Loewe Concept L32 review

Loewe's latest LCD TV has both style and substance

Our Verdict

It not only looks the part but it puts in a performance that will shame even more expensive alternatives

For

  • HDTV Ready

    Integrated digital tuner

    Super stylish

    First class performance

Against

  • Less than user-friendly functions

Very few so-called 'style' products can claim class-leading performance but Loewe's Concept L32 is an exception - a LCD TV that offers both eye-catching aesthetics and exceptional all-round ability.

Loewe's head-turning designs are often associated with head spinning price tags but, following a £300 reduction from the original asking price, the Concept L32 is surprisingly affordable. The understated, yet seriously stylish design, is superbly finished featuring a platinum frame flanked by a pair of well-engineered CRX speakers. And the future-proof specification includes an integrated Freeview tuner and everything you need to receive high definition TV broadcasts or video signals from a compatible DVD player.

You'll find enough connections to cater for a full cast of AV components with an HDMI digital input the leading light, supported by analogue understudies in the role of two Scarts and progressive scan enabling component inputs. While, sonically speaking, there's both a digital audio input and output.

At first, the unique operational system and awkwardly arranged remote is functionally frustrating. On screen menus are attractively presented but the over elaborate schematic system employed makes them more difficult to navigate than a maze in a minefield. It takes a little getting used to but any early teething problems will be instantly forgotten with the first taste of the screen's picture performance.

Image quality is nothing short of sensational. Deep blacks and vividly bold colours create solid pictures that stand out in the company of similarly priced peers.

Detail, especially when using the HDMI connection, is amazingly intricate exposing the slightest subtleties in tones and textures while excellent contrast levels afford images another dimension. And, at least with DVD images, there are few of the picture disturbances that normally prey on oversized LCD screens.

With TV pictures, analogue stations are subject to reception and can appear coarse and unstable. But digital programmes are colourful and controlled with only movement occasionally causing a problem. And sound quality isn't ignored either with surprising weight and expressive detail for a pair of integrated TV speakers.