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LG 15EL9500 review

John Archer

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LG 15EL9500
  • LG 15EL9500
  • LG 15EL9500
  • LG 15EL9500
  • LG 15EL9500
  • LG 15EL9500
  • LG 15EL9500
  • LG 15EL9500

Summary

Our Score:

8

LG’s 15in 15EL9500 TV thinks it’s so darned special that it doesn’t even ship in a normal TV box. In place of the cheap brown or white cardboard and flip top of your usual container, the 15EL9500 luxuriates in a jet black affair with a slide off lid - the sort of box you might usually find holding an engagement ring or the latest high-tech fashionable smartphone.

But then when you’ve just shelled out the best part of £1,500 for a 15in TV, you probably feel entitled to packaging that’s a bit more pukka than most. Yes, you read that right: the 15EL9500 really does cost four figures.

The assumption from this price has to be that the 15EL9500 is no ordinary 15in TV. And actually, that assumption is absolutely spot on. With knobs on.

For the 15EL9500 is not only the first TV to use OLED technology that we’ve ever tested at TrustedReviews, but it’s also the largest OLED TV currently available commercially. In other words, despite its petite size, it’s a groundbreaker twice over.

Not that it’s actually the very first OLED TV to be launched in the UK. That honour belongs to Sony’s even smaller 11in model, the XEL-1. A snip at £2,500. But Sony doesn’t seem keen to let us review one of these TVs for some reason!

OLED technology is a big deal for two reasons. First, it allows screens to be almost unbelievably slim. And second, the quality it’s delivered whenever we’ve seen it demoed is absolutely stunning.

The 15EL9500 certainly ticks the 'unbelievably slim' box. For the majority of its 15in screen features a back end that sticks out just 3.2mm. Let us say that again: 3.2mm. Truly extraordinary.

There is a section towards the bottom of the screen that extends the depth to around a centimetre, but this doesn’t actually matter that much since it’s cunningly disguised within the curves of the rather swanky, brushed aluminium prop-up stand that screws to the screen’s underside.

The remarkably slim bezel is nearly as black as the strikingly dark screen it sits around, and it’s backed by a hugely pleasant brushed metal backplate - a plate that gives the thin screen rigidity and robustness, as well as giving the TV a suitably opulent, gleaming feel. In fact, the design is apparently waterproof, to the extent that it’s been approved in the EU for bathroom installation.

The stand allows you to adjust the tilt angle of the screen by a few degrees to suit your tastes or viewing position, or it can be used to hang the TV on a wall.

Please note, though, that the stand/mount can’t be completely removed to leave the screen in all it’s breathtakingly slim glory. Why? Because the folds of the concertina stand also house all of the screen’s connections, including its power inlet.

Space is at a premium where connections are concerned, as you might well expect, so you get just a single mini HDMI (a rather short large HDMI adaptor cable is supplied), a USB port, a little service port, and last but not least a tiny antenna input that takes in your aerial feeds via another supplied adaptor.

Castalan

August 26, 2010, 12:34 pm

Now if they could just get the screens up to 32 inches and maintain that price I could justify one to myself.





Justifying it to Mrs Castalan would be a whole different story :( Dam you John Lewis and your range of beguiling homeware...

Pbryanw

August 26, 2010, 2:25 pm

I just wonder if, by the time 32"+ OLED screens are viable, whether LED-backlit LCDs will have caught up to some degree. Or whether it's a genuine leap beyond what any future LED screen could achieve. (Also small mistake in feature table - shouldn't native res be lower?).

DaGMan79

August 26, 2010, 2:44 pm

Are the over-saturation issues seen on OLED phones particular to those screens then and not OLED as a technology?

D-Unit

August 26, 2010, 5:22 pm

Er, guys, the resolution on the spec page says 1920 x 1080 - isn't its resolution 1,366 x 768?





I get a free one of these for spotting that, right?... Right?!





:)

the near side

August 26, 2010, 5:23 pm

I wish they would invest in providing good sound. What is the point of the screen being so thin when the base is so thick, or am I missing something? When scaled up to 40", how thick will the backplate have to be to stop the screen from warping? OK, you guessed, I can't afford one.

Sam JB

August 26, 2010, 5:24 pm

Loving the irony in the supplier's name

Chris

August 26, 2010, 5:48 pm

@Pbryanw: You know, I remember reading a prediction to that effect a few years ago; LCD screens would improve, OLED would become instantly obsolete. Thing is, it just hasn't happened. I'm constantly frustrated when looking at LCD sets, even high end ones, and finding myself disappointed with their black levels, grey clouding, shadow detail and processing artefacts. It makes me want to return to my old CRT, (at least, until I realise it's not HD).





Plasma next for me, I think.

TechVegan

August 26, 2010, 5:58 pm

@Sam_JB:


Hahaha, hadn't noticed that - rather :D

Jon McGovern

August 26, 2010, 7:11 pm

This is the kind of writing that makes TR far more interesting to read than other review websites

Chris Beach

August 26, 2010, 9:03 pm

@the_near_side, sorry but you'd be daft to get a TV like this and use it's speakers, in fact you'd be daft to get any mid->high-end tv and use the built ins. Get a amp, a htib or a soundbar (in that order!) Surround sound really makes a difference to the experience.

cliche

August 27, 2010, 1:13 am

" the finest pictures we've seen on any television, period. "


Period - full stop you mean ?


Is this an American site ?

GoldenGuy

August 27, 2010, 6:50 pm

@cliche





I think someone's on their full stop.

Chris Mumford

August 27, 2010, 9:52 pm

I know the picture might be good but then again even old style 15" portables looked pretty good and certainly didn't cost the same as my 52" full hd sony. Quite ridiculous price.

cliche

August 27, 2010, 11:12 pm

@Goldenguy - no just proof checking going down the pan and less fussy readers on the web ...

Geoff Richards

August 28, 2010, 12:15 am

@Cliche - I don't see that it's anything to do with proof checking. One could argue the cross-polination of American slang / language into modern Britain, but it's surely nit-picking to complain about the use of &quot;period&quot; vs &quot;full stop&quot; when used in this way.<br />


<br />


We're a UK-based site but we're read in over 230 countries every month.





@Golden Guy: nice one :)

cliche

August 28, 2010, 5:58 pm

yet to find anyone who says period in the UK. Anyway nice reply Geoff *rollseyes*

phantoma

September 2, 2010, 8:32 am

Is it unreasonable to expect a 65" version in 5 years time for around 2000 pounds ($3000)?





We just bought a 63" plasma and paid for a 5yr warranty, so by then a large OLED would be the logical upgrade.

Arctic Fox

October 5, 2010, 10:03 pm

@phantoma





Yep, my thoughts exactly. We bit on the bullet and upgraded to a 55 inch Sammy about 6 months ago - cost us 1500 smackers (I still go crosseyed that we actually did that!). An upgrade to a full grown version of the above in 4 - 5 years would be just about right. Its not often that TR gives anything 10/10 and TV with image quality so good that it gets that rating has got to be worth consideration. Be nice if someone marketed one without speakers - these inbuilt jobs are all crap. Let us be honest who buys a major viewing surface without having a proper sound-system?

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