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Samsung TVs Almost Bezel Free

New 3DTV design, super-thin notebook, tablet and connectivity features earns applause

January 6, 2011 By Jeff O'Heir
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At last year's CES, Tim Baxter, president of Samsung's Consumer Electronics Division, wowed the crowd when he held a pencil to the side of the company's flagship 9000 Series HDTV to demonstrate its thin design (.3 inches). He had the pencil again, but this time he used it to measure the width of the bezels - .2 inches - on the new flagship D8000 and D7000 3DTVs.

The virtually bezel-free frame "represents a revolution in design," Baxter told the crowd at Samsung's packed 2011 CES press conference Wednesday. The thinner bezel adds an inch to the screen sizes without increasing the size of the sets, which will come in 51-, 59- and 61-inch sizes, Baxter said. The new 59-inch D6500 Plasma Series also sports a thinner bezel than past models. Pricing and ship dates of the new TVs have not been set.

Samsung's new products, including a notebook; smartphone; cameras; monitors; and Sliding PC 7 Series, a tablet with a sliding a keyboard, all fall under the company's product and marketing theme for 2011, "Smarter Life." That theme includes three concepts - smart design, smart experiences and smart connections - that the company will try to incorporate into the design of its new products and services.

For example, the high-end TVs feature a One Foot router, which automatically connects IP-based devices to the network when they come within one foot of the base unit. Another new feature in most of Samsung's new TVs that are 40-inches and larger is the Smart Hub, a simple menu system designed to let consumers search for content online and across connected devices.

Baxter noted that a little more than a million 3DTVs (CEA analysts peg the number at 1.1 million) and about 2.5 IPTVs ("smart" or connected) were sold last year. He predicted six million 3DTVs and 20 million connected TVs will sell this year. By the end of this year, 3DTVs will make up about 60% of Samsung's TV line, while connected TVs will account for about two-thirds, Baxter said.

Other new TV-related products and accessories include:

- Updated Touch Control remotes for high-end sets that now include full touch capabilities

- 3D glasses that weigh about 1 ounce and can fit over prescription glasses

- A Skype-certified camera for TV conferencing

- New Blu-ray players, including the BD-6700, which boots up in 3 seconds and offers 2D to 3D conversion.

On the PC front, Doug Albregts, Samsung's vice president of sales and marketing, IT division, received a round of applause after introducing the Sliding PC 7 Series, a Windows 7 based tablet-style touch-screen notebook that's equipped with a sliding keyboard. Albregts also introduced the 9 Series super-thin notebook. Its external casing is made from Duralumin, a lightweight material normally used in aircrafts. Along with notebooks, Samsung introduced the CA 550 and CA 750 Central Station ultra-thin monitors. The monitors use a USB 3.0 dongle that detects a notebook within about 12 inches and automatically connects all peripherals and links the screens together for a bigger working environment.

Samsung also showed off a Wi-Fi only version of the 7-inch Galaxy Tab, due in the first quarter; the  SH100 camera, which allows photos to be posted straight to Facebook or YouTube and can automatically back up photos on a PC; and the Q10 Full HD camcorder.


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