Panasonic TX-32AS600 review

Plenty of Smart TV apps but not enough processing power make an unhappy combination

Panasonic TX-32AS600

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Ignoring the quite average panel inside this 32-incher for a second, what the TX-32AS600 suffers from is the same affliction that bothers Toshiba TVs such as the 32D3454DB: a lack of processing power. Just like those Toshiba TVs, the TX-32AS600's cloud-based, app-packed antics, however impressive, just don't boast the necessary usability a smart TV platform demands.

We liked

Any TV with the excellent Panasonic exclusives Freetime and My Home Screen is hard not to like. That both are on offer in a mid-range TV is quite something, while the Swipe & Share antics (and general digital file-savviness) are hard to turn down for the money, too.

Every UK catch-up TV app is here, as well as Netflix. While colours are sparkling, HD fare looks great, and SD upscaling is also well judged. Is there a small TV out there any more versatile and ambitious than the TX-32AS600? Surely not.

We disliked

However awesome Freetime is as a concept, it's delivered here without the necessary processing power to make it anything but frustrating. Despite the app-packed user interface, there's no Amazon Instant app available to users of the TX-32AS600, while contrast is sadly lacking on this LED-backlit IPS panel.

Final verdict

On paper the TX-32AS600 is perfect for the modern living room or bedroom. Freeview HD is a given, but on this 32-inch Full HD TV it's complemented by Freetime. Offering the BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport, BBC News, ITV Player, 4OD and Demand Five apps, Freetime is a revelation, but here it lacks the processing power to make it truly usable.

Netflix is present and works great, and Swipe & Share two-way file-swapping is the highlight on this surprisingly file-savvy set. However, some motion blur, a general lack of Full HD sharpness and some rather poor contrast performance, as well as a lack of processing power, mark this down as an over-ambitious TV that's bitten off more than it can chew.

Also consider

Although no other brand boasts Freetime functionality, if you're after a 32-incher it's worth checking out the Toshiba 32D3454DB, which has a DVD player built-in, though its apps are similarly under-powered. Samsung's UE32H6200 takes both picture quality and features more seriously than this Panasonic, also including all smart TV apps from UK broadcasters, as well as 3D.

Jamie Carter

Jamie is a freelance tech, travel and space journalist based in the UK. He’s been writing regularly for Techradar since it was launched in 2008 and also writes regularly for Forbes, The Telegraph, the South China Morning Post, Sky & Telescope and the Sky At Night magazine as well as other Future titles T3, Digital Camera World, All About Space and He also edits two of his own websites, and that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),