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Samsung LED-free LCD a solid value

Solid image quality and features as well as sleek looks make Samsung's mainstream LNC630 LCD an affordable alternative to LED TVs.

Samsung's LNC630 series proves you don't need extras like LED backlighting and Internet streaming to make a compelling TV. Sarah Tew/CNET

TV makers are pushing LED-based LCD TVs hard, in part because the newfangled backlight scheme allows thinner, more aggressive designs and slightly better energy efficiency. However, a larger part, we suspect, has to do with profit margins: TVs with LED backlights generally cost more than those with standard fluorescent, or CCFL, backlights. Samsung sells numerous so-called LED TVs, but the LNC630 series isn't one of them.

This midrange LCD uses the standard backlight, doesn't cost a fortune, yet manages in some ways--chiefly screen uniformity--to produce a better image than the company's edge-lit LED models. It also competes well against the competitors' CCFL sets, with more picture controls and options, in addition to sleeker styling, than just about any of them. All told, the midrange Samsung LNC630 series is a tempting target for buyers who don't care about Internet features or LED.

Read the full review of the Samsung LNC630 series.