Summary

Our Score

8/10

Pros

  • Incredibly cheap for what it offers
  • Fair 3D and 2D performance
  • Playback from and recording to USB devices

Cons

  • Poor sound quality
  • Very limited viewing angle
  • Average black level response

Review Price £239.99

Key Features: 26in LCD TV with edge LED lighting; Passive 3D playback; full HD native resolution; multimedia playback via USB ; Four pairs of 3D glasses included

Manufacturer: Finlux

Finlux 26F7030 - Specs and Design

Introduction
Given our oft-stated belief that 3D always works best on a really big screen, it doesn’t seem likely that we’re going to get on well with the Finlux 26F7030. For despite sporting passive 3D technology and shipping with four pairs of 3D glasses, its 16:9-ratio screen is only 26-inches across, the smallest 3D TV we've ever tested.

Finlux 26F7030 Specs
The movie fan in us immediately fears the worst. For even if you truly fancy watching a 3D film on such a small screen in a bedroom/kitchen/study/conservatory, experience suggests that the impact of the 3D will be limited by the image’s smallness. Plus the 3D effect will tend to look like some kind of extra-dimensional hole ripped into your room, rather than the immersive experience you’d get if the 3D image filled more of your field of vision.

Finlux 26F7030

Our inner gamer, though, actually can just about envisage using a 26-inch 3D TV. After all, most gaming in a typical household takes place on a relatively small second TV, and we’ve also found (rather strangely) that we tend to game while sitting closer to smaller screens than we would while just watching TV or a film.

Then there’s the fact that we’ve generally found 3D to be more typically useful and worthwhile when gaming than it is with TV and films.

In short, then, while we’re not sure we could imagine settling down to watch Avatar in 3D on the Finlux 26F7030, a bit of 3D Gran Turismo 5 could definitely be on the cards. Assuming the set’s 3D efforts are actually watchable, that is - something that has to be in doubt given that the Finlux 26F7030 can be yours for just £240.

Even by Finlux’s routinely ‘high value’ approach to TV the price of the Finlux 26F7030 looks incredibly cheap. You’d normally struggle to find a ‘normal’ 26-inch TV for so little money, never mind one that also carries 3D.

The presumption has to be that in order to make such a price possible, Finlux has seriously had to scrimp and save elsewhere. But actually, while it’s not going to break any feature list records, the Finlux 26F7030 has got more going on than we might have anticipated.
 
Finlux 26F7030

Finlux 26F7030 Design
The Finlux 26F7030' design, for instance, is illuminated by a pleasingly textured finish to the bezel, and the surprising slimness of the set’s rear. Its bezel is quite wide by modern standards, but overall the Finlux 26F7030 can’t really be accused of looking as cheap as it is.

The Finlux 26F7030’s thin rear proves right away that it uses edge LED illumination rather than the old-school CCFL system we might have expected to find on such a cheap TV.

Connections are solid. There are two HDMIs, an RF tuner input, a D-Sub PC port and a USB input. And to our surprise this USB port can be used for both playing a few video, photo and music file formats into the TV, and for recording from the built-in Freeview tuner to USB flash and hard drives. Impressive.

The Freeview tuner is not a HD version, unfortunately, but while we would normally be very disappointed by this, it’s not such a painful loss to us on a 26-inch TV as it would be on a larger screen.

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