This TV is available in three sizes: 40" (UE40ES7000), 46" (UE46ES7000) and 55" (UE55ES7000).
Like the rest of Samsung's 2012 TV range, the ES7000 has Edge LED backlighting. This helps keep the casing down to a nice, slim 3 cm.
Like other ES-series TVs, the screen bezel is just 5 mm thick. The onscreen image therefore looks almost like it's floating in this air.
Features include DLNA 1.5 support, as well as the brand's usual host of Smart TV services. You can therefore download all kinds of apps (VOD, Google Maps, Skype, etc.) although not many are available in Full HD resolution.
Thanks to DLNA compatibility, this TV can play files stored on compatible networked devices. There's also a built-in media player with comprehensive file support—simply plug an external storage peripheral (USB flash drive or external hard drive) into one of the three USB ports to play all kinds of files. Subtitles and DVD/Blu-ray chapters are the only things that sometimes cause problems.
Two remote controls are supplied with this TV. The first is a fairly standard model with backlit keys. The second has a half-metal, half-plastic build and a minimalistic design. It only has 13 buttons but the plastic part of the remote is home to a clickable touchpad that can be used to control a cursor in the interface and select options. We found this highly practical, but it can take a little while to get used to.
The ES7000 has a built-in webcam housed in a small bump on the top edge of the TV screen (it can be angled in relation to the TV's height). This is used for Samsung's Smart Interaction voice and motion controls. We already tested these in the ES8000 and, to be honest, they seemed to be more of a novelty than anything else (see Samsung UE55ES8000 review).
A new feature in Samsung's 2012 high-end TVs (ES7000 and ES8000) is the dual-core processor, which makes for smooth navigation in the internal menus, settings menus and Smart TV portal. All in all, it's a nice addition. This TV can technically be upgraded too, as a proprietary connector on the back can be used to hook up the upcoming Smart Evolution kit (due to land in 2013) which upgrades the processor from two to four cores. Other, similar kits should be set to follow within the next five years. Clever stuff!
2D Image Quality
Like its ES6300 and ES8000 TVs, Samsung has used a PVA-type LCD screen panel in the ES7000.
In terms of screen calibration, it's hard to tell the difference between the ES6300 and the ES7000. Very demanding users might prefer the higher-end model, but, to be honest, the difference is minimal.
We measured slightly more accurate colours in this model, with an average Delta E at 3.6 compared with 4.2 for the ES6300 (the closer to zero the better). However, this difference is very, very slight.
Contrast is just as similar too. Blacks are nice and deep in both models, but the ES7000 edges a whisker ahead with 3000:1—which makes a difference of 700:1 between the two models.
Display consistency is relatively good, with an average variation in brightness of just 8% over the whole screen. That's not too far behind top-quality plasmas. However, viewing angles are still a bit tight, scoring just 2.2/5 in our tests.
The ES7000 screen panel is very responsive. We measured ghosting time at a low 9.5 ms, which places it among the best models we've reviewed yet. Plus, the cherry on the cake is an input lag of just 33 ms, which is two frames of latency. Gamers therefore won't be at a disadvantage in multiplayer games.
After a few minutes in a pitch black room, we spotted a very slight trace of clouding in the middle of the screen (light blotches appearing in dark zones onscreen). However, in standard viewing conditions this will barely even be noticeable.
A Samsung 3D TV means an active-shutter 3D TV. The ES7000 is even supplied with two pairs of 3D glasses. These are light, comfortable and—most surprisingly—not too expensive to buy. In fact, at under £20, you should be able to kit out the family without breaking the bank.
3D Image Quality
And the nice surprises just keep on coming, as 3D picture quality is excellent. Like the ES6300, this TV has practically no crosstalk (images for the left and right eyes overlapping onto one another and causing interference). In fact, quality is similar to top-notch 3D plasmas (e.g. Panasonic TX-P50VT50).
Below—the result as seen through 3D glasses (Top: Samsung UE40ES7000 / Bottom: Philips 40PFL5507):
A 2D-to-3D conversion function is on hand, but this is no substitute for a genuine 3D source. It can add a bit of depth to images but don't expect to see anything flying off the screen.
We weren't blown away by the speakers in this TV. Like most televisions on the market right now, audio quality seems to have been totally overlooked. There hasn't been any real improvement in this field for years. In fact, with TV casings getting slimmer, quality has even taken a step backwards.
The frequency band covering human voices is effectively reproduced, but otherwise, there's nothing—high frequencies and bass are completely absent. But this is unfortunately still within average compared with other current TVs. We therefore recommend you use a home cinema speaker kit or a sound bar to get the best out of films.
Power use is low but this isn't the most energy efficient TV we've ever seen. On standby, our watt-meter showed zero, which means power use is under 1 W. That couldn't be better. With the TV on, power use rises to 86 W, which works out at 195 W/m² for this 40" screen. In comparison, the best of the bunch push down under 100 W/m². The ES7000 therefore scores four rather than five stars in this category.
- Good 3D picture quality
- Accurate colours: average Delta E = 3.6
- Good contrast: 3070:1
- Effective motion interpolation
- Low power use: 86 W
- Practical touch-control remote
- Media player supports loads of file formats
- Slight clouding in the model we tested
- Viewing angles are a bit tight
- Glossy screen is prone to reflections
The Samsung ES7000 is a good TV. If, like us, you're not fussed about the motion and voice control systems, the ES6300 is a more affordable alternative that offers similar performances. Pickier users will no doubt prefer the slightly more accurate colours and marginally deeper blacks in this model, but the difference in quality is very slight.