We honestly had no idea what to expect of the 46LE821E when it rolled through our test room doors.
The quad pixel tech certainly sounded intriguing, but it all seemed a bit small fry compared with the whole 3D parade taking place elsewhere.
In reality, though, Quad Pixel technology really does deliver a clear and hugely welcome step forward for LCD technology, enhancing colour reproduction so much that it's now got us dreaming of a day when a
TV might actually add further sub-pixels for magenta and cyan!
There's still room for improvement in other areas, of course. The slightly washed out black level response, for instance, makes us wish that Sharp was intending to introduce the technology to an LCD TV with direct rather than edge LED lighting.
And the limited viewing angle may reduce the amount of living rooms the 46LE821E could comfortably satisfy.
But none of this stops the 46LE821E from being a potential game-changer - providing any of the other 3D-obsessed brands actually bother to notice it, that is.
You might have noticed already, but we're just a bit impressed (!) by what Quad Pixel technology does for picture quality. Who would have thought that just adding an extra yellow sub-pixel could make such a difference?
It's also great to find the 46LE821E sporting a Freeview HD tuner, as well as an impressive suite of multimedia functions and connections. The facility to timeshift Freeview tuner footage is particularly appreciated.
Finally, the 46LE821E is elegantly designed, and boasts quite possibly the best onscreen menu system we've ever seen.
Possibly because of its edge-LED lighting and the extra transparency of the quad pixel design, the 46LE821E struggles to reproduce a really profound black colour. Some parts of the screen look a bit inconsistently lit, as well, and the set's viewing angle could prove restrictive.
Finally, despite its near-revolutionary efforts, the 46LE821E is still going to put a hefty dint in any bank balance.
Sure, the 46LE821E isn't perfect. And yes, it's painfully expensive versus most of the 46in flat TVs that come our way these days.
But by thinking outside of the (three-dimensional) box, Sharp has come up with one of those rare bits of new TV technology that's actually good enough to make you rethink your expectations of flat TV picture quality.
This review was written in conjunction with:
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