Fujitsu P55XHA30 review

Can Fujitsu keep up its winning run?

Jump to Section:

Our Verdict

A workman-like performance for a reasonable asking price considering its amazing size

Fujitsu's plasmas have blown away not only us critics, but other manufacturers, who have been quick to buy in its fantastic display technology for their own models.

Like the vast majority of plasma screens, the P55XHA30 can either be wall-mounted or supported by its own stand. Down the right hand side, you have a selection of buttons to control the unit in case you lose the dull remote, and inputs are on the rear.

Fujitsu has got it right from the start with the inclusion of a DVI input for high-def broadcasts, fancy DVD players or modern PCs, progressive scan/high definition-ready component inputs and an RGB Scart. There's also a 15-pin RGB D-sub, but with a set this size we wonder who is really likely to use it.

Focussed features

Thankfully, the feature list seems a little more focussed on home cinema users. Advanced Video Movement certainly does a good job of controlling motion blur, which is barely present, while the Fine Mode is as good as we've seen from rival offerings. The P55XHA30 is also capable of optimising itself for high-definition television and DVD signals.

In a real-world scenario, the picture levels are set to produce more realistic images, something that is essential really given the size of the display and current low resolution of television broadcasts. Precision Setting allows individual control over luminescence, black levels and red, green and blue colours, to tweak the picture to just how you like it. Also to avoid Sky ruining your expensive new toy, there are controls to help avoid screenburn (which can occur it you leave your set switched to a channel with logos for a long time).

Dynamic performance

Watching The Incredibles via DVI, we were able to see the Fujitsu at its optimum performance. While there was some flicker on Dynamic mode, even when we were using a progressive source, this was eradicated somewhat by the Fine Mode. The impressive backgrounds were well detailed, while the expansive colour rendition is sublime. Fujitsu has really worked hard at nailing the contrast level, but the brightness leaves a little to be desired. The greyscale is also rather average, resulting in a lack of detail from shadows and darker colour crossover.

The forest chase sequences simply rocked on the Fujitsu, with bags of colour and great reaction to the fast motion. However, although contrast is good, there wasn't enough detail in the darker scenes (not that there are many in this movie!), such as when Mr Incredible is in captivity. Overall, it was good and bad, but just about passed muster against its rivals here.

We often have problems when relatively low-detail Freeview broadcasts are tested on a screen this big, but this plasma fared better than most here, and should be commended. The definition is particularly good, offering depth and detail across the screen with a broad range of broadcasts such as sports, drama and news.

This display is quite strange, in that Fujitsu has decided to omit both speakers and an RF input as standard. This suggests an eye on the business market, but at the same time it doesn't retail for anywhere near the price of NEC's similar plasmas, nor does it seem to falter quite so spectacularly with video demands.

Overall, the P55XHA30 is a highly impressive screen, and it offers more than enough features to create a good picture. Fujitsu is certainly not sitting as the current king in the large plasma market, but this screen gives a workman-like performance for a reasonable asking price considering its amazing size.