As new brand names go, we can’t help but think that Pangoo isn’t one of the best. It sound’s like it’s come from some distant and obscure far Eastern factory a million miles away from the gleaming futuristic facilities employed by the likes of Sony, Samsung, Panasonic and LG.
In other words, the Pangoo name brings back shudder-inducing memories of some of the ‘c-brand’ TV horror stories we’ve found being flogged for peanuts on supermarket shelves over recent years.
Thankfully, however, while Pangoo’s LE-32S700F might not exactly be god’s gift to TV, nor is it the depressing nightmare our name-induced prejudice had led us to expect.
Pangoo is actually a very large company in its native China, having sold TVs there - and, curiously, in Australia - for quite some time. In fact, it’s apparently made screens for other brands to use for many moons too, so the LE-32S700F arrives on the back of much more experience than you might expect from a brand you’ve most likely never heard of before.
What’s more, the 32S700F carries a startlingly strong message of intent. For despite costing just £550, rather than the bog-standard CCFL LCD technology we would expect from such a cheap TV, its 32in frame sports that buzz technology of the moment, edge LED lighting.
As a result, it’s remarkably thin for a 32in set; just 38mm from front to back once removed from its supplied desktop stand. This skinniness helps it sport a design that’s a marked cut above the usual budget look, with a pleasingly glass-like finish, a nifty transparent sliver within the bottom edge, and severely angled-back sides that emphasise the set’s slimness very pleasingly.
The set rises above budget expectations, too, with its connectivity, thanks in particular to the provision of three HDMIs when we might realistically only have expected two. It’s also got a D-Sub PC port, and even, most surprisingly of all, a USB socket through which you can play MP3s, JPEGs and even some types of video files.
Another shock is in store with the 32S700F’s picture processing - as in, it actually has some! For you get 100Hz processing designed, as ever, to reduce LCD’s common problems with judder and resolution loss when showing moving objects. Impressive.