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Samsung LE32R87 review: Samsung LE32R87

The Good Gaming mode; three HDMI sockets; picture quality.

The Bad Out-of-the-box picture settings less than ideal; weak sound; slow remote control response.

The Bottom Line If you're looking for a sensibly sized screen, possibly for gaming, this offers everything you'll need plus more. Once you've fiddled with the picture settings, the hi-def picture quality is good, and Freeview performance is decent too.

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7.5 Overall

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More 32-inch televisions are sold today than any other size, and Samsung's are among the most popular. To help maintain its lead, the Korean company has tweaked the design of one of its most successful models, emphasising the curves. Even better, you get three HDMI inputs.

Like most of Samsung's televisions, the R87 is attractive to look at. It's finished in piano black, and has pleasant and unusual rounded edges. The TV sits on a funky oval stand, which despite looking good feels a little cheap, as it's possible to rock the TV.

The front of the screen has almost no buttons. At the centre there's a power button, which sits under the Samsung logo. To the right of the screen are touch-sensitive buttons for selecting input source, entering the menu, increasing and decreasing the volume and changing channel.

The side panel has composite video in and S-Video, but also includes a third HDMI input

On the right-hand side, there are easy-to-access inputs. These include one HDMI socket, S-Video and composite video inputs and a headphone socket. Unusually, the common interface socket for adding a TopUpTV card is also found here.

At the back you'll find the two other HDMI sockets, a VGA input for connecting a PC, as well as audio in for the PC. There are a pair of Scart sockets, one of which is RGB-enabled. There is also component video in and audio inputs to complement them. The LE32R86 also has an optical digital output to allow connection to a home-cinema amplifier. Handy if you happen to think the speakers on small LCDs are rather weedy.

The remote control is the same as with every other Samsung TV. It's long, thin and quite light. It's not the most responsive remote control we've ever used either, and the buttons feel cheap. That said, it's a fairly nicely styled object, and won't offend your eye.

The remote control is reasonably elegant, but is sluggish to respond

The LE32R87 is a 720p screen -- at 32 inches we wouldn't expect support for 1080p, as at this size there isn't much point spending money cramming extra pixels on the screen.

By way of features, the LE32 is pretty basic. It features a built-in digital tuner, so you can watch Freeview channels. There's also an analogue receiver if you can't access digital transmissions in your area. Auto setup and tuning takes around one minute, which is pretty fast.

There's also a wealth of image-adjustment options. Everything from backlight and colour to white balance and sharpness can be adjusted. This is a mixed blessing: while we love the fact you can set up the TV to suit your needs, we don't think most people will bother doing this. On its default settings, the picture isn't perfect and most people will probably suffer this rather than mess about with the settings themselves.

There's also picture-in-picture, a feature that can be useful if you're playing a game, but want to keep an eye on the cricket score while you do it. You'll more than likely get yourself killed if you try this while playing Gears of War.

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