series TVs, this 2012 displays genuine Full HD 3D images
. The difference is clear to see.
In fact, 3D quality is excellent. There's only a slight trace of crosstalk in the most highly contrasted images (such as a white object on a black background), but that kind of scene is actually quite rare in most films. The rest of the time, there's no sign of crosstalk at all, so you can enjoy 3D viewing without images for the left and right eyes overlapping onto one another and causing interference.
Below—the result as seen through 3D glasses (Top: Samsung UE40ES6300 / Bottom: Philips 40PFL5507
With a perfect result, we shouldn't see any trace of the 'R' frame on the left, and, vice versa, none of the 'L' frame on the right. For the time being, only plasmas from Samsung and Panasonic get this right.
Samsung has loaded this TV with a 2D-to-3D conversion function. It's no replacement for genuine 3D content, but it can add a bit of depth to flat 2D pictures. Don't expect to see any objects flying off the screen, however—like we said, it's no substitute.
Green zone = good /Orange zone = tolerated / White zone = denatured.
It's no surprise to see that audio quality isn't up to much in this TV. It's about time manufacturers got round to developing new systems to equip their TVs with sound output worthy of the name. They could surely find a way of integrating proper sound bars into their TVs, for example.
Quality is good enough for watching TV shows as the frequency band in which voices fall is well rendered. However, bass is totally absent and high frequencies fall by the wayside as soon as you hit 3 kHz. Stéphane (the reader who lent us this TV) is only too aware of this, and uses an external amp and a Focal 5.1 speaker kit to make things a whole lot better.
As is usually the way with LCD TVs—particularly those with LED backlighting—power use is kept in check in the UE40ES6300. On standby, it uses under 1 W, rising to 91 W when in use (which works out at 206 W/m² for this 40" TV). That's certainly good, but some other TVs do better, pushing down under 100 W/m².