In recent reviews of TVs boasting Sony's new Monolithic design, we've bemoaned the fact that the design's potential impact and purity has been reduced by surprisingly chunky rear ends. So the KDL-46NX703 comes as a breath of fresh air, using as it does edge LED backlighting to be much more slender than the other models we've seen.
We're not talking Samsung levels of skinniness here; the bottom third of the set sticks out more than 60mm. But it's slender enough to finally truly deliver a monolithic profile. Especially if you stump up extra cash for Sony's striking and innovative new silver speaker bar/desktop stand combi, within which you can tilt the screen gently back for extra visual impact and viewing pleasure.
Unexpectedly, our 46NX703 review sample arrived clad in a white bezel rather than the black sported by the other Monolithic screens we've seen. This will doubtless help the set find a place on the background set of This Morning, and we liked the way the white was offset by the silver enclosure running around the bezel's extremities. But personally, we prefer the less 'fancy' black version. Though obviously it's always nice to have a choice.
The 46NX703 resides within the Network series of Sony's new Bravia range, and so it's no surprise to find it bristling with connections. Four HDMIs - two on the rear, two down the side - lead the way, but there's extensive multimedia support from a D-Sub PC jack, an Ethernet port, and a USB socket. Even better, unlike other recent Sony TVs, the 46NX703 boasts built-in Wi-Fi support rather than forcing you to cough up for an optional extra USB Wi-Fi dongle.
This leaves the USB port free to do multimedia duties, playing photo, music and video files from USB storage devices. It also makes the provision of just one USB input easier to take than it has been on Sony sets where you do have to use a Wi-Fi USB dongle.
The set's network connectivity is there, too, to support its built-in Freeview HD tuner; to access files on DLNA PCs; and to stream video from Sony's truly impressive 'Bravia Internet Video' roster of online content.
We've covered this new online offering in detail in previous reviews, so we won't spend too long on it now. Suffice it to say that the list of content providers is huge, startlingly - almost eccentrically! - varied, and delivered with both quality and stability for the most part. Highlights include Channel 5's Demand Five catchup service, Eurosport, YouTube, and best of all, LoveFilm, complete with syncing to your LoveFilm account.
The 46NX703 has plenty of picture processing tricks up its sleeve, too. Particularly noteworthy is its carriage of Motionflow 100Hz - something conspicuously absent from the 32NX503 Sony Network TV we tested recently. But you also get Sony's Live Colour system and, of course, Sony's usually dependable Bravia Engine 3 system.