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Loewe Art SL review

Loewe's Art SL 42in LCD is stupendously expensive, but despite this we think it's rather alluring Tested at £2695.00

Our Verdict

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

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

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

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

Pros

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

Cons

  • - 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.

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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