Sharp Aquos LE700 (LC-52LE700E) review: Sharp Aquos LE700 (LC-52LE700E)

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Typical Price: £1,200.00

Sharp Aquos LE700 (LC-52LE700E)

(Part #: CNETSharp Aquos LE700 (LC-52LE700E))
3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Inky blacks; intense colours; sharp HD pictures.

The Bad Poor picture presets; tinny sound; below-par standard-definition performance.

The Bottom Line The Sharp Aquos LC-52LE700E offers plenty of screen for the money, and it's capable of delivering crisp HD pictures with intense colours and deep blacks. Its standard-def performance is disappointing, but you should check it out if you mainly watch Blu-ray movies

7.5 Overall

Sharp is heavily promoting its Quattron 'quad-pixel'  technology, but it's currently only found on the company's most expensive TVs. If you can't afford the high asking price of those models, you might want to take a look at the Aquos LC-52LE700E instead. Available for round £1,200, this 52-inch, 1080p, LED-backlit LCD TV offers plenty of screen real estate for the price. It also improves on Sharp's older LE600 -series TVs by adding 100Hz processing to help smooth out motion judder.

Comparative fatso
TVs that use LED backlights are usually supremely thin, but the LC-52LE700E is rather chunky, measuring around 95mm thick. The glossy black finish is pleasant enough to look at, though, and we like the way that the bottom of the frame has a blue hue when the light catches it in the right way. Still, it's nowhere near as stylish as the likes of the LG 50PK590 .

With three HDMI ports and a component input on the rear, plus another HDMI socket mounted on the side, you're unlikely to find yourself stuck for ports when it comes to hooking up your high-definition kit to the set. Sharp has also kitted the TV out with a USB port. Its functionality is quite limited, however, as it only lets you play MP3s or view slideshows of photos -- you can't use it to watch videos, for example. Also, as the set lacks an Ethernet port or Wi-Fi connectivity, it doesn't have any media-streaming capabilities either.

Setting up the TV is a straightforward process, but the menus and electronic programme guide look pretty drab. The EPG's default layout also tends to hide program titles for shows with shorter running times. There are a couple of different layouts that you can select from the main menu, but, while they improve matters slightly, they don't really fix the problem.

Hi-def high-five
Unfortunately, the picture presets are rather poor, so you'll need to tweak them using the comprehensive picture controls to get the TV working at its best.

The effort is certainly worth it when it comes to watching high-definition sources like Sky+HD or Blu-ray movies. The set is cable of conjuring up really inky black levels, thanks to the LED backlighting. Colours are also very intense and the contrast performance is good, so pictures have a real cinematic feel. What's more, the LC-52LE700E renders HD movies with impressive levels of sharpness.

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