Venturing for the first time into the realm of ultra-thin LCD TVs, LG's 42LG6100 boasts an innovative and attractive design, as well as a remarkably cheap price tag for what it is. In terms of performance, however, the set is a good, rather than great, performer
The 42LG6100 marks the first time LG has managed to produce one of the ultra-thin -- or 'Super Slim', to use the company's own terminology -- LCD TVs that are currently all the rage. But are the set's slender proportions the only thing it's got going for it?
The 42LG6100 really is a gorgeous TV. For starters, its slenderness -- it's just 45mm deep -- is extremely striking, especially as the shallowness is consistent over seemingly the whole of the TV's rear. There's no unfortunate bulge as there is on JVC's LT-42DS9 set.
Also adding distinction to the 42LG6100's rear is its high-gloss, bright red finish, providing a striking contrast with the glossy black of the impeccably stylish fascia. There's even a big transparent circle under the screen that can be illuminated in red, or alternating white and red if you're feeling really flash.
Once you've recovered from the extravagant aesthetics, you'll also be impressed by the TV's connectivity. As well as an impressive four HDMIs, the set sports a USB port able to play JPEG and MP3 files from USB storage devices.
It's worth noting, too, that the 42LG6100 has a tuner input. Why is this important? Because some other ultra-thin TVs, like those released by Hitachi, can't fit a tuner within their slimline bodies, entailing the use of an external tuner/switching box. In this respect, the 42LG6100 is as innovative as it is gorgeous.
The 42LG6100 also caught our eye with the amount of video-processing technology it provides. There's LG's XD Engine system for boosting colours, black levels, detailing and noise reduction; 100Hz for doubling the image's refresh rate; and TruMotion, which interpolates newly calculated image data frames to make motion look more fluid.
The 42LG6100's elegant, graphics-heavy, on-screen menus also contain enough tweaks and adjustments to allow the TV to be professionally calibrated by an Imaging Science Foundation engineer, if you wish.
So far, the 42LG6100 has done absolutely nothing to explain why it costs only around £650.
To some extent, the set's high-value credentials are reinforced by its pictures. Images are strikingly dynamic, for instance, thanks to a combination of extremely rich, well-saturated colours, high brightness, pleasingly pure peak whites, and even a decent black-level response.
The TruMotion 100Hz system does an effective job of smoothing out motion, too. Also colours look more natural than usual by LG standards, and standard-definition sources are upscaled to the screen's 'Full HD' 1080p resolution well.
Although TruMotion has some positive effects, it also throws up a number of glitches. Fast-moving objects were plagued by a sort of shimmering halo, as well as a flickering effect over their edges. While viewing HD action scenes, we noticed a sporadic stuttering effect too.
These glitches meant we actually found ourselves turning TruMotion off during most of our testing period, even though this makes motion suffer, with a noticeable increase in judder.
Another thing we didn't like about the 42LG6100's pictures is the way they fail to deliver HD images with the total clarity we've witnessed on some rival Full HD TVs. Dark corners of images also lack a little of the depth-giving shadow detail that distinguishes the very finest LCD TVs.
Finally, the set's sound is a bit underwhelming. The invisible speaker design copes competently with ordinary daytime TV and documentaries, but it doesn't seem to have anywhere to go when the going gets tough, leaving trebles sounding too strident and bass in distractingly short supply during action scenes.
Despite being a good rather than great performer, the 42LG6100 is one of the most attractive -- and in some ways innovative -- TVs we've seen. It's also remarkably cheap for a super-slim 42-inch TV -- a fact that's bound to win it many fans, and has us wondering just why the slimline TVs from other brands have to be so expensive.
Edited by Charles Kloet