Finlux set itself a tough task with the 42F7010. There's no doubt that building a decent quality 3D TV, even if you use less demanding passive (rather than active) 3D technology, is no walk in the park.

The set does its best to get you in a good mood from the off, though, by sporting a half-decent design and a surprisingly full set of connections that even includes support for multimedia playback from USB and recording to USB HDDs from the TV's Freeview tuner.

By the standards of many budget 3D TVs, it does a fair to middling job with 3D too, only undermining the punch and sharpness of its pictures with some crosstalk noise and motion judder. It's an inconsistent 2D performer, though.

We liked

The Finlux 42F7010 catches your eye right away with its £450 price, which really is low for a 42-inch 3D TV. Especially one that ships with eight pairs of 3D glasses.

Its level of multimedia support is good for its price level too, and in some ways it gives you more in performance terms than you've a right to expect, with punchy colours, plenty of brightness, minimal motion blur and flicker-free 3D.

We disliked

Not having a Freeview HD tuner will be a turn off to many potential buyers, and so will the set's somewhat average 2D HD pictures and very soft standard definition pictures.

The set is at its best with 3D, but even here there are crosstalk and motion judder issues to consider.

Final verdict

On the evidence of the 42F7010, Finlux certainly can't be accused of lacking ambition. Combining multimedia playback and 3D support with a 42-inch TV going for under £450 is definitely a move that will have consumers and rival brands alike sitting up and taking notice.

Its lack of a Freeview HD tuner hurts it, though, and its performance is ultimately too hit and miss to make the TV something we can wholeheartedly recommend - even though it's better overall than some of the other mega-cheap 3D TVs that have come our way.

Also consider

The most direct rival for the Finlux 42F7010 is probably the Cello C42T71DVB. This uses old-school CCFL illumination in place of the Finlux 42F7010's Edge LED system, but it manages to produce a solid contrast and colour performance all the same.

It actually slightly betters the Finlux with 3D, but it only has four pairs of free 3D glasses, is a similarly uninspired 2D performer, and features one of the fattest rear ends ever seen on a 'flat' TV.

If you want to significantly improve your passive 3D performance, you'll have to spend more money on something like the £650 Toshiba 42VL863 or LG 42LW550T.