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4K Samsung Serif is part artwork, part television

4K Samsung Serif is part artwo...
The Samsung Serif can be placed on a table, or take pride of place on the floor
The Samsung Serif can be placed on a table, or take pride of place on the floor
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The Samsung Serif can be placed on a table, or take pride of place on the floor
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The Samsung Serif can be placed on a table, or take pride of place on the floor
Curtain Mode allows you to keep the TV an active part of the room when it's not being used
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Curtain Mode allows you to keep the TV an active part of the room when it's not being used
The Serif is the result of a tie up between Samsung and a couple of French designers
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The Serif is the result of a tie up between Samsung and a couple of French designers
The Serif is meant to be an artier, more interesting TV 
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The Serif is meant to be an artier, more interesting TV 
The Serif on display
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The Serif on display
Samsung is charging a premium for the Serif over a regular UHD TV
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Samsung is charging a premium for the Serif over a regular UHD TV
The Serif also gets a unique remote compared to the average TV
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The Serif also gets a unique remote compared to the average TV
The TV can also be mounted on four legs
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The TV can also be mounted on four legs
Samsung's Serif on display
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Samsung's Serif on display
The back of the Serif TV
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The back of the Serif TV
The back panel has been designed to subtly house cables
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The back panel has been designed to subtly house cables
There's a blind for the back of the TV, designed to hide the cables and cords usually sticking out
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There's a blind for the back of the TV, designed to hide the cables and cords usually sticking out
The redesigned Serif remote control
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The redesigned Serif remote control
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The humble household TV has become slimmer, screen sizes have grown dramatically, and there are more pixels being squeezed into every panel than ever before. But, for the most part, the remarkable modern screens we get to enjoy are surrounded by dull gray or black plastic. Samsung is aiming to change that with the 4K Serif, which features a frame designed to look at home in an art gallery.

In its quest for a point of design difference, Samsung teamed with Parisian designers Ronan and Erwan Bourouellec to give this TV its unique profile. That profile, which is the same as an "I" printed in serif font, does add some bulk. The 40-inch model weighs 27.6 lb (12.5 kg) without the stand, making it a full 10 lb (4.5 kg) heavier than a regular 40-inch LED TV.

Rather than siting atop a cheap Ikea storage unit, or being mounted awkwardly on a wall, the Serif is designed to sit proud in the middle of the room. The back of the unit is covered by a blind, so it's even able to sit away from the wall without showing off the cords sprouting from the three HDMI and two USB ports on the back.

For those keen to do without wires, it's also Wi-Fi and Bluetooth compatible.

There's a blind for the back of the TV, designed to hide the cables and cords usually sticking out
There's a blind for the back of the TV, designed to hide the cables and cords usually sticking out

Although there are four slim legs included in the box, you're able to put it on a shelf or table without those legs, like a picture frame at an art installation.

Samsung's faux-art theme doesn't stop with the frame, it's been applied to the pared-back remote control too. And when you turn the TV off, it doesn't actually have to be off. That's because the Serif is fitted with something called Curtain Mode.

No, we're not making that up, it really does have a Curtain Mode. The official literature is a bit vague on what it actually does, but from what we can gather the mode acts as a fancy, semi-transparent screen saver. When you're not watching a regular TV, it's just a bland black panel taking up space in your living room. The designers didn't want that for the Serif, so Curtain Mode lets you leave it on and treat it like a piece of art.

The redesigned Serif remote control
The redesigned Serif remote control

When the time comes to actually watch the TV, the panel within that artfully designed frame should live up to expectations. It's a 3840 x 2160 UHD unit, with an HDR Premium system designed to improve color and brightness. There's also UHD upscaling, and a contrast enhancer to make blacks look more real in a brightly-lit living room.

Inside, there's a quad-core processor for smooth browsing of the Smart TV menu system, which is the same as you'll get on the rest of the Samsung range. That's no bad thing, it works perfectly well, and didn't really need an art-deco redesign, although we would like to see what a more artsy TV menu would look like.

The Serif has been available in some European markets since the end of last year in 28-, 32-, and 40-inch screen sizes, but only the 40-in model will be available in the US. There will be three color choices available, and it will be available from August for US$1,499.

Source: Samsung

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3 comments
Arctic Giraffe
40" ?? Surely no-one can tell the difference between 2k and 4k at that size? You need in excess of 50 - 60" before humans can notice that resolution?? 4k at 28-32" ??? I don't get it.
RyanLGibbons
I like this.. must be expensive but would buy.
SaysMe
Where's my 21:9???