Soniq QSL400XT review:

Soniq QSL400XT

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Typical Price: $798.00
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3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Cheap!. Very good picture processing. Excellent off-axis viewing. Decent sound.

The Bad Speakers are noisy. High sharpness introduces noise.

The Bottom Line The Soniq QSL400XT is a budget model and despite a couple of minor faults it performs like a brand name TV and is perfect for use in a second room.

7.8 Overall

When you buy into a budget brand you usually get what you pay for, and we admit to having passed over Soniq in the aisles of our local JB Hi-Fi before dismissing them as "just another cheapie". However, after a positive experience with a Soniq iPod dock we were keen to try its latest 40-inch television, a product which is going for less than AU$800.

That's right, half the price of a "name" brand. Insane. With three exclamation points. The sound of glass breaking.

Design and features

Squint at the picture of the Soniq QSL400XT and you would swear this is a Samsung product with its glossy black bezel and maroon accents. The TV is quite solid and a bit bulgy at the back, but at this price you can't expect the super-slim stylings of the LED crowd. The attention to detail is higher than on the iPod dock with nice touches including a black metal speaker grille and a chrome power button that no-one will see as it's mounted on the back. The swivel stand is also piano black.

The remote control is large and friendly — the way we generally like them — and most functions are placed intuitively and within easy reach.

As a budget model there are none of the fancy 100Hz modes or "green" motion sensors. This is simply a television: you turn it on and you watch stuff.

The panel itself features a 1920x1080 resolution, or full-HD for the number phobes, and a rather honest 3000:1 contrast ratio — not the 10 kagillion:1 figure we're used to seeing.

Connectivity is in keeping with models of its size by providing three HDMI ports, two component inputs, an S-Video connection, a VGA port, and unusually for a budget TV just a single composite connector. One small issue is that the HDMI ports aren't labelled and it may be initially confusing working out which port is 'number one'.

For sound the TV provides stereo 8W speakers and includes an optical audio out so users can listen to the TV's onboard HD tuner through their stereo systems.

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