Sharp Aquos LC-52XS1E 52in RGB-LED LCD TV - Sharp Aquos LC-52XS1E

John Archer

By John Archer

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

The best thing of all about the 52XS1E's colours, though, is that they're not just great at boosting the intensity of graphics and animations. The almost infinite subtlety and range of the TV's post-calibration palette also has a jaw-droppingly positive impact on 'real' video. During the Freerunning sequence near Casino Royale's start, for instance, the range of greens visible in the fauna as Bond chases his quarry through a forested area are unprecedented, as is the combination of vibrancy and tonal variation visible in the sea behind the high crane part of the sequence.

The remarkable expressiveness of the 52XS1E's colour tones continues with the relatively dark interiors of the embassy that houses the finale of the sequence, too, showing that the set's colour talents are just as formidable at low brightness levels as they are with light, outdoor material.

Sorry if I seem to be going on about the 52XS1E's colours a bit, but I really can't state enough just how amazing they really are.

Not that colours are the only 'amazing' thing about the 52XS1E's pictures, mind you. For its black levels also have to be seen to be believed. The black bars around the 2.35:1 Casino Royale image seem pretty much perfect to me, without a trace of the customary flat TV greyness, or any backlight inconsistency whatsoever. This TV really does produce a purer, more natural, more uniform, more engaging and less blemished black colour than any other flat TV I have ever seen. High praise indeed from a man with a self-confessed and unrepentant black level obsession!

Another profoundly impressive thing about the 52XS1E's picture is the fact that thanks to LED's local dimming system, the sublime black levels aren't dependent on overall brightness levels being reduced. So dark scenes can enjoy a dynamism and intensity you just can't get on a normal LCD screen.

This also helps the TV reproduce sensational levels of greyscale subtlety and shadow detail information in dark parts of the picture, making them look totally believable and full of depth.

Yet more great news concerns the 52XS1E's sharpness with HD footage. High quality Blu-ray images look spectacularly detailed, clear, clean and textured, without the accompaniment of any of the graininess or edge-stressing noise sometimes seen where such acute sharpness exists.

It's a pleasure, too, to find that the clarity of HD images doesn't fall apart when things get moving. Sharp's 100Hz engine has gone in a couple of generations from being one of the worst to one of the best, so that here it ensures motion looks crisper and more fluid without generating seemingly any unpleasant side effects.

Even standard definition pictures look good on the 52XS1E. They're not quite as noiseless and crisp as we've seen from the best Panasonic and, lately, Toshiba Resolution+ TVs, and they sometimes exhibit minor jaggedness over some curved edges. But they're impressive nonetheless, and certainly markedly better than we're used to seeing from Sharp's normal LCD TVs.

Matthew Bunton

May 25, 2009, 9:44 pm

How much?





I'd rather take a Pioneer Kuro over this and keep the change.

stranded

May 25, 2009, 10:58 pm

Interesting TV with one major disadvantage (not the price), resolution should be more than FullHD for this size.

jopey

May 26, 2009, 12:38 am

You could buy TWO 60 inch Kuro's for that much money. Value 0/10.

smc8788

May 26, 2009, 1:23 am

Didn't you guys hear? Plasma is dead :p

Sir Stuie

May 26, 2009, 2:04 am

Ouch, glad it doesnt get a TR recommendation.

basicasic

May 26, 2009, 2:13 am

Interesting from a technological standpoint that LCDs can now match or even beat the best plasmas albeit at a price. Wonder how long it will be before prices get down to a more affordable level?

smodd

May 26, 2009, 4:14 am

Well the word "Exclusive" was invented for a reason.

ilovethemonkeyhead

May 26, 2009, 11:27 am

same point was mentioned with the sony x series reviews, about price. but then i doubt the sony is finished in classy aluminium all over.

Hamish Campbell

May 26, 2009, 1:43 pm

Anyone know if this can handle moist environments? Thinking about this for the bathroom, just hate it when I need to pee and miss a goal.

Keithe6e

May 26, 2009, 6:25 pm

@haim: Will you be my friend?.

stranger

May 29, 2009, 9:07 pm

John


do you think your views on the 'blacks' would have been the same if this tv had had a black bezel?


Thanks.

Enigma

February 10, 2010, 11:29 pm

Now on SALE for £2,999 (reduced from £5,999) and I was offered it for £2,800 without asking.

steve Cousins

February 13, 2010, 2:12 pm

@ Enigma


Where From?

steve Cousins

February 13, 2010, 7:06 pm

@ enigma





On sale? Where abouts?

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