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LG 26LE3300 review

This 26 inch LCD from LG has LED backlighting, but we found it more of a hindrance then a help Tested at £285.00

Our Verdict

LED backlighting is not a guarantee of picture quality; here it disappoints

For

  • Great looks and slim profile
  • good sound
  • decent upscaler

Against

  • Poor contrast
  • daft input layout
  • imperfect colour balance

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

LED backlighting is not a guarantee of picture quality; here it disappoints

Pros

  • + Great looks and slim profile
  • + good sound
  • + decent upscaler

Cons

  • - Poor contrast
  • - daft input layout
  • - imperfect colour balance

It usually takes a while for the top tech to make it down to tellies this size, but in the same year that LED backlighting has become the spec du jour at the high end, it's already found its way into LG's 26LE3300.

Unsurprisingly, the company's gone for edge lighting rather than full array, as it keeps the depth down (here just 34mm).

That sounds great for wall mounting, but beware; the majority of connections face straight out of the back, so you're going to need a wall bracket that creates a space of at least a few centimetres if you actually want to plug anything in.

So if the thinness isn't actually much of a bonus, at least the LED backlight must improve contrast, right?

Actually, no: right from the box the LG has a pale, undynamic picture.

The only way to coax anything like real blacks out of it is to turn the backlight to its minimum, which unsurprisingly sacrifices almost all of the picture's punch.

Big numbers are no guarantee
The best image is found by setting the backlight around the halfway point, but the picture has a weak combination of black depth and white punch, proving once again that big numbers are no guarantee of big performance – LG claims a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1 for the ‘LE3300.

The LG isn't all bad, though. Its take on the Doubt Blu-ray isn't as crisp or neutrally coloured as the best, but it's perfectly watchable, and boasts decent motion.

Plus, it gets a little closer to its rivals when you ask it to upscale a DVD or Freeview programme. The lack of contrast still hampers it somewhat, but there's reasonable detail, impressively little noise, and a better – though still not perfectly natural – colour palette.

It also sounds good: direct, open and detailed, though a little brighter than the most controlled in the test, but that's not quite enough to make up for its flaws elsewhere.

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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 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.


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