Review Price £1,132.50
By the time you read this, I should have been down for an in-depth, one-on-one presentation about Sharp's intriguing new Quad Pixel LCD technology. But ahead of that, it seems a good idea to round out the coverage we've given to Sharp's other recent technological coup - affordable LCD TVs with direct LED backlighting – by checking out the biggest model from the range, the 52in LC-52LE700E.
The 52LE700E is actually the only 52in model in Sharp's affordable direct LED series, with the cheaper LE600 range topping out at 46in. Presumably Sharp thought that buyers of its entry-level TV series wouldn’t be willing to stretch their ambitions to the 52in size. Or maybe Sharp didn’t feel comfortable with taking the pictures of its direct LED range up to the 52in level without employing the LE700’s 100Hz engine.
While such wild speculation on my part might be fun (for me at least!), however, it doesn’t really get us anywhere. So let’s swiftly get back on message by focussing on the rather hefty chunk of TV tech I’ve got sat across from me.
Aesthetically, the 52LE700E is nice enough to look at in a slightly unoriginal, glossy black kind of way. I would say that the screen’s extra size slightly emphasises the plastickiness of the bezel, though. And not for the first time I’m left feeling that the design of the LE600 range – with its vaguely metallic bottom edge – actually looks slightly nicer than the one-colour approach of Sharp’s step-up LED models.
The 52LE700E’s bulk also reminds me in no uncertain terms that Sharp’s affordable direct LED models are about as unflat as a flat TV is likely to get these days, with a cheap-looking rear end that sticks out the best part of 10cm. Still, I’m not inclined to gripe too much about a TV’s rear being ugly and a few cm deeper than those of the latest style-meisters if this is one of the compromises that had to happen in order for Sharp to produce a 52in LED-backlit TV costing only a nudge over £1,200.
The panel inside the 52LE700E is one of Sharp’s latest (until the Quad Pixel ones appear) X-Gen designs, and it’s driven by 10-bit signal processing, Sharp’s Brilliant Colour processing, Sharp’s E-Motion anti-judder processing, and the inevitable Full HD resolution.
Plus, of course, there’s the 100Hz engine mentioned earlier. As usual, this doubling of our usual 50Hz TV output is designed to counter LCD’s usual problems with resolution loss and smearing when showing fast motion.