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

John Archer

By John Archer



Our Score:


The 40LE700 also manages to deliver a bold, richly saturated colour palette that’s markedly more natural in tone than anything we’ve become used to seeing from Sharp’s normal LCD TVs. HD pictures contain plenty of that lovely detailing that makes the format so loveable, and HD pictures can look crisp, too - provided there’s not too much motion around.

For sadly, despite carrying a 100Hz engine, the 40LE700 falls prey rather noticeably to motion blur. This is particularly apparent during standard definition viewing, but even HD action sequences aren’t immune to it. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be an action scene; any kind of fast motion within the frame, such as someone turning their face, can lead to obvious resolution loss in the moving area.

The 100Hz engine does reduce the extent of this blur compared with Sharp’s step-down LE600E LED models, but it certainly doesn’t completely remove it - not by a long chalk. What’s more, it doesn’t do its business quite as efficiently as some of the best rival 100Hz/200Hz systems when it comes to side-effects, at least if you run it in conjunction with Sharp’s ‘Film Mode’ feature set to either of its Advanced levels. In this configuration there’s clear flickering around edges, at times, as well as the occasional stutter. Thankfully these side-effects are far less apparent if you put the Film Mode into its Standard setting.

One other smaller issue I have with the 40LE700’s pictures is blooming, where the relative paucity of LED light sources compared with the number of pixels in the picture can mean that the local dimming sometimes can’t get local enough, resulting in slight haloes around very bright objects when they appear against dark backgrounds. This inadequate localisation issue may also contribute a little to the sense of softness noted during motion-packed bright scenes.

At this point I really do have to say that when the 40LE700’s pictures are good, they’re outstanding. Check out the key card game sequences in Casino Royale, for instance; here the level of black response, dynamism, sharpness and colour accuracy is really something to behold on an LCD/LED TV at this price, and there’s relatively little motion around to catch the TV out. But this just makes it all the more upsetting when the dreaded motion blur sets in during any sort of action scene or shot.

The 40LE700’s audio is rather more straightforward than its pictures, in that it’s a typical flat TV ‘fair to middling’ affair with adequate volumes and some decent treble clarity, but a pretty impoverished bass end and rather cramped mid-range.


Despite confidently reaffirming direct LED backlighting’s talents with black level and contrast, and delivering occasionally excellent HD images, the Sharp LC-40LE700E ultimately proves that direct LED lighting isn’t itself enough to guarantee a TrustedReviews Recommended badge. You’ve also got to nail the other stuff - particularly LCD’s response time/motion blur problem.


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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