Samsung Electronics America, no stranger to innovation, has taken a unique approach to the launch its 2013 line by opening a pop-up showroom, dubbed Samsung House, in the trendy New York City neighborhood of SoHo. Open to the public this weekend, the "home environment" space features a fully operational kitchen and laundry room intended to show off Samsung's latest cooking and cleaning wares in a real-world—if somewhat high-flying—setting. Consumer Reports stopped by for a sneak peek.
Two of the featured appliances are already in our labs for testing. The $3,900 Four Door Sparkling French Door Refrigerator, Samsung RF31FMESB, has an industry-first automatic sparkling water dispenser. And the Samsung T9000 Four Door Refrigerator, model RF32FMQDBSR, is the first truly four-door refrigerator, with its two-over-two side-by-side compartment configuration. It sells for $4,000.
Next up, Samsung's DV457 dryer, $1,500, which has just been awarded the 2013 Energy Star Emerging Technology Award. That's big news, since dryers have always consumed about the same amount of energy (hence the fact that there's no Energy Star and Energy Guide label for them). The Emerging Technology Award was developed to change that, and it appears to be bearing fruit. The Samsung's DV457 dryer, the first recipient of the award, claims to use 36 percent less energy than conventional models, thanks in part to software and hardware enhancements that improve on the efficiency of standard moisture sensors. (Note that current DV457, including the version in our Ratings, have model codes ending in AA, while the new high-efficiency model will end in A1.)
Rounding out the laundry launches was the matching WF547 front-loading washer for $1500, as well as a 5-cubic-foot capacity high-efficiency top-loader, WA50F, and matching dryer, DV50F, both $1,100.
As for cooking appliances, Samsung showed the Slide-In Flex Duo Oven Electric Range, model NE58F9710SR. We've seen the Flex Duo technology before, which allows the oven to be split into two separate compartments to cook two dishes at two different temperatures at the same time. But never on a slide-in model.
Earlier in the week, Samsung brought in a series of Michelin-rated chefs to prepare meals on the range. The so-called Club des Chefs will serve as consultants on the design of future Samsung products. They won't be there in person this weekend, but visitors will get to sample some of the dishes they prepared. Of course, if you make the trek to Samsung House, you'll have no shortage of top-notch SoHo restaurants to choose from after the visit.