What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Sun, 10 May 2009, 10:00am

Loewe Art SL

Tested at £2695
80100
4

Accept that you’re overpaying in strict performance terms and the Art SL is an alluring device

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For

  • Good looks, fine ergonomics, luxurious build
  • on-board PVR
  • deals with colour and movement well
  • great TV tuners, better sound

Against

  • Brazenly expensive
  • not especially slim
  • contrast and edge definition could be better

Having swallowed hard before awarding a Supertest win to a 42in Philips LCD TV costing £1800 in April 2009, we were less than optimistic for the Loewe Art SL's chances. Just look at that price-tag, for Pete's sake.

Although the Art SL is Loewe's idea of an entry-level product, it's very much a premium device.

On-screen menus and remote control are exemplary, and as well as the provision for a 250GB integrated HDD recorder, Loewe offers a variety of pedestal stands, various combinations of tuners, and an audio upgrade to Dolby Digital audio standard.

These are all cost options, but it means your Loewe can be personalised more than any nominal rival.

A deeply impressive TV
The Loewe does without internet ability and USB connectivity but as a TV, it's deeply impressive – in terms of colour accuracy, motion tracking and sheer stability, the Art SL is as good an LCD as we've seen.

The HDD copies faithfully, too, and is simple to use. The Loewe's facilities with motion, textures and skin-tones make DVDs an absorbing experience, while Full HD Blu-ray images are extremely  satisfying where movement is concerned.

Throughout, sound is brawny and confident – far, far better than the LCD TV norm. But the Loewe isn't perfect.

It struggles a little with strong contrasts, giving away low-light detail as a result, and it doesn't have the sharpness of edge definition this money ought to buy. On strict performance-per-pound terms, it falls just short.

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