Summary

Our Score

4/10

Review Price free/subscription

Fujitsu P42HTA51ES 42in Plasma TV

Few if any manufacturers can claim to have as much experience in the plasma TV game as Fujitsu. In fact, it might fairly argue that it made the first commercially available plasma TV to hit the UK: 1997’s PDS4201E-H – a snip at just £11,600! So why then, you might wonder, isn’t Fujitsu such a household AV name as Sony or Panasonic?

The answer is simply that like NEC, whose 42XR4 TV we checked out a few days ago, Fujitsu has tended to focus its plasma efforts on the corporate/business presentations market rather than home users.

That’s not to say that many of its previous screens haven’t worked admirably as domestic goggle boxes – indeed, we believe one David Beckham has a Fujitsu plasma tucked away somewhere in one of his mansions. But in terms of features, connections and points of sale, Fujitsu has definitely not really yet trodden on the plasma shoes of the mainstream consumer electronics brands.

Until now. Its new 42in P42TA51ES is every inch a domesticated plasma device, apparently designed from the ground up to perform in the living rather than the board room.

The proof of this starts to appear as soon as you take the TV out of its box, as Fujitsu’s usually rather plain styling is enhanced by a new bezel that combines economy of size with elements of razzle dazzle such as a subtly metallic finish and curvaceous side panels. It’s not as in your face as some of today’s popular designs, but if you’re after a screen that’s big but won’t dominate your room, the P42HTA51ES fits the bill perfectly.

The P42HTA51ES doesn’t have any speakers built in, but fear not, for you get an external pair included in the very reasonable £1,995 price, offering you the flexibility of either fastening them to the sides of the screen or positioning them elsewhere in your room. We’ve come across these speakers – or some like them - before with previous Fujitsu screens, but on those previous occasions they’ve been pricey optional extras rather than included in the screen’s price.

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