Sony XEL-1

The Good Absolutely staggering image quality. Luxury build. HD tuner. USB port.

The Bad It's how much??. Reflective. Low resolution.

The Bottom Line Sure, the Sony XEL-1 OLED is ludicrously expensive, but it is also hands-down the most impressive television we have ever seen. Read our Australian-first review.

Editors' Rating
8.5 Overall

Compare

Sony XEL-1
Sony XEL-1
LG OLED55B6P
LG OLED55B6P
LG OLED65B6P
LG OLED65B6P
Samsung UN55KS8000
Samsung UN55KS8000
Samsung UN65KS8000
Samsung UN65KS8000
Price $6,999 Typical Price $6,999 Typical Price $6,999 Typical Price $6,999 Typical Price $6,999 Typical Price
Design ...
9
9
9
9
Features ...
10
10
9
9
Performance ...
10
10
7
7
Value ...
7
7
7
7

Review

Sony XEL-1

May 2009

It's taken 12 months for one of last year's CES darlings, the all-singing, all-dancing XEL-1 OLED panel to reach Australia, and it's not going to be cheap — going for the price of a 55-inch plasma. But was it worth the wait? Is this, indeed, the future of television?

Design

While the Koreans think they've got a handle on design with televisions like LG's Scarlet and Samsung's 9 series, this has only been a recent development. In comparison, Sony knows about design. As proof, the Japanese company brings us the XEL-1. While it may look like a trumped-up itty bitty booklight in the thumbnail, in the flesh it is simply exquisite.

The highlight of the design is the chrome arm that connects the 3mm thick display to the main media box, which is complemented by a piano-black powder coating and further chrome accents. The base is reassuringly heavy and the entire unit feels solid. The display is tiltable by almost 90 degrees, which is handy because the screen itself is quite vulnerable to ambient light.

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