televisions

Samsung PN51E530A3F Plasma HDTV Review

51 in.

The perfect example of a relatively cheap, entry-level plasma that does nothing more than it needs to.

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Conclusion

Samsung-UN51E30A3-Vanity.jpg

Like Panasonic's P50U50, the Samsung PN51E530A3 is one of the rare models this year that is just a television. By that, we mean it doesn't do 3D, have any smart features, built in WiFi, or even very many connectivity options. Its sole focus is on color, contrast, and smoothness.

For $999, we feel that the E530A3 is priced fairly. It tested with a strong contrast ratio, an almost perfect color gamut, good picture dynamics, and its plain appearance strikes us as, for lack of a better word, classic. Before you rush off thinking it's the budget TV for you, there are some drawbacks we'd like to report. For a plasma, we were disappointed with how the E530A3 handles motion. It's blurry and has no motion smoothing settings. If you're looking for a good sports TV, steer clear of this one.

On the specs side of things, it really doesn't have a lot of ports. However, the draw of entry level TVs--besides being cheap--is often in their simplicity of set-up and operation. The E530A3 has enough ports for general purposes, but wouldn't serve as the hub for a home theater. We also found that it's expensive to maintain on the electrical side of things, costing roughly $50 a year for the average user.

If you feel like web browsers are best left to the realm of PCs, apps to the realm of the smartphone, and 3D to the big screen in IMAX, the E530A3 might be what you're looking for. But we'd recommend checking out some other budget plasmas first; you can get better performance for less money.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Design
  3. Tour & Design
  4. Connectivity
  5. Performance
  6. Picture Quality
  7. Screen Performance
  8. Audio
  9. Power Consumption
  10. Calibration
  11. Software & Internet
  12. Software & Interface
  13. Conclusion
  14. Series Comparison
  15. Photo Gallery
  16. Ratings & Specs
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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