Although Loewe will hate us for doing this, there really is no other way to open this review than to talk hard cash. For the simple fact of the matter is that while 40-42in flat TVs from most brands, including respectable ones like Samsung and Panasonic, are now routinely finding price points under £1,000, this latest 40 incher from Loewe sets you back three times as much. And that's only if you stick with the basic model. Lordy!
You might think it unreasonable of Loewe to have any objections to our raising the ‘price issue' so early on given the simple extent of the price premium we're talking about. But Loewe sees the Individual Compose 40 as being less about price and more about branding. It's effectively - and self-confessedly - trying to turn itself into the BMW of the TV world, creating an image of design prowess, technical authority and brand loyalty that to some extent blinds its target market to such tacky, trivial matters as price.
Which, you may be surprised to hear us say, is actually fair enough so far as we're concerned. For while we love a cheap but good TV as much as the next man, we're all in favour of diversity and really don't see why a good premium brand can't carve out a healthy niche for itself.
The only problem for Loewe is that in striving to be BMW you have to actually do BMW - which is to say, you have to have the product quality to back up your marketing aims. And to be honest, on recent evidence Loewe has fallen rather short of achieving sufficient quality. But maybe, just maybe, the German brand's latest 40in LCD TV, the Individual Compose 40, will change all that.
The immediate cause of the careful optimism we just expressed is the Compose 40's genuinely stunning design. With its remarkable slender bezel, glistening metallic finish and really sumptuous build quality, it looks every inch a premium TV. And that's just its basic design!
For building still further on its up-front high-end credentials is the fact that it's available in, and with, all kinds of different design options. For instance, the main TV body can be had in either Aluminium Silver or the even more scrumptious Aluminium Black. Then you can choose what speaker configuration you want to have, be it floor-standing left and right speakers, speakers that attach to the TV's sides, a speaker bar running along the TV's bottom edge, compact speakers with optional floor-standing pole mounts, even a full surround sound system.