Samsung UN46ES7100 Review
46" LED 3D HDTV 1080p Smart TV
by Robert Wiley, Senior Editor
2012's Samsung UN46ES7100 replaces the UN46D7000 from 2011. This is a high end TV in the 46" size range for those that are serious about their viewing experience even in the smaller sizes. This is the 3rd tier LED backlit LCD TV from Samsung for 2012. There are only two features it does not have from the higher tiered models – Samsung Smart TV Interaction through a built in camera, and Micro Dimming Ultimate. It does have Micro Dimming Plus (local dimming) however and we have seen the TV with the extremely vibrant LED backlights on full blast and can attest to their strength. The ultra slim framed bezel on the top and sides of the TV are only .3" in width, and there is also black ribbon banding border in the screen either to allow a nice ultra modern window effect.
Micro Dimming Plus
This feature works well in the UN46ES7100. It eliminates some of the more important drawbacks from last years 46D7000 series like screen uniformity and the off angle viewing quality is better due to those local dimming backlights. The LED (light emitting diode) backlights are of the edge lit variety and not the more expensive and generally better full array local dimming backlights which are spread across the entire back of the screen. However, it still does a very nice job at accomplishing these two important tasks. The edge lit micro dimming backlight controls the LED lighting independently across zones of the Television.
Ultra Clear Panel
This panel returns for 2012 in the 46ES7100 and is welcomed as it was a favorite of ours last year. The screen panel does a good job of absorbing in room light while at the same time displaying a picture which is full of light from the material in the content, say a sunset in the background behind images on screen.
Color Rendition in the UN46ES7100
Careful with the powerful backlight in this TV. Too much of it can overpower colors and leave them looking a bit washed out. Just turn the backlight setting down to 70% of capacity to help control this issue. This also helps to reduce any lingering screen uniformity.
Contrast and Black Levels
Are excellent in this TV. Contrast in the 46ES7100 is one of the highest tested due to peak white levels. Blacks are very nice and dark. They may not match the best plasma in the market in this area, but they are stealthy. All this excellent contrast leads to the nice 3D effect for HD programming even when the TV is displaying 2D.
The 3D glasses (2 pair included) are super light and comfortable. The best part about them is that there is little if no reflection on the inside of the glasses this year (there was in 2011). Other than that 3D viewing is just as good or better with no flicker, blurring, crosstalk or issues that we can see. The TV displays 3D with wonderful depth and increased involvement.
The striking appearance of the 46" Samsung UN46ES7100 is characterized by a "window" effect with a .3" bezel frame design which increases the picture screen area without increasing the size of the overall TV dimensions. The depth is around .1" as well so super slim as well. These features are similar to the successful D8000 from 2012. The color of the barely noticeable frame is silver chrome. The accompanying metal stand with this TV is a 4 legged "quadrapod" and has either a chrome or black finish. It will stand out as a modern design in any case and is designed to complement the TV.
Smart TV Smart Hub Connected TV Suite
The ES7100 has all of the best Apps included from Samsung for 2012. There are now over 1500 Apps in the Samsung arsenal. Recent addition Angry Birds is a popular one, taking over from reigning champ Texas Hold'em. The Smart TV function of course includes all the premium ones as well such as Netflix, MLB.com, and Hulu Plus, Amazon on Demand, Vudu, and tons of others.
Built In WiFi
Built in Wifi is included in the ES7100 and allows for easy connection to the Internet to enable the Smart TV Internet TV options.
Built in Web Browser
A full web browser allows full access to the Internet, which is very useful for searching today's wide selection of online free television programming or gaming.