LG 42SL9000 review

A slim set that offers stable and detailed pictures, but for £1300 you can do better Tested at £1300.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Not bad, but performance doesn't reflect price and appearance doesn't reflect description


  • +

    Slim chassis, great ergonomics

  • +

    stable, detailed images with fine low-light insight

  • +

    effective tuners


  • -

    Clean white tones hard to come by

  • -

    motion processing modes

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

LG is claiming that the 42SL9000 is a frameless design. Let's get one thing clear from the off: the whole of the front may be a single layer, but there's definitely a frame.

This is a winningly slim screen, certainly – less than 3cm deep, in fact – and that svelte silhouette is achieved despite the 42SL9000 being a 'single layer' design that presents a completely smooth face.

But call it what you will – a frame, a bezel, a border – the LG's got one beneath that front layer, and when the 42SL9000 is displaying pictures it's perfectly apparent. So, not only is it emphatically not frameless, but we've seen many screens with a frame narrower than this.

Lots of positives
Beyond that unwelcome and completely avoidable disappointment, this is an intriguing set.

It uses LG's excellent on-screen menus, and the remote control is a tactile cut above LG's usual efforts.

Specification is comprehensive: as well as four HDMI inputs and 1920 x 1080 resolution, the 'SL9000 has LED backlighting and a USB input that's good for movie files up to 1080p.

Performance has highlights, too. 1080p/24fps images are crisp and detailed, with fine edge-definition and impressive insight, and movement is handled confidently (although we prefer the 100Hz TruMotion processing turned off).

The colour palette is generally poised, although we had the devil's own job trying to rid skin-tones of a hint of jaundiced yellow. Contrasts aren't the cleanest, either.

TV tuners do a fine job
The LG's a competent upscaler of DVD images (though complex patterns can provoke varieties of picture noise) and its TV tuners are impressive.

Even daytime TV, where the quality of broadcast bitrates plummet, enjoys crisp edges, assured motion and pleasing levels of detail.

Sound from all sources, by its sheer inoffensiveness, is a notch or two above the flatscreen norm.

Lots to like, then and an attractive screen – but the LG's price suggests a USP that it doesn't have. So it winds up looking a little expensive.

See all our TV Best Buys

Follow whathifi.com on Twitter

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

Read more about how we test