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Sony KDL-40ZX1 review

Sony's 40" slims down for the high-end LCD world

Our Verdict

This is a beautiful looking TV with a decent separate media receiver but picture issues and some minor technical flaws let down the overall score


  • Well-connected external media box
  • Sexy form factor


  • Edge-mounted LEDs don't offer the same contrast as rear-mounted LED back-lighting
  • Some motion smearing
  • Speakers only an optional extra

The KDL-40ZX1 LCD TV from Sony has a clear USP – thinness. It's only 28mm at its widest point, slimming down to a frightfully slender 9.9mm for half the time.

And, weighing 12.2kg, it's probably one of the first 40in TVs you could carry out of the shop under your arm.

This, then, is a 'designer' product, with a distinctly 'designer' price tag. But, unfortunately, AV performance has taken a bit of a hit.

The ZX1 is so thin that it can't pack a TV tuner or speakers. Fair enough, other screens have done that. Yet it also lacks the room to fit full LED back lighting, instead using LED edge lighting, which isn't capable of localised dimming.

Connectivity is either via a single HDMI input, or the external media box, which packs the Freeview tuner. The box is wireless, using a 5GHz RF system for streaming. It's stable, but unable to deliver 1080p. So Blu-ray owners will end up using that HDMI input anyway.

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