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By 3 March 2017 | Categories: news

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Samsung’s Africa Forum 2017, held in Cape Town, brought a number of innovative products to the forefront,  including some innovative approaches to home appliances like airconditioners and fridges. The next set of products to be detailed was a washing machine that did things a bit differently and a TV that made our eyes fall in love with colour all over again.

Granted, on the surface washing machines may not be considered rockstars of the appliance world, but there has definitely been room for improvement. More particularly, one of the glaring faults of conventional machines is putting a load in to wash, only to find a stray item that should have gone in with the current load after the machine has already begun filling with water. Suffice to say, and you can take it from our personal experience, opening a washing machine has not been advisable, unless you really enjoy mopping up your kitchen floor.

Clear your mind

Addressing this, Samsung’s AddWash front-loader washing machines, which come in a 9 kg or a larger 12 kg version, allow users to open a nifty second port on the door and add additional laundry items into the appliance during the wash cycle. This is positioned at an angle, preventing water from leaking out, and decently sized, certainly able to accommodate a shirt or pair of jeans.

Much like Samsung’s new airconditioner, its washing machine has also been smartened up, and can be controlled using a dedicated smartphone app. Further features include intensive stain removal, even in cool water, through the company’s own Bubble Soak technology; while Samsung’s Steam Wash uses the power of steam released from the bottom of the laundry tub to eliminate stains without pre-treatment.

Furthermore, the machine boasts a Super Speed wash cycle option, which Samsung asserts will help users get through normal washing up to 50% faster. Onboard are modes such as Eco Wash, Speed Wash, or Silent Wash while Self Clean+ technology keeps the washer drum fresh by removing dirt and bacteria without the use of harsh chemicals through a combination of soaking, pulsating and high speed spinning. Finally, also onboard is Smart Check, automatic error monitoring, which helps users diagnose and correct problems, avoiding the need for service call-outs. As for prices, the 9 kg version is set to retail for R9500 while the larger, 12 kg machine carries a R15 500 pricetag.

Feast your eyes

By this point, we were impressed, but Samsung had saved the best for last – a glimpse of the its newest QLED Quantum Dot TVs. When we had some extensive hands on time with last year’s KS9500 Quantum Dot SUHD TV (review), we were pretty much sure that TV had reached its pinnacle. Turns out, we were wrong – truly, deeply, wrong.

More particularly, the incoming Q9, Q8, and Q7 TV series, which we were shown at the forum, offers dramatically improved colour performance. In a very detailed presentation, Samsung explained and showed, how the new TVs are able to reproduce 100% colour volume, as opposed to the 63% mark of other TVs. This enables the TVs to express all colours at any brightness level, with even the subtlest of differences visible at the QLED’s peak luminance – between 1 500 and 2000 nits.

Unfortunately, while capturing images and video were not allowed, it was quite apparent that colours on other sets looked muted, almost muddy, as compared with the new QLED counterparts, and the difference to the overall picture reminded us of the early comparisons between plasma and LED TVs. In other words, chalk vs cheese.

Questions and answers

It wasn’t just colours that were richer. Blacks were deeper, luscious even, and the picture positively leapt off the screen. Indeed, Samsung explained that thanks to its new metal alloy Quantum Dot technology, the room no longer needs to be darkened to boost colour performance; which remains constant regardless of how wide the viewing angle may be. Suffice to say, the result of this showcase was to prompt only two questions: When can we get one? And a more anxious, how much will they cost?

To the first, the answer is the second quarter of this year. As to the second, well, the Samsung’s Q7 range varies in price from R32 800 for the 55” 4K flat panel QLED TV, to R78 800 for the 75” version. Its Q8 range of curved panel 4K models are available from R46 000 for the 55” model to R59 000 for the 65” TV. The prices for the Q9 range are still to be announced, but if you like watching TV, or have a penchant for the best-possible picture, we would advise you start saving now.

And with that, the Samsung Forum 2017 was over, but leaving one thought in mind – the company might have taken a bit of a bruising last year, but it certainly still knows how to make excellent, outstanding even, products.  

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