Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
Does crazy price equal crazy good for the Kogan 55" TV?
- Crazy cheap
- High quality image
- Good upscaling
- Responsive remote
- Sound is a bit muddy
- Some graphical distortion at low res
Outstanding value and generally-great picture performance. Kogan is the latest to disrupt the TV market with this relatively-cheap, high-value model. Just note you’ll need a set-top box or media streamer to go with it.
Price$ 799.00 (AUD)
It was only very recently that we were celebrating Hisense’s amazing 4K ULED TV as our Best Tech product of 2016. The traditionally-budget brand’s Series 7000 TV wasn’t just better than all of the competition, it was much cheaper than it all too. Now here’s Kogan with the cheapest, curved, 4K TV on the market and it makes the Hisense range look expensive. Yet we’ve seen good and bad Kogan TVs in the past and bad cheap TVs (like the TCL C1) are quite nasty. So would this be another price/performance revolution or a cheap-but-not-very-cheerful compromise?
Features and design
First off the TV actually looks pretty good. The plastic bezel is thin and looks better than it feels. The feet do look a bit plasticy on close inspection but most visitors to your home are more likely to be marvelling at the large curved screen than scrutinising its supports. Overall it’s a reasonable tech centrepiece to anyone’s home. Especially if you wall-mount it.
The main benefits of a curved screen are that it (supposedly) helps deflects annoying reflections in a bright room and also that it’s more comfortable to look at as it matches the curve of your eyeball. There’s something positive to be said for both claims, but if you’re watching the screen from an off-center position, it will look a bit distorted rather than more-comfortable.
The remote is nothing special to look at but the large buttons and corresponding functions are very responsive. They’re also well labelled, intuitively laid out and there aren’t too many of them. All good.
What’s missing, and this is reflected in the price, is the intelligence: this is not a Smart TV. While there is a built-in digital tuner, you don’t buy a 4K TV to watch relatively-poor quality broadcast television. The good news here is that there’s no shortage of decent set-top boxes and media streamers on the market including the Fetch TV Mighty (or Mini), Apple TV, Google Chromecast Ultra or whatever. You’ll need a 4K-compatible unit to make use of the 4K panel so factor in a few more hundred dollars if you don’t already have one, but at least you get to choose what system to use.
Ports and playback
The Kogan has a decent (but not complete) set of modern ports – there’s no Ethernet (or WiFi) or PC connector. There are four HDMI ports (one of which is ARC compliant) a full set of component audio/ video connectors and optical S/PDIF out for a sound bar. There are also two USB 2 ports. The latter plus two HDMI ports are connected from the side but the rest are downward facing and tricky to access.
We plugged a small USB 3 hard disk in and it was recognised quickly, along with all of its content. It played back most standard videos quickly and competently. It didn’t recognise DVDs per se but it did play the video (VOB) files in their folders – albeit with the wrong language. It said our 4K mp4 video file was unsupported so don’t expect it to play everything you throw at it. However, we were generally very impressed with the speed of navigation and loading times of all the files that it did play. You can also use storage like this as a PVR to record TV.
Next: Picture quality, audio quality and conclusion
Join the PC World newsletter!
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Smart LED Bulb LB130
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® Portable SSD
Huawei Mate 9
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Surface Pro 4
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Venom Blackbook Zero 14 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- Hisense displays successors to amazing Series 7 ULED - Series 8 and 9
- Elgato's Stream Deck is a programmable LCD control center that makes game streaming easy
- Facebook starts warning U.S. users when they're sharing fake news
- Epson launches new high-speed Enterprise inkjet printer
- Obduction's new VR hand-tracking makes Myst's spiritual successor even more stunning
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- LG 2017 OLED and Super LED UHD 4K TVs: Hands-on review
- Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FT.Net DeveloperVIC
- FTNetwork Services ManagerQLD
- CCInside Sales ConsultantNSW
- CCSharePoint Developer - Multiple Roles - 3-6 Mth Contract Initially - SydneyNSW
- TPSenior Business AnalystNSW
- CCDevOps Engineer - TelcoVIC
- FTDirector, Centre for Cyber Security SolutionsVIC
- CCEDRMS Service ManagerNSW
- CCLead SAP SRM DeveloperACT
- CCSofware Developer/Architect - Media and telco Network Operations - MelbourneVIC
- TPSenior Communications EngineerWA
- CCBusiness Analyst- Data GovernanceNSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst - Forecasting SASNSW
- FTICT Business Development Manager - Technical Products/SolutionsQLD
- CCSenior Business Analyst - Telco - Melbourne CBDVIC
- TPBusiness AnalystQLD
- TPIT Project ManagerNSW
- FTSenior Android DeveloperNSW
- FTArcFM DeveloperNSW
- CC.NET Developer!QLD
- CCSenior System AdministratorVIC
- TPSoftware EngineerWA
- TPPerformance Test Analyst - Perth BasedQLD
- FTSecurity Solution ArchitectVIC