Samsung PS51E490 review

A cheap but still desirable 51-inch plasma TV

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While there's nothing especially brilliant about the Samsung PS51E490's operating system, nor is there anything significantly wrong with it.

The on-screen menus don't enjoy the Smart Hub menu that works so well on Samsung's smart TVs, but the menus still look clean and legible, and are reasonably sensibly organised (with a couple of exceptions that we'll get to in a moment).

The remote control is a bit plasticky and feels old-fashioned with its layout in terms of the weighting it gives to some of its functionality, but it's reasonably responsive and easy to learn your way around.

The two big gripes we have with the Samsung PS51E490's operating system are the way Samsung bizarrely puts the TV's important Game preset in a submenu of the System menu rather than with the TV's other picture presets, and the unnecessary and arbitrary splitting of the most useful picture settings across two menus, rather than putting them all together.

Sound quality

Samsung PS51E490 review

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The relatively bulky body wrapped around the Samsung PS51E490's screen might not be especially trendy by today's super-slim standards, but it does seem to help the TV produce a better sound performance than most budget flatscreen TVs.

Voices sound convincing and well-rounded, there's a surprisingly respectable amount of bass at the lower end of the audio spectrum, and the mid-range is open enough to expand at least a little when required by an action scene.

A bit more treble detail would have been nice, but at least the TV's focus on the mid and lower end of the audio spectrum means that the audio doesn't often slip into the harshness common with budget flatscreen televisions.


Samsung PS51E490 review

You won't be surprised to hear that it's here where the Samsung PS51E490 makes its biggest mark. Spending just £799.99 / US$799.99 (around AU$1,157) on a 51-inch TV would seem a pretty sweet deal even if that 51-inch TV wasn't that great.

So it becomes a bargain of almost absurd proportions when you consider that the Samsung PS51E490 delivers some more than respectable 2D and 3D picture quality, two pairs of free 3D glasses and even some useful multimedia talents.

The sacrifice of any sort of online support to hit a price might be a compromise too far for some people, but for many others the size and quality of its pictures will be reward enough for so little outlay.

Tech Specs

Product TypePlasma TV
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-C (MPEG4), DVB-T (MPEG4)
Video Signal StandardHDTV
Number of HDMI Ports2
Product Family490
3D Type3D
EU Energy LabelB
Brand NameSamsung
Screen Size129.5 cm (51")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Wireless LANNo
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
Weight with Stand (Approximate)23.60 kg
Operating Power Consumption133 W
Standby Power Consumption300 mW
RMS Output Power20 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand782.90 mm
Width with Stand1187.80 mm
Depth with Stand305 mm
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
Teletext Memory1000
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Number of USB Ports1
3D TechnologyShutter
3D ConversionYes
Energy Consumption per Year194 kWh
3D Glasses RequiredYes
Enhanced Refresh Rate600 Hz
Height706.6 mm
Width1187.8 mm
Depth56 mm
ColourCharcoal Black
Sound SystemSurround Sound, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Pulse, DTS
Product Series490
Maximum Resolution1024 x 768
FeaturesTeletext, Auto Program, Picture in Picture, Sleep Timer, Auto-off, Media Player
Product ModelPS51E490B1K
Product Name51" E490 Series 4 Plasma TV
Manufacturer Part NumberPS51E490B1KXXU
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Enjoy realistic 3D viewing in HD
Bring home an immersive and spectacular 3D experience. Samsung's innovative and powerful 3D active shutter glasses deliver HD 3D viewing. It's enhanced by Micro Dimming and 3D Auto Contrasting to bring you deeper and clearer 3D images. You'll even see your 2D content in another dimension using the 3D Converter. These awesome visuals are complemented by cinematic 3D sound, as well as an expansive viewing area with slim bezel for minimum distraction.

Package Contents
  • 51" E490 Series 4 Plasma TV
  • 2 x 3D Active Glasses
  • Remote Control
  • Batteries
  • Power Cable
  • User Manual
  • E-Manual
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)19.60 kg