Sony Bravia KDL52W3100
- Mammoth 52in screen, masterful colour reproduction and sharp picture, three HDMI ports
- Occasional noise, minor ghosting issues during gaming
While $5999 isn't exactly a steal, the KDL52W3100 remains one of the best valued 52in LCD displays on the market.
Price$ 5,999.00 (AUD)
With December 25th just around the corner, Sony has decided to spread the holiday cheer by slashing the price of its Bravia LCD TV range by a few hundred dollars. This makes the mammoth 52in KDL52W3100 model the ideal gift for an extravagant Christmas -- provided you can fit it under your tree.
Falling under Sony's 'W' umbrella of entry-level HD panels, the 52W3100 is a solid entertainment unit that should suit everybody from cinema buffs to next-gen gamers. Offering the highest resolution television standard of 1080p, it performed admirably well in the majority of our testing, displaying excellent picture quality with very little ghosting.
Aesthetically, the 52W3100 retains the same brushed metal finish as the rest of the Bravia W range. This is a smart move on Sony's part, as it ensures the display will fit right in with the rest of your home entertainment setup, whether it is grey, silver or black. In addition to looking great, the 52W3100 is also decked out with an impressive array of connection options, including no fewer than three HDMI ports. Naturally, you'll want to make full use of these high-definition capabilities, and for the most part the 52W3100 won't disappoint in this area.
For our first test, we used an Xbox 360 HD-DVD player which displays video at a resolution of 1080p (otherwise known as 'full' HD). We ran the climactic battle scene from the new Transformers movie, which contains a huge amount of particle effects, lens flare, billowing smoke and slow-motion; making it an ideal measuring stick for a TV's visual performance.
Images remained razor-sharp throughout, with some of the most vibrant and well-balanced colours we've seen from an LCD in this price range. From the mechanical hero's fiery red paintjob to the lead actress' dazzling blue eyes, everything in the movie popped off the screen. (According to Sony's hype machine, the unit is capable of displaying almost twice as many colours as previous HD TVs, and we're almost inclined to believe them.)
Contrast was equally impressive (e.g. -- the internal parts of each robot were easily identifiable, despite being rendered in similar shades of grey). We were a little disappointed by the occasional noise that cropped up in smoky shots; but this isn't really noticeable unless you're looking for it. Considering the 52W3100's 8ms response time, we were pleasantly surprised by the minimal ghosting it exhibited during the fast-paced action scenes.
Unfortunately, streaking issues were a little more evident during our gaming tests, though certainly not to any ruinous degree. While we found the display occasionally struggled to keep up with the frenetic frame rates, each game we tested remained perfectly playable and looked superb to boot. Rest assured, whether your tastes lie in cinema or video games, this television's HD performance is bound to impress.
To test the 52W3100's standard-definition capabilities, we watched the lobby scene from The Matrix using a normal DVD player. We found that noise was slightly more prominent here, which is perhaps to be expected (1080p televisions typically struggle in this area). With that being said, your old SD-DVD collection should still look suitably vivid on the huge 52in screen.
Our final test was for PC connectivity. We hooked the 52W3100 up to an ASUS Lamborghini notebook via HDMI and were extremely pleased with the results. Unlike previous Bravia units we've tested, such as the Bravia KDL46W3001, the desktop looked incredibly sharp and filled up the entire display. We ran DisplayMate through our notebook to test a variety of benchmarks, from block colour charts to moire patterns and straight line tests. Happily, the 52W3100 performed well across the board -- we only noticed a few inconstancies in the sharpness tests (black text lacked clarity on dark grey) and the lower spectrum of colour charts (the first three or four shades of each colour appeared black). Neither of these issues were enough to detract from what is a very solid LCD unit, however. If you're after something big, go for the Sony Bravia KDL52W3100 -- you won't be disappointed.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
- 2 Sony Xperia XZ review: turbo-charged last-gen phone
- 3 Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K UHD TV review
- 4 Sony X9300D and X8500D UHD 4K TV review
- 5 Moto X Force review: Leading features from a mid-range phone
Latest News Articles
- Say goodbye to Apple's third-generation Apple TV
- Japan gears up for 8K TV broadcasting
- NHK's latest 8K display is large, thin and beautiful
- Japan starts 8K TV broadcasts in time for Rio Olympics
- Android TV's universal search feature finally works with Netflix
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: The new best Android phone
- Japan Robot, gadget and car expo slideshow
- Panasonic DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review: Best all-round TV ever?
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- CCSAP FunctionalistACT
- CCProject ManagerVIC
- FTSenior Architect | Perl | Linux |MySQL | Infrastructure | TelecomNSW
- FTUX Design LeadNSW
- CCContract Junior Programmer (Internet/ Intranet) 161025/JP/vhaAsia
- CCSenior Web DeveloperNSW
- CCProject ManagerACT
- CCAgile Business AnalystVIC
- CCWindows EngineerACT
- FTLevel 2 Application SupportVIC
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (HTML/JAVA/J2EE) 161025/AP/862Asia
- FTCRM Developer - MS Dynamics CRMNSW
- CCContract Systems Analyst (Oracle/Unix/WebLogic) 161020/SA/693Asia
- FTAgile Front End Developer- HTML5 & CSS3NSW
- CCContract Systems Analyst (SQL/Web) 161027/SA/842Asia
- CCSenior Project Manager (Marketing Automation)NSW
- CCData ScientistVIC
- CCFront End Developer - Mid LevelNSW
- CCSenior Systems Engineer - Canberra roleNSW
- CCNetwork AdministratorVIC
- CCSenior Siebel Business AnalystACT
- CCContract Senior Systems Analyst (JAVA/Oracle) 161012/SSA/623Asia
- CCLevel 3 Microsoft Resource EngineerVIC