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Samsung LE40A656 Review

by Vincent Teoh
5 June 2008

This may not come as a surprise to some of you, but our review of the Samsung M86/ M87 LCD television series remains the all-time most-read article on this website since we started operation in February 2007. One year on, and it's time for Samsung to replace the old with the new. Will the new range of Samsung LCD HDTVs – Series 4, 5 and 6 – pick up the mantle, and prove to be as popular and successful as its predecessors? To kick things off, we got hold of a Samsung LE40A656, and put it through its paces...

Design

The reflective "Ultra Clear Panel" screen deployed on Samsung LE40A656 is a far cry from the matte characteristic normally witnessed on LCD screens, but really by now should be a familiar sight to those who have seen the equally shiny "Super Clear Panels" on the outgoing Samsung M86/ 87 and F86 series. The fundamentally gloss black bezel (which frames the screen) is permeated by dark-red accents that grow stronger towards the outer edges, constituting what Samsung has dubbed "Crystal Design". To finish off the exterior aesthetics, a narrow strip of transparent plastic extends beyond the frame of the Samsung LE40A656 LCD TV on all sides.

Samsung LE40A656

An inspection around the back of the Samsung LE40A656 HDTV reveals a similarly polished surface and reasonable build quality. A cable tie is included near the bottom of the panel to gently guide wires down behind the pedestal stem and hide them out of sight. Elegantly perched atop a swivelling table-top stand sporting a glossy oval base, the Samsung LE40A656 is a stylish home entertainment centrepiece that looks as good off as it does on.

Connections

The Samsung LE40A656 LCD television features four HDMI 1.3 inputs, a practice that we suspect will become more commonplace among manufacturers as time passes. A "Wiselink" USB 2.0 port residing at the side compartment allows you to view JPEG photos and listen to MP3 music on the Samsung LE40A656. Some inconspicuous touch-sensitive control buttons occupy the bottom right at the front of the LCD panel, but there really shouldn't be any need to call upon these unless your remote control disappears or stops working.

Rear connections on Samsung LE40A656
Rear: 3 x HDMI, VGA, component, 2 x Scarts, aerial, analogue & digital audio outputs
Side connections on Samsung LE40A656
Side: HDMI, USB, S-video, comp, headphone

4.5 Star Rating: Highly Recommended

 

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