Gadget Spot: Samsung 3D LED 7000

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Say you had $3,500 to spend on gadgets. Maybe it's your tax refund. Maybe it's what's left from that $10,000 worth of stock you bought in 2008.

How would you spend it?

For that kind of money, you could buy yourself and six friends an iPad. For a mere $918, you could get all three of the most popular e-readers currently available - Amazon's Kindle, Sony's Daily Edition and Barnes & Noble's Nook. Or maybe you'd finally buy that iPhone 3GS ... and a slew of the 170,000 iPhone programs in the iTunes App store.

Heck, for $3,500, you could buy the most expensive iPad, an e-reader of your choice and an iPhone 3GS and still have money left to make a car payment or two.

Samsung, however, hopes you'll spend that money on their new 3D HDTV, which recently hit local stores.

The 55-inch 3D LED 7000 (there's also a slightly cheaper 46-inch model) sells for $2,970. Since no 3D programming currently exists on cable, satellite or local TV, you'll also need Samsung's 3D Blu-ray player.

Lucky you. For only $3,420, Best Buy is offering Samsung's 3D HDTV, 3D Blu-ray player, a pair of battery-operated 3D glasses, the 3D Blu-ray movie "Monsters vs. Aliens," and delivery and setup of all this equipment (expert setup of a 3D TV is a must since there are a lot of funky settings involved).

Is it worth the price?

If you're an early adopter of the highest order, $3,420 for a TV that's only one inch deep and features impressive 1080p and 240Hz specs is a steal. Samsung's 55-inch LED-LCD HDTV - without 3D and the other extras! - sells for $3,100.

But I wouldn't be so quick to go the 3D route. As someone who saw a lot of 3D TV at January's Consumer Electronics Show, there's good 3D TV (mostly Blu-ray movies) and there's bad 3D TV (live TV, especially 3D sports).

And once you get past the novelty of it all, quite a bit of 3D TV is disappointing. Some can give you a headache, literally.

In reality, Samsung has put a good price on leading-edge technology that will appeal mainly to movie buffs and fans of the Discovery Channel, where visuals are highly edited and very well planned. For everything else, stick with HDTV.

For my money, you should spend this year's tax refund on a quantity of gadgets - the quality of 3D on TV still has a ways to go.

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