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We've seen a fair few 2.1-channel systems of late, but none has been quite as audaciously stylish as the Samsung HT-X200, even taking the mouth-watering Philips HTS6600 into consideration. Also attractive is its price tag, which puts paid to the notion that good-looking kit has to be expensive.
The main unit is styled in an elegant gloss black finish and can be mounted horizontally or vertically thanks to the removable ovular stand - it looks great either way. But what really makes it stand out is the large sloping front panel that displays information using large blue LEDs. Add a minimal row of buttons and smart silver trim and you've got yourself one gorgeous looking system.
It is a little plasticky in places but that's perhaps to be expected for the price, and at least Samsung hasn't neglected the speakers and passive subwoofer, which are also gloss black and compact enough to tuck into tight spaces.
The socket offering on the rear of the main unit is odd in that there's an HDMI output but no SCART output. While we like this forward-thinking approach, it could leave those of you with non-HDMI TVs in the lurch. There is, however, a set of component outputs, or a composite output if you're desperate.
Owners of Sky+ and Sky HD boxes can hook them up to the optical digital audio input on the rear and enjoy beefed up TV sound through the Samsung's speakers, and the analogue stereo output lets you pipe an audio signal to external equipment.
Being a 2.1 system, there aren't many bits in the box, which makes set up incredibly quick and easy - we had ours up and running in ten minutes. The supplied speaker cables plug into the colour-coded terminals on the rear of the main unit, and connect at the other end using springclip terminals. Changing the position of the stand is effortless too, and doesn't require a screwdriver.
The onscreen menu system is logical and nicely presented, allowing you to tweak its very basic array of settings without any hassle. You can activate the dynamic range compression or set an audio delay to rectify lip synch issues, but otherwise there isn't a great deal to configure - some bass or treble adjustments wouldn't have gone amiss.
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