NEC's latest widescreen plasma, the 50-inch PX-50XR4W, has simplicity as its design mantra. The 16:9 widescreen is surrounded by a black bezel, with the unit's frame decked out in metallic silver. It's a similar design to many other flat screens, but its sheer simplicity is still a winner.

Boasting a 1365x768 resolution (good enough for pixel-by-pixel 720p reproduction, but not quite there for true HD), the plasma features other impressive specs such as a 1000:1 contrast ratio, 9+9 watts stereo speakers, two HDMI inputs and more. Other inputs include DVI, component, S-Video, RGB and composite. NEC also claims its new range of plasmas have a life-span of 60,000 hours.

The NEC PX-50XR4W has specifications which should please most home theatre junkies, but it does have one major drawback - the lack of a built-in tuner. The PX-50XR4W has neither an analog or digital tuner built in, so out of the box it's only a monitor. Buyers will have to factor in the cost of an external tuner into the price.

The NEC PX-50XR4W has some impressive specifications, although the lack of a built-in tuner makes it less attractive than other plasmas in its price range.