Samsung LNC350 review: Samsung LNC350

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MSRP: $329.99
2.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Reproduced slightly deeper black levels than a competing LCD; matte screen works well in bright lighting; handles 1080p/24 sources properly; solid picture adjustment options; USB port for photos and audio.

The Bad Uneven screen uniformity; dark areas tinged somewhat blue; subpar standard-def processing; just one analog video input.

The Bottom Line A USB port and decent performance set the small Samsung LNC350 series apart from the entry-level pack.

5.3 Overall
  • Design 6.0
  • Features 5.0
  • Performance 5.0

Comparing the Samsung LNC350 with the Sony KDL-BX300, another entry-level name-brand 720p LCD, we give the Sony the slight nod in picture quality. That said, the Samsung is plenty "good enough" for its price range, and offers one extra the Sony and most other sets at this level lack: a USB port for easy photo display and music playback. For a bedroom-size model without frills like LED backlight or 1080p resolution, the LNC350 series fits the bill nicely.

Series information: We performed a hands-on evaluation of the 32-inch LN32C350, but this review also applies to the smaller members of the series. They all have similar specs and should provide similar picture quality.

Models in series (details)
Samsung LN19C350 19 inches
Samsung LN22C350 22 inches
Samsung LN26C350 26 inches
Samsung LN32C350 (reviewed) 32 inches

Design


Samsung's lowest-end model doesn't hide the speakers.

Design highlights
Panel depth 2.6 inches Bezel width 1.7 inches
Single-plane face No Swivel stand No

The Samsung stands taller than the Sony BX300, and although we didn't like its look as much, it does offer a few more curves than the blocky Sony. An accent lip separates the glossy bottom of the frame from the matte speaker bar, and while the oval-base stand looks like a swivel job, it's not. Panel depth is pretty slim, however, and this is one of the lighter non-LEDs you'll find.


The oval stand doesn't swivel.

Remote control and menus
Remote size (LxW) 7.4x1.8 inches Remote screen N/A
Total keys 39 Backlit keys 0
Other IR devices controlled No RF control of TV No
Shortcut menu Yes Onscreen explanations No

While we liked the larger remote on the Sony BX300 series better than that of this Samsung, the latter's stubby clicker is fine for the job. Button layout was clear enough and there were no missing keys, aside from Play/Pause and so on, so the clicker can't control other gear via HDMI-CEC or infrared.

The transparent menu system is excellent, with thoughtfully divided sections and easy access to all functions. We especially appreciated the onscreen menu explanations and the large, clear text for selections. There's a Tools menu for shortcuts to picture and sound modes, as well as the sleep timer.


Samsung's transparent menu system is among our favorites.

Features

Key TV features
Display technology LCD LED backlight N/A
3D-compatible No 3D glasses included N/A
Screen finish Matte Refresh rate(s) 60Hz
Dejudder (smooth) processing No 1080p/24-compatible Yes
Internet connection No Wireless HDMI/AV connection No

The Samsung outdoes many other entry-level LCDs by including a USB port, which allows it to display digital photos and play music from a connected USB thumbdrive--it can't handle video files, however.

Otherwise the feature set is bare-bones. It has a native resolution of 720p, and at this screen size there's little reason for more pixels, aside from utility as a PC monitor. Its lack of an LED backlight isn't much of a hindrance in our view either; power use for this small TV is relatively minor anyway.


The Samsung can handle USB-based photos and music.

Picture settings
Adjustable picture modes 3 Independent memories per input Yes
Dejudder presets 0 Fine dejudder control N/A
Aspect ratio modes--HD 4 Aspect ratio modes--SD 4
Color temperature presets 4 Fine color temperature control 2 points
Gamma presets 7 Color management system No

As usual Samsung's selection of adjustments is excellent, despite the presence of fewer picture modes than some other makes. There are nearly as many tweaks available on this entry-level model as on the company's higher-end TVs, and as usual we appreciated gamma and the fine color temperature controls most.


Two-point color temperature is common even in entry-level TVs.

Other features
Power saver mode Yes Ambient light sensor No
Picture-in-picture No Onscreen user manual No

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