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Panasonic TX-32AS600

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

Panasonic TX-32AS600

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.