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Over the past few weeks, after a plethora of Panasonic TV reviews, one thing has become increasingly apparent. Namely that Panasonic's new plasma range is the most polarised yet, thanks to the introduction of the brand's new NeoPDP panels.
In other words, the NeoPDP screens found in Panasonic's new mid-range and high-end plasma TVs, with their enhanced brightness/contrast, flexibility and eco-friendliness, have left us feeling just a little nonplussed by the brand's non-NeoPDP panels, as found in the relatively low-end X10 and S10 ranges.
So it's good news indeed today to be able to start the review of Panasonic's 42in TX-P42G10 by saying that it's the proud owner of a NeoPDP panel, and so immediately has a better chance of winning me over.
That's not nearly the end of the good early news, either. For instance, the screen also enjoys a Full HD resolution, despite the difficulties in squeezing 1,920x1,080 plasma chambers (pixels) into a 42in screen. Then there's the fact that it's got a native claimed native contrast ratio of 40,000:1 that rises all the way up to a giddy 2,000,000:1 if you employ the TV's 'dynamic' contrast features.
If that doesn't grab you, how about its carriage of both Freesat and Freeview tuners, complete with full electronic programme guide support for both? Or the fact that it enjoys a 600Hz refresh rate?
Impressive though all of this sounds, though, it would be remiss of me not to point out that the P42G10 actually only sits somewhere around the mid-point of Panasonic's latest range, lacking the internet connectivity and super-slim designs that help distinguish its truly premium models (due here in the next few weeks).
An inevitable upside to the P42G10's mid-range position is that it really doesn't seem expensive for what's on offer. Under £1,000 for a 42in Full HD Freesat TV seems pretty aggressive to us - especially if the set does as I hope and delivers the same sort of AV performance I've witnessed on other NeoPDP plasmas recently.
As with most Panasonic TVs I've seen for the past year or two, the P42G10 doesn't set the world on fire aesthetically. Its build quality is decent enough, but otherwise its gloss black finish offset by a solitary little silvery strip along the bottom does nothing to stand out from the crowd.
It's slightly disappointing, too, to find the P42G10's connectivity only including three HDMIs rather than the four we're starting to see on a growing number of step-up TVs. But then, of course, this TV does have a built-in Freesat tuner, saving you the trouble of connecting one of the most common external devices to the P42G10.
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