While this new LCD from Sanyo is described as 'pearl white' rather than 'iPod white', it still looks rather like the brand has been taking design tips from Apple (although it is also available in silver or black).

In fact, we feel it's safe to say that this is first and foremost a designer LCD TV. Its speakers and screen are concave, set back from the set's smooth, curved lines. It's certainly a bit of a looker but, as always, it's inside where the real beauty should lie. Let's find out if the CE23LC4B has inner depths.

Features are pretty shallow, with two Scarts - thankfully both RGB-enabled - composite video and an RF aerial input for the set's analogue tuner pretty much all there is that's worth mentioning. A panel on the left side of the screen gives easy access to the composite and audio inputs, however, which at least makes it simple to connect up a games console and/or MP3 player.

But that's about it: there's no PC input and no component video inputs for high-grade, progressive scan DVD pictures. Still, as long as it can do the basics well, it could suit those with an eye for interior design.

Channels tune in quickly and correctly from the built-in analogue tuner - not something to be taken for granted - while pictures look as expected: average. Even the very best LCD TVs often trip up with analogue pictures.

Far from saintly

A spin of the strutting vigilante antics from our test DVD, The Boondock Saints, reveals the CE23LC4B to have a number of picture foibles. Firstly, there's picture noise on all footage, which is especially noticeable in backgrounds and during close-ups. The level of detail is never great, either, even with the sharpness setting turned right up via the functional menus - and this also brings more noise.

Then there's the fact that vertical and horizontal movements on the screen bring a good deal of shimmer, with edges breaking up and becoming jagged - no doubt due to the CE23LC4B's slow panel response time. Even slow camera pans across actors in close-up bring up a distracting amount of this shimmering problem.

Colours, meanwhile, are a touch pale - the Dynamic Skin Tone setting doesn't add much colour to the actors' cheeks either - and peak whites aren't perfectly represented.

Finally, contrast is merely average, leaving this as a screen that lacks any star quality. We had to spend some quality time with the picture adjustments to get things passable.

Surprisingly, however, pictures from games consoles - in this case an Xbox through the composite input - are actually stable and playable.

The Sanyo's sound presets do a decent job, pumping out a 3D soundstage from the speakers that gives a good feel for movies. They do tend to kill dialogue, however - there's more clarity in normal sound mode.

Despite our grumbles, the CE23LC4B is far from the worst LCD on the market - and it's one of the prettiest we've seen - but it still tails way behind recent screens of this size from some other manufacturers.