Samsung T9000 First Impressions Review$3,999.00
An extra door adds extra flexibility to this fridge's innovative design.
Samsung takes a stab at innovating how we divide up storage in our refrigerators. Packaged in a stunning new body, the T9000 could be a huge success, or a really disappointing—and really expensive—novelty item.
Design & Usability
Combine the strengths of the different high-end fridge models, and you end up with this.
The T9000 is kind of like an Escher print. Look at the top, and it's a French door. Open the top, and you'll come to the same conclusion. Look at the whole thing, however, and it's a side-by-side. Open the bottom doors and you'll see one compartment that's always a freezer, and another that can be either a fridge or freezer depending on your needs. That's the big feature here, and we'll explain it in greater depth.
First, though, you may notice that the fridge's ice maker looks rather small. Well, that's because it is: the newest iteration of Samsung's "Ice Master" is almost two full inches narrower than what you see in earlier models. It supposedly makes even more ice, and in conjunction with the recessed LED lighting, it makes for even more space optimization. If the output rate is accurate, it's a design that could give the increasingly popular (and noticeably less spacious) on-the-door ice makers a run for their money. We're simply not a fan of having to pull out an ice tray, though, and we look forward to seeing how well it deals with that particular aspect of usability.
In addition to the quite unique layout, there are two very interesting design choices here, in addition to the already attractive thin shelves with stainless trim. First, on the outside, you'll notice that it doesn't appear to have any handles. That's because Samsung has decided to place them at the center, recessing them into the gap where the doors meet. It gives the whole product a smooth, almost seamless look that—in the words of the company representatives—allow it to easily match any kitchen design. We're inclined to agree, though opening the doors can be a bit awkward at first: you either have to turn your hand upside down, or swing your arm across your chest. It's a small quibble, though, and something we could see ourselves adapting to fairly easily.
Features & Performance
Independent temperature controls and specialized storage.
What really makes the T9000 special, though, isn't its sexy design. Rather, it's the unusual approach to the freezer that really sets this model apart. It has a left- and right-hand side compartment, as you would see if you just took the bottom half of a side-by-side and stuck it beneath the upper half of a French door. The left hand compartment is pure freezer, but the right hand compartment is a bit more versatile. You can let it function as a freezer, or you can use it for extra fridge storage. Supposedly it goes from temperatures that are around -9°F, all the way up to about 36°F. You can use it to thaw meats, cool large quantities of drinks for a party without taking up fridge space, maintain a low temperature for wine storage, or any other number of interesting options. It's essentially like taking a temperature control drawer and turning it into its own compartment.
To add a little icing on this stainless steel cake, the T9000 is equipped with three compressors, one for each independent section. The fact that you're getting one more compressor than normal for a high-end Samsung fridge (two more than most other models available by nearly every other manufacturer) may somewhat account for the T9000's very high $3999 price tag, but it also means you're getting three completely independent sections in your fridge for what we hope could be unparallelled temperature accuracy.
A wonderful treat for your inner kitchen enthusiast and tech nerd alike
A basic version of this fridge is expected to come out some time in spring, with some indication of a Samsung Smart Home-equipped model further down the line if the basic product takes off here as well as it did in Asia. It may be a bit much for the average home owner, but if you've got some money to burn and entertain often, it's a neat design.
It's a niche product, no question about that, and we expect a similar response to what we saw with LG's Blast Chiller — lots of initial interest in the idea, followed by skepticism. Whether the T9000 is a historical anomaly or whether it completely revolutionizes refrigerator design, we'll let you know if the performance matches the polish and innovation.