The Samsung UE42F5000’s audio is a pleasant surprise by budget TV standards. While it doesn’t deliver any particularly dramatic dynamics, thanks to (actually quite sensible) limits imposed on its bass and treble responses, within this limited range it sounds clean, natural, well-rounded and passably powerful.
So while the sound might not be potent enough to greatly add to your sense of immersion in what you’re watching, nor does it follow the usual budget trend of sounding so feeble that it actually distracts you.
With no Smart TV features to worry about, Samsung hasn’t bothered including one of the touchpad remote controls on offer higher up its range. This is understandable, though the small standard handset you do get is a bit crowded for comfortable use.
With its aggressive price and strong picture, the Samsung UE42F5000 has great potential as a gaming monitor. So it’s a relief to report that our tests for input lag gave results of just 34ms – a figure low enough not to have a significantly negative impact on your gameplay.
If you don’t care about having online Smart TV features, the UE42F5000 is a pretty stellar budget option. In fact, it’s hard to think of anything at the same price that can touch it in pure AV terms. Spending a bit more could get you the better design and slightly better pictures of the Sony KDL-40W653, but if £400 is your maximum, the UE42F5000 is pretty much in a class of its own.
The UE42F5000 sacrifices online functionality in favour of giving you the highest picture quality bang for your minimal (£400!) buck.