Samsung LW15M13C

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					0904wv17 LCD group test                   7/20/04        11:11 am         Page 35

     Samsung LW15M13C                                                                                                                 15in LCD TV

      FEATURES                                            lthough this 15in LCD is not           Despite the high (XGA) resolution of
      15in 4:3 LCD TV; 1,024 x 768
      pixels (XGA resolution), 400:1
      contrast ratio, 450 cd/m2
      brightness; 150/120° viewing
      angle (h/v); pan-European tuner
                                            A             a widescreen, it tries hard to
                                                          fit into a modern style. The
                                                          stereo speakers are side
                                                                                             the panel, video detail is a tad soft but
                                                                                             this can minimise the strobing effect
                                                                                             that LCDs often apply to vertical lines
      with auto set-up; Nicam stereo;     mounted, the headphone socket is on                in moving shots. However, fine detail
      2 x 3W RMS audio output; auto       the side, while the remote control and             can turn smeary with movement,
      volume level; 2 audio presets; 3    its corresponding onscreen menu are                suggesting a below average LCD
      picture presets plus custom and
      auto; digital comb filter; colour   beautifully clear. It is also easy to adjust       response time. The viewing angle is
      tone adjustment; picture zoom;      the picture while you watch.                       very narrow vertically, so you’ll have to
      freeze frame; Fastext; clock;
      on/off timer; sleep timer; NTSC         The lack of PC port shows that the set is      tilt the screen until it’s just right and stay
      playback; wall mountable;           solely aimed at TV use and isn’t a repurposed      in that position. Its backlight is also uneven
      dimensions: 470(w) x 314(h) x       monitor. Then again, these small TVs with          – another common LCD side-effect. Finally,
                                          neat desktop stands do make good monitors          the grey scale tends to flatten out the dark
      SOCKETS                             and are great space savers in a bedroom            greys into one uniform tone, so it’s not         WHAT’S GOOD
      Side: headphone (minijack)                                                                                                              Stylish looks; fair picture; price
      Back: RF aerial in; Scart           or study that’s used for TV and home               a practical choice for fans of film noir.
      (composite, RGB), composite         computing. The main TV-like feature missing            The TV cannot output much power
      & S-video in; stereo audio line                                                                                                         WHAT’S BAD
      in (phonos)                         is the ability to compress anamorphic 16:9         from its speakers but stereo separation is       No PC input; vertical viewing angle
                                          material, so DVD players or digiboxes must         decent and mid-range sounds are relatively
      CONTACT                                                                                                                                 PICTURE                               77777
      ¤ 0870 242 0303                     be configured for 4:3 display.                     beefy. The bass is somewhat lacking and
                                                                                                                                              SOUND                                 77777                                                                      unfortunately there are only two very
                                          PERFORMANCE                                        limited sound-altering modes: Standard           FEATURES                              77777
                                          After this promising start, it’s not all good      and Speech.
                                                                                                                                              EASE OF USE                           77777
                                                                                                                                              VALUE                                 77777
                                          news. Positives include superb colour                  Shortcomings aside, this Samsung is
                                          purity, effective contrast and a generally         a largely successful attempt at fashioning       OVERALL VERDICT
                                          clean image. Smooth gradations of tone             a slimline TV with a respectable picture         Simple to set up and operate, this is a decent
                                          are handled with subtlety and you can              quality and a supremely easy to use              looking 15in flat TV with a fair picture quality for
                                          tone down the rather too reddish default           handset and menu system. For the price,          the price
                                          colour balance by switching to Cool.               it’s definitely worth considering s                                               77777

     Sharp LC-15S1E                                                                                   15in LCD TV

      FEATURES                                             ast year Sharp made a truly       However, this is not a PC monitor (there’s no

      15in 4:3 LCD TV; Advanced                            portable TV with wireless AV      D-Sub input) and standard DVD/TV signals
      Super View; Black TFT panel;
      640 x 480 pixels (VGA                                reception and a rechargeable      look perfectly acceptable at this scale.
      resolution), 500:1 contrast                          battery. The LC-15S1E is rooted   Everything else is icing on an already tasty
      ratio, 430 cd/m2 brightness;
      170° viewing angle (h/v);           to its cabling but the minimalist Aquos            cake. There’s no uneven backlighting to
      pan-European tuner with auto        design and folding prop-up stand are               detract from viewing and the TV has an
      set-up; Fastext; NTSC playback;     similar. It’s a change from the desktop stand      extremely useful auto-brightness mode that
      Nicam stereo; picture rotation;
      auto power off; child lock;         approach of the other TVs. For convenience         reduces backlighting if the ambient light in
      clock; on/off alarm timer; wall     the headphone socket is at the front and           the room is low, making the image more
      mountable; dimensions: 363(w)
      x 319(h) x 98(d)mm                  speakers are mounted below the 4:3 screen          distinct. It also saves energy and lengthens
                                          but there is a Wide audio mode to make it          bulb life (to 60,000hrs, Sharp claims).
      Front: headphone (minijack)         sound as if they are further apart.                   Colour rendition is beautiful. Skin tone
      Back: RF aerial in; Scart              Features are a little lacking – the screen      is by far the most natural in this group,
      (composite, RGB), composite                                                                                                             WHAT’S GOOD
      & S-video in; stereo audio line
                                          cannot squeeze down 16:9 anamorphic                black shades look deep and there’s virtually
      in/out (phonos); 12V DC in          widescreen material and there are no picture       no bleed between strong hues. Best of            Sumptuous picture; decent sound; user
                                          preset modes for altering the image quickly,       all is the total lack of digital blocking        friendly; auto backlight
      ¤ 0800 138 5051                     but there is one custom mode to store your         on smooth contours, which is quite an            WHAT’S BAD                     preference for brightness, contrast, colour        achievement. Contrast and detail are             Some fine-detail flicker
                                          and sharpness. The onscreen menu is basic          reproduced efficiently, with only a minimal      PICTURE                                77777
                                          but it’s easy to navigate. The handset is          amount of flicker in very fine detail            SOUND                                  77777
                                          a standard-issue Sharp design with its odd         during panning shots. Moving outlines            FEATURES                               77777
                                          but user-friendly ‘trowel’ shape.                  are properly contained and much less             EASE OF USE                            77777
                                                                                             smeary than previous generation LCDs.            VALUE                                  77777
                                          PERFORMANCE                                           Although the speaker power is low, the
                                                                                                                                              OVERALL VERDICT
                                          The screen’s specification is generally            end result is good enough at this size, so it    This tiny LCD produces a lovely, well-balanced
                                          top-notch. The only aberration is the VGA          won’t do a disservice to the excellent image.    image with colour and tone in total harmony. A
                                                                                                                                              clear winner
                                          resolution, which compares unfavourably               This is a clear test winner and well worth
                                          with the XGA models elsewhere in this test.        the premium price s

                                                                                                                          September 2004 s WHAT VIDEO AND WIDESCREEN TV 35

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