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Sharp Aquos LC40LE700E review

Barry de la Rosa
1 Mar 2010
Sharp Aquos LC40LE700E
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
817
inc VAT

Despite its boxy appearance, the LE700 has great contrast, low power consumption and a superb EPG.

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Specifications

40in, Freeview, analogue, 1,920x1,080 resolution, 3D: , 4x HDMI

Sharp's 40in LE700 has full LED backlighting and a suggested price of £1,300, but at first glance it looks like a budget model. The case is boxy, with a wide, glossy black bezel around the screen. A subtle blue glow at the bottom edge of the fascia adds a touch of style and, while the large base looks like it's made from glass, it's actually plastic. There are buttons along the right-hand edge of the case, but most operations will be carried out using the cheap-looking remote.

Its small buttons are laid out in a fairly intuitive way. An aspect ratio button lets you choose between Full and Dot by Dot. The former cropped the Blu-ray film we tested and the Windows desktop from our laptop was zoomed in so that the task bar was off the screen. In both cases we had to manually choose Dot by Dot mode to correct the problem. A set of Aquos controls, which let you control other Sharp equipment, is hidden under a flap.

Four buttons across the middle of the remote give quick access to analogue and digital TV, the EPG and radio. The EPG is one of the most detailed we've seen, with 15 channels displayed top to bottom and six hours' worth of scheduled programs visible horizontally. Each program has a small icon to represent its genre, and you can filter by genre. If you find the layout hard to read at a distance, there are two larger display modes.

As well as basic image quality settings, there are advanced controls for hue, saturation and level for the six primary and secondary colours. Sharp's 100Hz technology is fairly subtle, not completely removing movie judder, but smoothing it slightly. We found the ambient light sensor made distracting changes to brightness, so switched it off. With a low power consumption of only 92W at full brightness, there's no need to set a lower brightness to save money.

There's a fairly standard set of inputs and outputs on the rear of the case. There are four HDMI inputs and few will miss the lack of an S-video interface. You'll probably want to use the stereo phono or optical S/PDIF outputs as the internal speakers aren't loud enough, don't have enough bass and give little stereo effect. A USB port on the side panel accepts flash drives but not external hard disks that require power. When you insert a flash drive you're prompted to choose between photo or music modes, but only JPEG and MP3 files are supported.

The LC40LE700E's clunky appearance and cheap-looking remote might make you dismiss the LE700, but in our side-by-side tests we were impressed by the contrast, with deep blacks and bright whites, and plenty of detail without the use of sharpening. Colours were natural and vibrant, and skin tones were well balanced. In our DVD test we saw no ghosting and a minimum of jagged edges on sharp lines. TV picture quality was similarly good, with good handling of Freeview image compression.

At £817, the Sharp's LEDs don't make the LC40LE700E more expensive than similar size LCD TVs with fluorescent backlights. The looks may be budget and it may lack features such as networking, but on image quality alone the LE700 is good value. Toshiba's 42XV635DB is cheaper, though, and has image quality to match.

Basic Specifications

Rating****

Physical

Viewable size40in
Native resolution1,920x1,080
1080p supportYes
Aspect ratio16:9
HD readyyes
Contrast ratioNot disclosed (2,000,000:1 dynamic)
Brightness450cd/m²
Speakers2x 10W
Bezel (top/side/bottom)36mm/38mm/76mm
Screen depth92mm
Screen elevation93mm
Stand size (WxD)420x269mm

Connections

DVI inputs0
D-sub inputs1
HDMI inputs4
Component inputs1
SCART1
S-Video input0
Composite inputs1
Audio outputsoptical S/PDIF out, 1x stereo phono
Otherheadphone output, 3.5mm minijack audio input, CI slot, USB in

Tuner

Tuner typeFreeview, analogue
EPG7 day, now and next

Environmental

Power consumption standby0W
Power consumption on92W

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB
Price£817
Supplierhttp://www.directtvs.co.uk
Detailswww.sharp.co.uk

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