Update: Our full Samsung BD-C6900 review is now live on the site. Our original article appears below
Forget that the Samsung BD-C6900 Blu-ray player does 3D -- it's hardly the most important thing about it. Especially not when you consider the speed it loads discs, its Internet functionality and its dashing size and style. If 3D is your thing though, its ability to play Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs in extra-special pokeypokeyvision will tickle your fancy.
Starting with the funky looks, we have to say we rather like the retro VHS top-loader style window on top. Through this, you can see your Blu-ray movie spinning around, which enables the pixies of the laserbeam to deliver HD entertainments to your TV in both 2D and 3D. Hooray for laser pixies!
The rest of the machine is finished in a glossy black plastic, the home-entertainment uniform of recent years. The player is also incredibly slim -- one of Samsung's most compact players yet.
HDMI 1.4 output means the player can trigger your TV to turn itself into 3D mode. Aside from that, you'll notice no particular advantage to the new standard. If you have an older AV receiver with HDMI 1.3, however, it can prevent the TV detecting 3D, so you have to switch it into 3D mode manually. It's hardly the end of the world, but still a problem that shouldn't exist.
Where this player really made us grin was in its startup time. It can load our test Blu-ray in just 31.4 seconds. This might sound like a long time, especially compared to most DVD players, but trust us when we say it's as much of a revolution as the iPad. The machine is also very fast to respond to user input, which adds to the feeling of happiness we've felt using it.
Samsung offers a full array of audio outputs on this premium model. You get 7.1-channel analogue audio outputs, which enable you to send uncompressed audio to an AV receiver, without using HDMI -- smashing news for those with older receivers. You also get an optical audio output, which can send Dolby Digital and DTS sound to your home-cinema system, but it won't be able to handle DTS HD and Dolby TrueHD, so using it for Blu-ray movies is less than ideal.
You won't find any 3D glasses in the box with this player, but it's worth pointing out that there's currently a voucher included that enables you to get a free pair, worth about £70. Samsung told us it hopes to put glasses in the box later this year, once costs are reduced. That's fine, but we think the whole glasses fiasco is beyond a joke. These ones will only work with Samsung 3D TVs too, so don't get excited if you're using a Sony or Panasonic TV.
A full assessment of Samsung's £300 player will appear in our reviews section in the very near future, so stay tuned.