So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Sharp Aquos LC32-AX3X
- Rich Blacks, Uniform beautiful colour, Exquisite design, great speakers, Good price, Excellent performance.
- No DVI or VGA inputs
The image quality on the Aquos is a thing to behold and blows the competition out of the water.
Price$ 2,799.00 (AUD)
High definition content screams from the new 32 inch Sharp Aquos. This is certainly the best LCD TV available on the market and an absolute ecstatic pleasure to use.
The Aquos is a goldmine of deep rich blacks and impeccable colour reproduction with a gorgeous industrial aesthetic that makes you want to spend more time in the lounge room. In addition to the attractive design, the functionality is top notch with easy to understand menus and a multitude of image adjustment options. Although the panel is 16:9 it also supports a slew of other aspect ratios, can handle 720p natively and can support 1080i via upscaling. The native resolution of the panel is 1366 x 768.
We have fallen in love with this TV; everything we have run through it looks amazing. We spent hours playing the Xbox 360 (via the component input) in the name of "testing" while the panel delivered time and time again with flawless images without any detectable noise. We ran the Digital Video Essentials test DVD to check flesh tones and possible contrast ratio issues but found no problems at all. The colour, brightness and contrast were consistent across all our tests and our gradient tests showed a pleasant blend of colours from light to dark without any bleed or pixel problems. The most intense Gaussian movement tasks on our test DVD were also handled rather well and this only further cemented our awe for the high quality of the Sharp display panel.
Naturally, as with all LCD panels, the composite output was fairly average but it was better than most LCDs we have seen and certainly better than the Sony Bravia S Series. We wanted to test PC input via either DVI or D-Sub and were itching to assault the Aquos with Display Mate Video Edition, but were disappointed to learn that this model has no DVI or RGB DSub support. While this may not be a problem for most people, those wishing to use the Aquos with their PC will find their options rather limited. While they can opt for a DVI/VGA to Composite converter cable, this would mean taking up a valuable component input and therefore one less support for an external entertainment device.
The HDMI support is also flawless with a perfect reproduction of the various SMPTE bar tests as well as excellent flesh tones with no geometric distortion. We ran very basic HDMI cables into the unit and were disappointed by the display quality as it was rife with pixelisation and signal noise but a set of Concord HDMI cables quickly fixed this problem and we were once again on cloud nine.
The speakers on the 32AX3X performed well with good bass and treble and showed very little evidence of distortion at high volume levels. The remote control for this unit is a little strange though, looking like a garden shovel in shape and with slightly confusing buttons, but either quick referral to the manual or a session of button mashing will soon have you using your clicker like a pro.
We were tempted to award this panel with a 5 star rating but the lack of DVI or VGA has slightly dropped the score. However, it should be noted that with some computers you can use component to connect to a TV and some graphics cards even support S-Video connections as well. Also, you could consider buying a DVI to HDMI cable to connect to the Aquos. However, since so much effort needs to be made to correct this slight design flaw andsince it is a feature removed since the previous model, the panel was awarded a fitting score.
If you are looking for outstanding picture quality that has to be seen to be believed, look no further than the 32AX3X. It is hard to believe that Sharp could have improved on the last generation of Aquos LCD TVs but they have done so convincingly and with fervor.
The Sharp Aquos LC32AX3X is due to be released on 1 March 2006.
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