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For a full exploration of the other aspects of the 40WE5's pictures, I might as well refer you to the relevant part of last week's 46W5500 review, as they're so similar. But if you can't be bothered to head on over to that review, the 40WE5 combines outstanding HD sharpness with rich, natural colours; some of the best black levels yet seen on a non-LED LCD TV; clean and sharp motion handling; and fine suppression of noise that leaves its standard definition pictures looking markedly better than many of its similar-sized peers.
When all's said and done, the only seriously negative thing to say about the 40WE5's picture is that it loses rather a lot of colour and contrast if watched from much of an angle. But the same is true, of course, of countless other LCD TVs.
I guess I'm duty bound to point out, too, that while exceptional by non-LED standards, the 40WE5's black levels aren't quite as profound and stable as those of the best LED and plasma TVs. But it's a surprisingly close-run thing, and high-end plasmas and especially LED TVs will both set you back a chunk more money than the 40WE5.
None of Sony's Eco features seem to extend to cover the 40WE5's audio, so it comes as no surprise at all to find the 40WE5 producing a similarly punchy, respectably dynamic if ultimately slightly bass-light audio performance to that heard from the 46W5500 TV.
I have to admit that when I first heard about the WE5 range, I kind of wrote it off as a gimmick. Cue egg on face, for Sony has not only managed to retain its current high picture quality standards on the 40WE5 while delivering genuine running efficiencies; it's actually improved them slightly.
I guess the 40WE5's Eco-friendliness and performance talents don't come cheap; the 40WE5 costs the best part of £200 more than the 40W5500 at most retailers we've checked.
But don't forget that as well as allowing you to feel good about yourself for saving the planet, the 40WE5 will also genuinely save you money over time with its energy-saving antics. So much so, that if you keep the TV long enough, it should actually work out cheaper in the long run than a 40W5500.
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