The AOC LE42K0D7D serves up a picture of almost mind-boggling vibrancy and brightness from an edge LED backlighting engine that also helpfully enables a nice, slender profile.
However, while this aggressive, colour-rich approach is capable of producing some occasionally startlingly good picture quality, over time it starts to feel as if the aggression is really designed to distract you from the screen's numerous flaws. These include – in order of severity – backlight inconsistencies, motion blur, some pretty off-looking colour tones and some fairly bog-standard standard-def upscaling.
The sound similarly fails to inspire despite the addition of an integrated subwoofer. In fact, all the subwoofer does is highlight the inadequacies of the main speakers.
Overall, then, the LE42K0D7D has more 'moments' than might have been expected given its heritage, but is ultimately too inconsistent to stand out from the crowd in any significant way.
The LE42K0D7D's slim design gets it off to a decent start and its operating system is engaging, if hardly state of the art. It's easy to be seduced, too, by the image's instantly aggressive flavour, with its rich colours and surprisingly strong contrast.
The LE42K0D7D has no Freeview HD tuner, and precious few means of adjusting colours in any meaningful way. This latter issue means you're stuck with an occasionally unbalanced palette. The backlight shows clear signs of inconsistency too, audio is flawed, and ultimately the price feels a good £100 too expensive.
It's good to see that some of the smaller brands are still clinging on in the current tough economic climate. It's even better to see some of those brands, such as AOC, willing to show some ambition by launching large, LED-lit screens with thoughtful features like USB multimedia support and 100Hz processing.
However, while there are times when the LE42K0D7D's pictures look much better than we've come to expect from smaller brands, once you've seen past its initial attractions, the LE42K0D7D has a few picture flaws large enough to really distract you from what you're watching from time to time.
There's no Freeview HD tuner, either, and its sound is uneven, despite the handy addition of a built-in subwoofer.
All in all the LE42K0D7D is a solid enough effort from AOC, but it would have needed to be quite a bit cheaper before it became something really easy to recommend.