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Sony LED-based LCD TV shows monolithic style

Despite a picture that won't wow sticklers, Sony's edge-lit LED-based NX800 sets a high bar for beautiful design and well-executed features.

The ultrasleek Sony KDL-NX800 looks like a featureless black slab when turned off. Sarah Tew/CNET

As the first official 2010 HDTV reviewed by CNET, and the first mainstream edge-lit LED-based LCD produced by Sony we've tested, the KDL-NX800 series arrives with plenty of anticipation. However, before you equate "LED" with "awesome picture quality," it's worth reiterating that the backlight technology comes in a bunch of varieties--and not all are created equal. The Sony NX800 performs on a par with other like-equipped LCDs that we've tested, such as the UNB7000 series from Samsung, so people seeking a premium home theater picture might be disappointed.

In other areas, the NX800 shines. Sony completely redesigned the exterior of its higher-end 2010 models in what it calls a monolithic style--and this TV would be at home near the Tycho crater or orbiting Jupiter. Sony also kept the superb selection of Internet services found on 2009 models, but adds built-in Wi-Fi to make them easier to use. All told, this svelte Sony feels more thoughtfully put-together than any TV we've tested in awhile, and it will easily find a niche in design-conscious living rooms.

Read the full review of the Sony KDL-NX800 series.