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Samsung LE40A856 review

We definitely think Samsung's skinny new screen measures up

Samsung LE40A856
The Samsung LE40A856 delivers a beautifully high-contrast picture with plenty of depth

Our Verdict

Samsung manages to deliver a fantastic LCD without any of the usual catches


  • Good all-round picture quality
  • Beautifully thin design
  • Connectivity


  • Disappointing audio
  • Ponderous menus

Samsung is upgrading its game at a rate of knots if the LE40A856 is anything to go by. Indeed, the screen is difficult to find fault with terms of in picture performance or build quality.

It's a shiny black model, but Samsung's design team have added a splash of bling with the 'Crystal Rose' finish and the squished-down 44.4mm depth. Four HDMIs and an Ethernet port for DLNA media streaming are provided.

Strikingly deep blacks

I do still have reservations. Navigating around the copious menu options is a chore, thanks to spongy remote control buttons and a sloth-like reaction time. The audio is also tinny and limited – if you don't have an external sound system, you'd better get used to below par audio.

The LE40A865's picture more than makes up for these problems. Black levels are strikingly deep by LCD's standards – sit down to watch a movie or play a game in a moderately lit room and blacks appear bottomless. Even in a dark room they're impressive, but you'll see a bit of light coming through and a touch of greyness as a consequence.

This black level, coupled with searingly bright whites and hues, means the Samsung delivers a beautifully high-contrast picture with plenty of depth, particularly when viewing high-definition content.

Detail is very sharp, noise in SD broadcasts is mercilessly stamped out and motion is almost completely smear-free, thanks to a 100Hz refresh rate. This without exhibiting any processing side effects.

Overall, I'd rate the Samsung LE40A865 as a fine LCD TV that ticks most of the right boxes. Definitely worth putting on your bigscreen audition list.