Sony Bravia KDL52W4000
A crisp and clear Full HD LCD panel
- Vibrant, clear picture, handles 1080p content brilliantly
- Standard-definition video looks blurred and interpolated, no 100Hz support
It stumbles on standard definition content and doesn't support 100Hz picture technology, but Sony's 52 inch W series LCD is hard to fault in high definition picture quality tests.
Price$ 4,699.00 (AUD)
Sony's KDL52W4000 is an exemplary Full HD panel. It's surprisingly slim, with great contrast and brightness and a price tag that is actually quite reasonable for the quality offered. It doesn't handle lower resolution content particularly well, but it's perfectly suited to high-definition playback and produces vibrant and rich images.
The W series sits in the middle of Sony's range — above the utilitarian V series, but below the X and XBR series. The W series uses a Full HD 1080p panel and has many of the features of more expensive televisions, including 24p cinema mode. However, Sony has not included its 'MotionFlow' 100Hz technology — presumably to keep a definite demarcation between the W series and the company's pricier panels.
We tested the television with a wide range of Blu-ray and HD-DVD movies and were impressed with what we saw. Colours are a strong point of the KDL52W4000 — intense and vivid without being overblown and destroying detail. Black levels are clearly defined, although they still aren't as incredible as we've seen on Pioneer's KURO plasmas. Contrast wasn't perfect out of the box but this was easily remedied, with the end result being a well balanced picture with plenty of dynamic range.
The end result is that high-definition content looks almost flawless. Detail is reproduced to fantastic levels, and there is no evidence of ghosting or uneven colour distribution. Another pleasant surprise was the near-perfect viewing angles — at everything but the most extreme side angles there was no noticeable loss in contrast. This is great news for large rooms that have multiple viewing areas.
Oddly enough for a new model, the KDL52W4000 doesn't support a 100Hz picture mode — the technology which effectively doubles the amount of frames shown per second. This means that the W series panels may not be the best choice if you enjoy watching fast motion content like sports or playing video games.
Sony's panel is definitely aimed at the high-definition consumer who owns either a Blu-ray drive, HD-DVD disc player or another method of playing 1080p or 720p content. It handles these picture modes incredibly well, with no scaling artefacts visible when viewing 720p content.
In standard-definition picture modes it doesn't fare so admirably. Watching a DVD without any up-scaling enabled on our Samsung BD-P1000 resulted in a large amount of blurring and constant expansion artefacts noticeable.
Our standard definition test DVD of The Matrix generally looked poor, but this is to be expected when trying to view such comparatively low quality content on a dedicated Full HD screen. Thankfully, most new DVD players will have some ability to up-scale content; while this isn't the perfect solution, it makes standard-definition DVDs far more pleasing to the eye.
The W series has a simple bezel, with designers opting for traditional sharp angles and dark tones. The one design standout is the translucent panel that runs across the lower edge of the screen and houses the television's three main activity lights.
Plenty of connectivity options are offered, including three HDMI ports. In addition, there are two component, two S-Video and three composite inputs. Odds are, whatever home theatre technology you possess, the KDL52W4000 will be able to handle it.
Just like Sony's older Bravia KDL-52X3100, the KDL52W4000 has an extensive on-screen menu, with plenty of options for customising picture settings. This is perfect for panels that are set up in sub-optimal conditions, especially in conjunction with the television's dynamic contrast system which changes contrast and brightness levels depending on ambient light levels.
For a model that isn't top of the line, it provides a great quality picture. There's no 100Hz support and the panel doesn't look too great with standard-definition content, but apart from that the KDL52W4000 is a great all-rounder.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K UHD TV review
- 2 Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review
- 3 Portable power: Venom Blackbook 13 Zero review
- 4 Alcatel Idol 4S review: King of the mid-range?
- 5 Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Review
Latest News Articles
- Japan starts 8K TV broadcasts in time for Rio Olympics
- Android TV's universal search feature finally works with Netflix
- Vizio’s latest 4K TVs make eye-popping HDR more affordable
- Netflix flips the switch on eye-popping HDR video streaming
- Sony’s pricey Ultra video-streaming service goes live today, but you'll need a new high-end 4K Sony TV to use it
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.
- FTOutbound TelesalesVIC
- CCSenior Infrastrcture Project ManagerACT
- CCInformatica Developer (MDM)NSW
- FTJava DeveloperNSW
- FTCarrier/ Industrial Network ConsultantsWA
- CCContract Web Developer (160915/WD/vmp)Asia
- CCSenior Project ManagerACT
- FTSenior PHP DeveloperNSW
- CCBI Reporting AnalystACT
- CCTest Manager (HP Quality Centre / Kronos)NSW
- FTPositive Vetted ICT positions - Defence intelligence and information securityACT
- FTEMC Storage ConsultantWA
- CCDesktop Infrastructure SpecialistACT
- CCBusiness Analyst - Telecom ProjectNSW
- CCIT Security ArchitectACT
- CCPMO AnalystNSW
- CCContract Systems Analyst (IT Security) 160928/JP/653Asia
- FTTechnical Support Engineer | Cloud | Automation techsNSW
- CCFull Stack Application Developer - IoT projectsVIC
- FTInfrastructure Solutions ArchitectACT
- FTTest SpecialistSA
- FTAndroid DeveloperNSW
- FTLinux Systems AdministratorNZ
- CCICT Security AuditorACT
- CCContract Junior Programmer (J2EE/SQL) 160927/JP/551Asia