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Midrange Samsung plasma gives solid picture; sleek style

Samsung's mainstream PNC590 series offers solid performance but won't wow sticklers looking for plasma nirvana.

Samsung's PNC590 series offers an understated, classy look. Sarah Tew/CNET

In 2009 Samsung made significant improvements to the picture quality of its higher-end plasma TVs, bringing videophile cred to bear against category king Panasonic. This year, Samsung has announced an even larger lineup of plasmas, and one of the most intriguing from a potential bang-for-the-buck proposition is the PNC590 series.

It lacks the features--namely Internet connectivity and services--of its like-priced competition from Panasonic and LG, but makes up for it with promising specs. All told, however, C590 can't quite match either the 2010 Panasonic G series or the 2009 Samsungs we reviewed, despite delivering decent picture quality overall. Videophiles seeking a 2010 Samsung plasma might be better served higher in the company's lineup, but less discerning fans of the brand will have few complaints with the C590 series.

Read the full review of the Samsung PNC590 series.