The L423ED11 is commendably sharp when showing HD, too, especially if you remember to select the dot for dot aspect ratio option. Edges look crisp, textures look fulsome and credible, and perhaps most surprisingly, the amount of resolution on show doesn’t plummet horribly when there’s movement in the image - despite the L423ED11 being so cheap and apparently not having any heavy-duty motion processing.
There is a little judder at times, especially when watching 24p Blu-rays. But this is categorically not as distracting as the blurring seen with so many budget (and even one or two not-so-budget) LCD TVs.
And then, of course, there are the L423ED11’s 3D capabilities, which are capable of being very enjoyable indeed. The set’s innate brightness ensures 3D images still have plenty of vim and vigour despite the slight reduction in brightness introduced by the comfortably lightweight glasses, at the same time that this slight dimming ‘hides’ the set’s black level difficulties.
We could see more crosstalk around than we’ve seen with most other passive 3D TVs, it must be said. But crucially it’s also much less of a problem than it is on most active 3D TVs. Add to the above positives a decent sense of depth and none of the flickering you can see with active 3D, and you’ve got yet another very watchable passive 3D image - with a few caveats...
First, you need to make sure that your head is pretty much level with the TV. For if you’re as little as 10 degrees above or below the screen, the crosstalk levels go through the roof.
Actually, this fact together with the way contrast levels plummet if you watch from more than around 30 degrees down each of the TV’s sides makes us wonder if the inclusion of 10 pairs of 3D glasses isn’t optimistic, as it’s hard to imagine all 10 potential viewers being able to get themselves into a position where the set’s viewing angle problems aren’t in play.
The L423ED11’s 3D images are also clearly affected by the slight horizontal line structure issue - especially around small contoured edges - noticed on almost all other passive 3D TVs, which gives them a slightly ‘rougher’, softer look than you see with the best active 3D pictures.
Overall, though, provided you can work with the viewing angle limitations, we have no doubt that the financial and practical benefits of the L423ED11’s passive 3D approach will appeal to a heck of a lot of cash-strapped punters out there.
The L423ED11 also has potential appeal as a gaming monitor - so it's good to see it only turning around 39ms of input lag. However, its troubles with dark scenes definitely prove troublesome with some scenes in our favourite FPS titles.
Wrapping up with the L423ED11’s sound, the 2x8W from the speakers delivers a mid-range that’s just - though only just - open enough to handle vocals without distorting, and there’s an acceptable amount of dynamic range. Things become over-dense and harsh at high volumes or during dense soundtrack moments, but overall the L423ED11’s audio is bearable. And that’s perfectly acceptable given the set’s price.
When you’re watching bright, colourful, ideally HD footage, there’s startlingly little evidence of the L423ED11’s budget nature. And while its 3D pictures are a touch ‘rough and ready’ compared with the TV industry’s 3D heroes, they’re still eminently watchable, so long as you can work with some fairly extreme viewing angle limitations.
The problems come with dark scenes, which look washed out, short of detail, and unnaturally coloured. But we suspect that, for better or worse, the L423ED11‘s hugely appealing price will be more than tempting enough to persuade plenty of people to overlook the set’s ‘foibles’.