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As a mid-range TV, the Panasonic TX-L50E6B's most appealing attributes are its slinky design and revamped smart TV interface, plus big-screen viewing at a relatively affordable price.
The screen's basic panel and price do, however, mean that several key technologies designed to yield the best possible pictures from more expensive models are absent, which means compromises have to be made. And let's not forget that this is a 2D-only screen.
The Panasonic TX-L50E6B is an aesthetic delight that looks almost as classy as any screen costing twice as much.
Equally pleasing on the eyeballs is the slick, user-friendly My Home Screen and app interface, while the smartphone/tablet app is easily the best example of a touchscreen alternative to the traditional remote control you'll currently find for a TV. The swipe and share feature in itself is a delight.
From a picture quality point of view, the positives include excellent black levels and a nicely contained backlight. Generally speaking it means that images are contrasty, well lit and naturally coloured, especially in Blu-ray playback.
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The sound performance is below par and doesn't reflect the sonic progress made recently on other slim screens. More worrying are the picture flaws including judder, poor motion resolution, softer than normal looking broadcasts and universally crushed black levels.
There's nothing dire about any of these problems in themselves, but collectively they can take the pleasure out of the Panasonic TX-L50E6B. At 50 inches, the absence of faster refresh rates and better processing is impossible to mask.
In trying to keep the Panasonic TX-L50E6B affordable it seems that one or two corners have been cut. And cutting corners off a TV is never a good thing.
For sure, the screen is a delight to operate and use, especially in terms of its connected TV, but even for the bargain price we feel that it would be hard to live with some of the picture imperfections.
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As we await the first 50-inch LED screens from other manufacturers, there are some end of season bargains to be had in the shape of these keenly-priced plasma screens. For active 3D without smart TV it may be worth considering the new Samsung PS51E490, a plasma TV that sells for under £800.