Even at a time when the falling prices of LCD TVs are competing with imminently redundant CRTs, paying less than a grand for a 32-inch model represents great value for money.
LG's 32LX2R can claim such affordability -- you can find online for as little as £850 -- but if you want to cut costs you can expect a few compromises. So, while the screen affords a stylish design, the build quality is questionable. And although the specification is high-definition compatible, there's no integrated digital TV tuner and it has fewer connection options than pricier models.
However, the 32LX2R is extremely easy to use and includes several extra-curricular features and picture-processing technologies that enhance overall performance. The standard of analogue TV images is excellent and HDMI-induced video images are more than competent, if not quite as able as Samsung's similarly priced LE32R41BD.
If you're a budget buyer then LG's 32LX2R should be a certainty for your short list.
In a line up of the latest high-definition LCDs you wouldn't immediately identify LG's 32LX2R as a budget model. The sleek, heavily glossed black frame, which extends to a pair of integrated speakers at each side, isn't aesthetically embarrassed by more expensive screens. But closer inspection reveals a lightweight, plastic build quality that isn't altogether surprising considering the cost.
What is unexpected is a generous accessory pack, which includes a collection of PC-orientated cables and extras that most manufacturers don't offer for free. There's also a set of wall-mounting supports to substitute the accompanying swivel stand -- small extras, but nonetheless appreciated.
After some searching you'll find an arrangement of primary controls across the underside of the screen, although they're poorly labelled. A stylish neon blue light underscores the logo when you turn the TV on, which never fails to elicit "oohs" from bystanders.
All types of AV connections are accounted for but without the same multiple options that some screens can offer. For instance, there are no additional easy-access inputs for a games console or camcorder -- meaning you have to probe behind the screen to make often-temporary composite or S-Video connections.
Strangely, component inputs are separate, to the side of the rear panel arrangement, while the rest of the connections are located beneath a removable hood. The collection includes standard AV inputs, two Scart terminals (only one is RGB-enabled) and an HDMI digital input for receiving high-definition signals. There's also a DVI-I input for PC or DTV applications with an accompanying audio input. It's less than extensive, but nonetheless accommodating enough to cater for most components.
Unfortunately, the remote doesn't share the same appeal as the screen. The hefty design offers an insight to the multitude of features available but it looks overcrowded and cumbersome.
The screen's native WXGA (1,366x768-pixel) resolution is compatible with high-definition signals up to 720p and 1080i formats -- so you can watch Sky's upcoming HDTV services and high-definition quality video from a compatible DVD player using the HDMI digital input.
However, the 32LX2R falls short of a fully future-proof specification as an integrated digital TV tuner has surprisingly been omitted. The analogue TV tuner is better than the ones we've seen in most LCDs -- but if you want to watch Freeview channels and prepare for the eventual digital switchover you'll have to buy a separate set-top box.