Sharp 40le700e

Reaching a final conclusion on the Sharp 40LE700E is a pretty complicated business, for the simple reason that it's such a mixed bag.

Its pictures deliver on its main LED promise, but let themselves down in other ways.

Its features are comprehensive in some ways, a little off the pace in others. Its sound works well at one end of the audio spectrum, but feels thin at the other. It's good value in some respects, but acts its money in others.

Even its design is schizophrenic, with a pretty front and ugly rear. Time to rub our chins and go 'hmmm...'.

We liked:

The 40LE700E's price is attractive for a TV using direct LED technology and boasting 100Hz processing. The set's design is easy on the eye when you're looking right at it, too.

By far the most lovable thing about the 40LE700E, though, is the superb contrast of its pictures, as deep, deep blacks are able to sit within the same frame as crisp, dynamic colours and whites.

The picture knows how to reveal the sharpness of HD footage too, provided there's not much motion around to soften things up, and finally we really appreciated some of the set-up flexibility - particularly the colour management feature.

We disliked:

This one's easy: the set's motion handling problems hang over the 40LE700E's otherwise often glorious pictures like a brooding rain cloud in an otherwise clear sky.

The amount of motion blur on show, even with the 100Hz engine engaged, really can be quite distracting at times, especially during HD viewing when it suddenly takes the edge off the extreme sharpness on show during relatively static moments.

We'd have appreciated a bit more bass potential from the 40LE700E's speakers too, and a touch more crispness to the set's reproduction of average standard def sources.

Verdict:

In the end, the Sharp 40LE700E spends more time looking pretty damn good than it does looking blurry and disappointing, so it's certainly worth hunting down for an audition, especially if you can find it for a knock-down price on some website or other.

It's just a shame that during that audition you'll have to weigh up whether the set's motion handling weakness is a reasonable price to pay for the set's affordable black level glories.

This review was written in conjunction with:

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