LG's LED-backlit Beauty - The 42-inch SL90 series TV

Launch SRP: S$3999

Cosmetics and Features

Beyond Borders

You've guessed right if you think the SL90 will sit right at the top of LG's premium line of HDTVs. Given its aesthetics, it isn't hard to see why the Koreans are marketing this 1080p model as their trump card. The SL90 boasts of a very slim form factor, thanks to its implementation of energy-friendly Edge LED backlights. At only 29mm thick, it is actually 0.9mm thinner than Samsung's Series 7. The SL90 is also able to swivel should you choose to free-stand its panel. We'll discuss more on its viewing angles later when we tackle the TV's display performance.

At just 29mm thick, or approximately the width of two ball-point pens, LG's SL90 has just given Samsung a run for their money by nicking their B7000 models by a mere 0.9mm.

Anyway, don't let the SL90's slender aesthetics fool you. LG's latest pet project may be a skinny dipper, but keep in mind that it is relatively heavy for its size. As mentioned, a glass sheet has been incorporated across the TV's face in order to achieve an edge-to-edge fascia which explains its 'Borderless' moniker. This implementation has added to the TV's overall weight. Not to mention that the TV's stand is pretty heavy too since it also constructed with a layer of glass itself. Some assembly is required if you choose to mount the TV on its stand. We wouldn't recommend attempting this alone since the parts aren't light.

It isn't a cut-and-dry solution when it comes to assembling the various parts of this TV together. You'll have to fasten the back plate to the TV before mounting it into the stand. Try not to do this alone since the SL90 is relatively heavy due to its glassy furnishings. Oh, and do get that cross-tip screwdriver ready.

It's a little puzzling, but it seems that LG has taken a cue from Samsung by throwing in a secondary remote which does basic programming like managing your TV channels or volume for instance. This is to save you from unnecessary squabbles with your other half perhaps? Ports-wise, the SL90 has more than adequate circuitry for your home entertainment needs. Three HDMI connectors and two sets of Component jacks can be found at its back panel amongst other AV offerings. For greater convenience, there's another HDMI connector located at the side panel, along with a USB port which supports various media formats like JPEG, MPEG4, DivX and MP3 files.

You get not one, but two remotes with the SL90. The primary wand comes with backlights and more intricate controls such that you're still able to function in the dark. The secondary and smaller stick does the basics, and it's also equipped with a "Quick View" button for managing the TV's elementary settings.

LG has engineered a more user-friendly AV setup this time, unlike their previous LH50 model. We found three HDMI ports at its back panel, and an easy to reach side bar that offers a HDMI and USB port.

The SL90 is packed with nifty features like an Energy Saving option and Intelligent Sensor mode. By using a light sensor, the TV is able to adjust its backlights and display settings according to your room's ambient lights. On top of that, the SL90 also boasts of a Bluetooth function, meaning you get to stream media files from your mobile phones. We checked it out with a Sony Ericsson W595, and it worked flawlessly. Alternatively, you can also choose to hush things up by connecting your Bluetooth headset wirelessly to the set. Too add, its Picture Wizard option is another handy application for display calibration, since it gives you an immediate visual representation whilst changing your settings. If you're savvy enough, you might want to consider using its Expert 1 or 2 presets which allows for more in-depth tweaks of the TV's color management system. Understandably, we didn't locate any fancy widgets on the SL90 since it is obviously lacking in the network connectivity department.

Some may consider the TV's Bluetooth option to be 'gimmicky', but we think it's a great feature to have. The SL90 was happily playing tunes from our mobile phone situated a good 10 meters away.

Terrified of calibrating your TV? Well, worry not, for the SL90 comes with an integrated Picture Wizard application for the less savvy. You get to see changes made to the display instantaneously while making the appropriate visual adjustments. Nifty eh?

8.0
HD Performance
8
SD Performance
8
Features
8.5
Value
8
The Good
Handy Bluetooth feature
Decent black levels
Satisfactory 24p pulldown
The Bad
Dependent on visual enhancements
Inconsistent motion handling