When we previewed the Soniq 40-inch Smart TV, we said that on paper the TV ticked a lot of the right boxes. Sadly, it turned out that in practice, some of these ticks were a little outside the margins, resulting in a fairly flawed product.
Let's look at the good stuff: for under AU$470, you're getting a pretty decent panel. It's not the sharpest we've seen, but for the price it's better than you might expect. Blu-ray playback was highly watchable, with fairly good blacks and crisp action scenes.
Playback from USB source was fairly simple, and the quality was decent (large AVI file), but not the cleanest we've seen. The remote, however, gets some bonus points for having a full QWERTY keyboard on the rear, without being oversized or particularly heavy. All good so far.
Sadly, one of the first issues we had with the Soniq was a particularly egregious design choice — there's a lip, for want of a better term, below the area for the various input ports, which makes it extremely difficult to plug anything in. In fact, we actually broke the plug housing on an older Belkin HDMI cable attempting to get it in — a task that we were ultimately unsuccessful in; we had to use a different cable.