We were surprised at Hitachi’s 32-inch HDTV whose thickness was just 0.74 inches. Now it looks like Samsung has topped that, creating a flat-panel HDTV that’s half that thick. Imagine a TV that’s just 10mm thin — just over a third of an inch. That’s the depth of this 40-inch 1080p LCD TV (pictured at right) from Samsung that will be unveiled at the FPD International 2007 convention in Yokohama, Japan later this month. When a panel is that thin, the design looks more like a pane of glass than an LCD.

To accomplish this feat, Samsung uses miniaturization techniques it learned from manufacturing desktop monitors, and upscales them into TV size. That 46-inch screen pictured at left is just as thin, but the screen’s bezel has been shrunk as well, to just 10mm wide (as opposed to 30mm). Samsung’s not talking about when such paper-thin TVs will ship, but you can be sure the company aims to beat that Hitachi set’s announced release date of 2009. — Charlie White