Sharp's latest 'second-room' LCD TV, the LC-19D1E, measures only 19in across, but it seems modest about being even that large, while it's got one of the slinkiest bodies we've seen – a fact that will undoubtedly endear it to many space-strapped UK buyers.

Compelling too are the facts that the LC-19D1E can be bought in white or black, and has HDMI and component video inputs as well as a native resolution of 1,366 x 768.

It's a pity, perhaps, that the 19D1E only sports one HDMI input. But then in reality there probably won't be too many digital sources around your house queuing up to get attached to such a small TV.

Basic feature set

Turning to the 19D1E's inner 'beauty', its size and lowly price have thankfully not precluded it from having a built-in Freeview tuner – or plenty of other useful features, come to that.

For instance, there's a selection of thematic picture presets, and an 'OPC' mode that can adjust the picture in response to ambient light conditions. Plus, the set carries a dynamic backlight system helping
to produce a strikingly high claimed contrast ratio of 7,500:1.

You can even adjust the saturation, hue and brightness of all six of the main colour constituents, and play with a Film Mode that tweaks the set's progressive scanning to better suit film as opposed to video sources.

The only problem with all these features, in fact, is that they're hard to access, because the TV uses some of the most ludicrously small onscreen menus we've ever seen.

Surprisingly strong pictures

The toil of squinting through these menus is quickly forgotten, though, once you see the 19D1E's startlingly good pictures.

Especially impressive is its handling of dark scenes, as its black response hits depths beyond those of any other smallscreen TV we can recall, while also producing fair amounts of shadow detail.

The Sharp LC-19D1E handles motion better than most mini TVs too, reproducing even something as motion-intensive as a Premiership footie match without introducing distracting levels of blur and resolution loss.

Sharp images

Colours look bright, intense and naturally toned, while its fine detail reproduction and sharpness is so good that you can easily appreciate the difference between high and standard definition.

However, while most colours look natural, deep reds occasionally look a bit orange. Also the picture isn't particularly bright, which could potentially be an issue, for example, in, say, a conservatory.

But with the TV's sound also proving above average for a small LCD TV, the minor niggles we've mentioned do little to stop the Sharp LC-19D1E from being one of the finest sub-26in TVs we've seen.