Last year Samsung promised that certain of its 2012 Smart TVs would get an upgrade called a "Smart Evolution Kit," and now the company announced the upgrade would be available soon.
Buyers of the LED-based UN75ES9000, UNES8000, and UNES7500 LED TVs, as well as the PNE8000 and PNE7000 plasmas, will be able to buy the kit for $299 in May. It installs by simply sliding into a slot on the back of the TVs.
The kit is basically a brain transplant for the TVs. It includes a new A15 quad-core 1.35GHz processor that offers a maximum 3.6 times increase in speed versus last year’s dual-core processor systems, according to the company. The speed bump, which also comes with increased GPU speed and more memory, should make Web browsing and app use a good deal zippier.
Once the kit is installed it will replace the 2012 user interface with an entirely redesigned 2013 version. According to the press release: "The new 2013 Smart Hub shows five different panels where consumers can enjoy a wide range of content including Live TV programs, VODs, apps and Internet."
Samsung also promises to enhance the voice and gesture control portions of these TVs. Judging from what I saw in 2012, it could certainly use improvement.
Samsung assured us that the kit will continue to be made available "years down the road" so buyers can keep re-upping, if they want.
Updated March 21 with official pricing and availability.