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Sharp Aquos LC-40LE700E 40in LED Backlit LCD TV review

John Archer



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Sharp Aquos LC-40LE700E 40in LED Backlit LCD TV
  • Sharp Aquos LC-40LE700E 40in LED Backlit LCD TV
  • Sharp Aquos LC-40LE700E 40in LED Backlit LCD TV
  • Sharp Aquos LC-40LE700E 40in LED Backlit LCD TV
  • Sharp Aquos LC-40LE700E 40in LED Backlit LCD TV
  • Sharp Aquos LC-40LE700E 40in LED Backlit LCD TV
  • Sharp Aquos LC-40LE700E 40in LED Backlit LCD TV
  • Sharp Aquos LC-40LE700E 40in LED Backlit LCD TV
  • AQUOS LC-40LE700UN 40" LCD TV (40" - ATSC - NTSC - 176° / 176° - 16:9 - 1920 x 1080)


Our Score:


So far as I’m concerned, the introduction of LED backlighting to the LCD TV world has been almost as important/revolutionary as the development of flat TV technology itself. After all, it single-handedly turns an inherently flawed flat TV technology into something that’s truly and consistently a pleasure to watch. It even allows LCD to take plasma on as the TV format of choice for cinephiles - and in doing so could become a major defining force in the way the TV marketplace takes shape in the coming months and years.

All of which makes Sharp’s 40LE700E one seriously enticing on-paper proposition. After all, it offers 40in of true direct LED backlighting, complete with local dimming, for the remarkably affordable sum of £774.

If the words ‘direct LED backlighting’ and ‘local dimming’ mean precisely nothing to you, allow me to - briefly - explain. The term direct LED lighting describes a situation where the LED lights are positioned directly behind the screen, firing straight out of it. The alternative approach, as currently favoured by Samsung and LG, is to position the LEDs around the screen’s edge, which makes it possible to have a screen that’s just three or four centimetres deep.

Local dimming, meanwhile, describes the key bonus direct LED lighting has over edge LED lighting. For it’s possible with direct LED lighting to control individually each separate cluster of LED lights that make up a direct LED TV’s picture. And so you can, say, totally deactivate one cluster to deliver almost complete blackness if part of a picture demands it, while leaving the adjacent LED able to fire on full brightness. Clearly this makes possible a level of contrast you simply won’t see on a standard CCFL LCD TV.

I’d like to be able to put an actual figure on the 40LE700’s black level talents for you, despite manufacturers’ contrast ratio figures being notoriously untrustworthy. But Sharp rather unhelpfully just describes the 40LE700E’s contrast as ‘mega’ on its marketing blurb. Er, thanks.

The 40LE700E’s design is a classic game of two halves. Its fascia is actually rather nice in its sheer, glass-like finish offset dramatically by a triangular neon blue power button. But the TV’s rear is as ugly and plasticky as they come. The idea of the ‘360-degree’ TV design now being championed by more and more brands clearly hasn’t filtered through to the 40LE700E’s design team. I’d also say that oddly the 40LE700E seems slightly less attractive than its 46in sibling we looked at a while back, perhaps because the attractive fascia doesn’t dominate your field of view quite as much, leaving the ugly rear more exposed in a typical living room environment.


January 27, 2010, 6:12 am

Nice review John, thanks.


January 27, 2010, 11:26 am

Good review.

There's clearly a big style disadvantage over the current side lit LED models, but nearly £1,000 difference for the equivalent Samsung?

If Sharp can overcome the motion blur issues for a £100 or so, I can do without a 3 cm deep panel in favour of saving £900. Hell, I can buy 2 of them and still have change.


January 27, 2010, 2:08 pm

I have to admit that with LCD vs Plasma the very reason I've stayed with Plasma for the past 6 years is not backlighting / black levels, but motion-blur. I just can't handle this at all, it gives me headaches and during big panning / action sequences just makes me want to turn the set off completely.

I'm still not convinced that LCD has totally solved this issue and I'll never buy one until it fully has. Perhaps with all the 100 / 200 / 600 / 1200 / 12000000 MHz we are getting there though. Give it a couple of years.


January 27, 2010, 3:34 pm

I'll ask again. Input lag figures? No?

They're supposedly quite good on this particular TV, but it would be nice if you could include these figures in your TV reviews for everyone to see.


January 27, 2010, 3:51 pm

@Metalex: No, this is not something we shall be looking at in our TV reviews.


January 27, 2010, 4:19 pm

In my opiniomn motion blur has been largely eliminated on the latest 100/200hz Samsung, Philips and Sony LCDs, but is still noticeable on the Sharp ones. I've had a Samsung 46B8000 (200hz) since mid last year and have never experienced motion blur at all.


January 27, 2010, 8:54 pm

Ed, that's dissapointing, as it is quite a big consideration for gamers who are aware of the issue. For those that aren't aware, input lag figures would educate them and potentially stop them making a mistake when purchasing a TV.

jamie anderson

January 28, 2010, 11:36 pm

Reviews of this range on other sites have indicated that individual elements of the LED backlight array cannot be dimmed independently of the others - i.e. that they all get brighter & darker together.

Who is right?

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