Overall, probably the best single word to describe the 42F7010 is ‘frustrating’. For when it’s at its best it’s immersive and great – but just a few seconds later it can throw out one of its distracting problems and pull you out of the film again.
One final smaller problem with 3D is that some dark scenes look a bit noisy on the 42F7010. But this isn’t a major deal at all.
The 42F7010 is a similarly mixed performer in 2D mode. Kicking off again with the good stuff, its pictures continue to look surprisingly bright and vibrant for a relatively cheap TV. What’s more, this is achieved while the set retains an at least halfway-decent black level response. In fact, black colours look way deeper than the budget norm if you call in the True Black mode for the HDMI inputs – though be prepared for this mode to also cause a bit of shadow detail to be crushed out of dark scenes.
Motion is more engaging in 2D too, with less judder and less resolution loss/blurring than might have been expected. There’s certainly SOME resolution loss going on, but it’s relaxed enough that you kind of become attuned to it rather than always feeling distracted by it.
This decent motion performance pays dividends, too, when it comes to the sharpness of HD footage on the 42F7010. Sure, you can get more clarity and detail still with premium sets from more established brands, but for its money this Finlux’s HD images are really pretty clean.
The same sadly cannot be said of its standard definition images. For as is so often the case with budget screens, the upscaling engine in the TV is rather average, causing standard definition pictures – at least those from the integrated tuner – to look both distractingly noisy and rather soft.
Colours tend to lose naturalism in standard def mode too. In fact, the set’s colour palette tends to look a bit unbalanced and overcooked even in HD mode, with colours actually looking more natural, as suggested earlier, when it’s toned down a touch by the donning of 3D glasses.
The set’s viewing angle before contrast and colour plummet is extremely limited meanwhile, and dark scenes reveal slight signs of light inconsistency. Thankfully, though, this favours the ‘large and subtle’ patches of inconsistency approach rather than suffering the more distracting – and common – scenario whereby edge LED TVs can show up numerous small but very defined patches of backlight inconsistency.
Finally, as noted during 3D viewing, HD images sometimes look a touch noisier than we’d like them too, especially over dark parts of the picture.
Next we tested the 42F7010 for something very close to gamers’ hearts: image lag. We didn’t expect much good news here given that the LG passive 3D panels around which the 42F7010 is built are notorious for causing considerable delays between a source image arriving at its inputs and finally appearing on the screen. And sadly the 42F7010 lived down to our expectations. In fact, it measured consistently more than 130ms of lag, which is one of the highest figures we’ve seen – and certainly enough to severely damage your gaming performance.
When it comes to the audio accompanying the 42F7010’s mixed pictures, it’s par for the course. There’s a familiar lack of bass, and trebles can become harsh during action scenes. But to be fair, there’s nothing truly horrible going on beyond what you’d expect with almost any budget flat TV.
The 42F7010 broadly continues the theme of Finlux’s other TVs this year by being better than expected without managing to enter ‘must buy’ territory.
Having said that, the 42F7010’s colour performance in 2D mode and motion/crosstalk problems with 3D both generate more distracting moments than we experienced with either of the other Finlux TVs we’ve looked at. So for that reason we haven’t felt able to give it quite so high an overall mark.
Score in detail
3D Quality 6
2D Quality 6
Sound Quality 6