Scratch one more notch for Apple design influence, because next year's top-of-the-range Samsung Ultrathin All-In-One looks like an oversized iPhone 3G, down to the finish in black or white. The 52-inch TV—which is 1-inch at its thickest point—includes all the circuitry and ports in its ultra-slim body, with no breakout boxes or hunchbacks. The result is the slickest TV we have seen in the whole of IFA 2008, beating the Sony ZX1. And the best looking so far this year.
While the slick Sony ZX1 is only 9.9mm, it also has a box in the middle and has to be set up on a stand because of that. The Samsung Ultrathin All-In-One 1 doesn't, extending the circuitry across its back and tapering the glossy back cover towards the edges, in a very smooth curve. This is a design choice similar to the iPhone 3G and the MacBook Air (and before the anti-Apple fanboys protest, here's a little tale: four days ago I asked one of the chief designers at Philips about Apple's industrial design. "Do you think they are a big influence in consumer products?" I said. Smiling, he spent five minutes talking about the undeniable influence of the work of Ive and Co. in most of the stuff currently out there).
The Good: Amazing, beautiful design. It's as beautiful and simple on the front as it is on the back. In fact, so nice on the back that, even while it's perfect to be hung on the wall, I would like for it to be standing in the middle of a room. The picture quality doesn't go far behind. Crisp image quality and very smooth motion, with an even distribution of light.
The Bad: You will have to wait until next year to get one.
Bottom line: The race towards the slimmest TVs continues, and I think Samsung has the winner so far. [More IFA 2008 Coverage]