TCL L55V7300F3DE 3D LED TV
This $1499 55-inch LED TV is good value
- Good price
- Energy efficient
- 3-year warranty
- Smart TV features are average
TCL's top LED TV is good value, before and after you buy it. It's largely competitive with mid-range LED TVs from Sony, Sharp, and Samsung, although its Smart TV features aren't as well implemented. The TCL 7300 is cheap and versatile, and it shows TCL is becoming a legitimate player in the TV market.
Price$ 1,599.00 (AUD)
We haven’t seen a great deal of publicity locally from TCL in the past, but in the past few months the company has made an effort to show that it wants to be a big part of Australia’s TV market.
TCL put on a show at CES, displaying a 110-inch Ultra High Definition TV it calls the China Star — you’ll see it on an even bigger screen, too, when it makes its film debut in Iron Man 3 — as well as a tablet-in-a-TV, a Google TV set, and more besides.
It’s clear that TCL isn’t just another no-name Chinese manufacturer, and that the company is here to stay. The TCL L55V7300F3DE — we’ll call it the V7300 — is the top TV from the company’s 2012 line-up.
TCL L55V7300F3DE: Design, connectivity, and setup
The TCL L55V7300F3DE is surprisingly well-built, despite being reasonably thin — around 48mm at its thickest. The light silver bezel around all four edges of the screen is thicker at the base, where it’s also edged with a translucent plastic strip.
The TCL logo on the lower bezel is joined by an over-sized, red-LED-lit power button. Although there are physical buttons on the TV, we expect you’ll more often be using TCL’s bundled remote control. It’s a reasonably well laid-out clicker and offers no real problems.
Arranged across the side and downward-facing rear of the TV are its various input and output connectors. You’ll find four HDMI ports and two USB 2.0 ports on the side, while other less popular ports like VGA, analog audio and video, and Ethernet are on the back. One of the USB 2.0 ports will be occupied by the bundled Wi-Fi network adapter if you choose to use it.
The 55-inch, LED-backlit LCD screen of the V7300 is moderately reflective when it’s turned off, and while this serves to boost the contrast and make colours pop a little more when the screen’s turned on, it also means the display picks up any light sources within the room. If you’ve got a bright light source like a lamp, or a sun-lit window during the daytime, we’d advise that you either adjust your room’s layout or buy a television with a matte screen finish instead.
Setting up the V7300 is a very simple process. All that’s needed to assemble the TV is a Phillips screwdriver, using three screws to attach the base of the TV’s stand to the stem. The V7300’s power cord is a detachable figure-eight cord, so it’s easy to swap for a longer or shorter length if needed.
TCL L55V7300F3DE: Picture quality and performance
TCL’s V7300, like its step-down E5000 sibling, is a Full HD 1080p LED TV, using LEDs arranged around the screen’s edge as a light source. It’s available in both 55-inch and 46-inch screen sizes. A claimed 24,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio means the TV should show plenty of detail in both bright and dark scenes of video, although like most LED TVs it achieves this through dynamically altering the backlight to suit the video content.
In the majority of our viewing the TCL V7300 displayed a generally good amount of detail. We saw good shadow detail in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, while The Grey’s blend of subtle shadow and over-blown whites did a good job of testing the screen’s dynamic brightness adjustment.
Dynamic brightness on this screen tends towards the bright, prioritising brighter areas of video at the cost of dark detail. This can be ameliorated by lowering the overall backlight brightness or by switching to the TV’s Movie or Studio picture presets, giving a picture that’s more realistic overall at the cost of some maximum brightness.
The TCL V7300 performs on par with a mid-range edge-lit LED TV from Samsung or Sony; it’s able to display a good level of detail from an appropriately high-quality source like Blu-ray, and it can handle all but the most complicated, darkest and brightest scenes we tested it with. It’s not as versatile as a similarly sized and similarly priced plasma television, though.
Where the V7300 takes a huge step ahead of its plasma competitors is in power consumption. At a 160W maximum energy usage figure and a 9-star energy rating, the V7300 is one of the most efficient televisions of its screen size, and will give an appropriately low running cost over its lifetime.
The backlight of our test unit was mostly consistent, which is an area where edge-lit LED TVs generally suffer. We did notice some visible torch-lighting on the top right and bottom right corners of the screen; this was distracting whenever a particularly dark scene was on-screen.
Where the V7300 struggles slightly, like most LED TVs of its price range and market segment, is in its display of fast motion. Being a 100Hz screen it’s able to display a generally smooth picture, but if you’re watching a fast-moving segment of digital TV — a Formula 1 race, for example — the image on the TCL V7300 becomes indistinct and blurry. It’s not a crippling problem, but it’s a problem that is handled on more expensive LED and plasma TVs.
Like the TCL E5000, the V7300’s Smart TV features are average. They’re definitely not bad — you get access to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and so on — but there’s none of the catch-up TV, Foxtel, or apps that more expensive TVs from LG and Samsung offer.
TCL L55V7300F3DE: Conclusion
You can find the V7300 around $200 cheaper than its recommended retail price if you shop around — with a few clicks we found it for $1299 at BigBrownBox.com.au. At this price, it’s good value, and if you can bargain it down further it’s even more attractive.
The TCL L55V7300F3DE — and its 46-inch counterpart — is a good TV if you’re concerned with price more than having the best of the best picture quality or features. If you spend more, you can get an undoubtedly better TV, but the V7300 sits at a sweet spot before any significant diminishing return in price versus performance.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Blackberry KEYone phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 HTC U11 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Gigabyte Aero 15 corporate gaming laptop review
- 4 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 5 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Samsung's squashing of malicious Tizen smart TV bugs is turning messy
- Sony shows off its new OLED and LCD TVs, video projector, and Bluetooth speakers
- Sony’s Bravia XBR-A1E OLED could be the first flat-screen TV with sound that doesn’t suck
- Say goodbye to Apple's third-generation Apple TV
- Japan gears up for 8K TV broadcasting
PCW Evaluation Team
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
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.
- Blackberry KEYone phone: Full, in-depth review
- Alienware 13 full, in-depth review
- Alcatel A3 XL phone: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- TPBusiness Process AnalystVIC
- FTHR Business Analyst-Performance Management/Learning ManagementOther
- TPPrincipal Business AnalystQLD
- FTPractice Director Quality Assurance – Adelaide Delivery CentreSA
- CCTechnical Business AnalystNSW
- FTApplication Support Lead l Experience with health applicationsNSW
- FTPractise Manager - SecurityVIC
- FTFull Stack DeveloperNSW
- FTCustomer Support Team LeadNSW
- TPDigital Business AnalystNSW
- FTSolution Architect (Office 365 Specialist)SA
- FTSenior Agile ConsultantOther
- FTData Analyst (Dialler Analyst)SA
- FTProject Implementation ManagerOther
- FTSenior Information Security ConsultantOther
- FTSales AssociateACT
- FTTech Lead - FinTech - Product DevelopmentOther
- FTSoftware Licensing and Contract AnalystOther
- FTSecurity Engineer (IPS & Firewall exp essential) - Perm - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- CCInfrastructure Solution ArchitectNSW
- FTMid-Sr level Product Manager / Project managerOther
- FTBusiness AnalystOther
- CCIT Contracts AnalystVIC
- FTIT Project SchedulerOther
- FTCommercial Analyst (IT Contracts)Other