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Christmas Gift Guide

LG SL80 series overview

LG SL80 series side view

LG SL80 series remote

LG SL80 series corner detail

LG SL80 series stand

LG SL80 series back panel inputs

LG SL80 series side panel inputs

LG SL80 series quick menu

LG SL80 series dejudder setting

LG SL80 series: Expert color temperature mode

LG SL80 series color filter

LG SL80 series picture quality

A big flat-panel TV can tend to dominate a room, which helps explain why some TV shoppers insist on a television that looks as good as possible when turned off. LG designed its , thin-panel models, the SL80 series reviewed here, and the SL90 series, with those kinds of shoppers in mind. This HDTV definitely puts style first, with its sleek, compact appearance highlighted by a piece of glass that fronts the entire panel. The SL80 lacks the LED lighting and extensive interactive features found on other TVs in its price range, however, and its picture quality fell a bit short as well, despite excellent color, with blacks that aren't as deep and a screen that reflects a lot of ambient light. If you prize design above those issues, however, you'll find plenty to like about this LCD TV.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
At 1.8 inches deep, the SL80 is one of the slimmer flat panels on the market.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
LG's improved the remote for its higher-end TVs like the SL80, with backlit buttons and more spacing between keys. Buttons are grouped logically and though we didn't like their similar sizes and shapes from an ergonomic standpoint, we did appreciate that most functions were represented by dedicated keys (aspect ratio being the major exception). There's a prominent button labeled "Energy Saving" that directly accesses said control and a little energy saving graphic to provide enviro-geeks with a warm fuzzy.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
A thin bezel along the top and sides widens a bit along the bottom, where a lighter strip houses touch-sensitive controls.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
A matching swivel stand provides a metallic contrast to the black-and-gray panel.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The LG's back panel input bay is highlighted by a trio of HDMI inputs and a PC input, which looks a lot like the RS-232 port next to it.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
A recessed bay along the side adds a fourth HDMI, a USB port, and an AV input with composite video.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The quick menu offers easy access to controls like aspect ratio, sound, and picture modes.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
LG's "TruMotion 240Hz" dejudder offers just three settings: Low, High, and Off. We prefer Off.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Extensive picture adjustments include a 10-point IRE color temperature menu--the best in the business.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
A color filter can aid in setting the color control.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Like most other 2009 LCDs by LG we've reviewed, the SL80 series demonstrated subpar black level performance and superb color. Beyond those basics, we noted decent video processing, although we would have liked more adjustment options. The glossy screen tended, as usual, to collect ambient light worse than a matte screen.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
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