Samsung LE32B650 review: Samsung LE32B650

Typical Price: £600.00
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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Great picture performance; extremely good value; its design is very easy on the eye; decent online functionality; masses of features and connections.

The Bad No full Internet access; the set's audio performance is rather feeble; some of the picture presets are silly.

The Bottom Line While the LE32B650 lacks some of the glamour and can't quite match the picture quality of Samsung's LED-backlit LCD TVs, it's still beautifully designed, feature-rich and one of the best 32-inch performers around. Offering premium picture thrills for a distinctly mid-range price, only its uninspiring audio stops it scoring a higher mark

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8.3 Overall

Samsung's 32-inch, 1080p LE32B650 LCD TV looks exquisite and has features galore, including online functionality, for the extremely reasonable sum of around £600. And things only get better when you turn it on.

Well-connected looker
The LE32B650 really is a looker. Its 'crystal' finish makes it look like it's made from pure glass, and the transparent sheet over the black bezel extends beyond the main frame, leaving a prism-like edge that's as distinctive as it is attractive.

The LE32B650 also fits in a startling roster of connections, including four HDMI sockets, two USB ports (one able to take an optional £40 dongle for wireless online connectivity), and an Ethernet jack for either streaming media from a DLNA-ready PC or accessing Samsung's online features the wired way.

Online attractions
The so-called 'Medi@ 2.0' online features include specially formatted versions of YouTube and Flickr, plus the Yahoo News and Finance services. Samsung is still the only manufacturer with rights to use the Yahoo Widgets online development platform, making it easy for extra services to be added in the future.

The LE32B650's exterior matches its picture quality -- they're both classy

Less worthwhile, though still interesting, is the LE32B650's 'Content Library': a collection of multimedia content stored on flash memory inside the TV. This offers, for example, photographs and digitised paintings that you can use as screensavers, some basic games, and some stories for children. We felt little compulsion to revisit this content after first exploring it, but, again, it has potential for the future.

Wrapping up the TV's strong feature set are 100Hz processing; Samsung's DNIe video processing; a 'wide colour' system that reproduces a claimed 92 per cent of the high-definition colour range, rather than the 85 per cent of models further down Samsung's current LCD TV range; and Samsung's Ultra Clear Panel II system for reducing screen reflection to boost contrast.

Visually vibrant
Despite not boasting the LED backlighting of Samsung's 7000- and 8000- series TVs, the LE32B650 is still an excellent performer. The Ultra Clear Panel II system really does the business, for instance, leading to black levels as deep as any we've seen on a 32-inch LCD TV.

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