LG Ultra-Thin SL90 LED LCD Televisions

LG has announced two all new LED-backlit LCD televisions, with ultra-thin profiles measuring only 1.15 inches in depth.
By , Last updated on: 12/3/2014

Originally published 8/11/09

Last week, we talked about three new LG LCD televisions utilizing the stunning "edge-to-edge" design, which greatly reduces the frame bezel around the display to provide an attractive screen that covers almost all of the front panel. Those LG SL80 Series televisions were great, but they were missing one thing that a lot of other current, high-end LCD televisions have these days. LED backlighting.

This week, we discuss the LG SL90 series televisions, where are very similar to the SL80 and do include the edge-to-edge design, but have impressive LED backlighting. The SL90 televisions are thus able to provide a superior entertainment experience compared to their cold-cathode fluorescent cousins.

The Lineup

The LG SL90 series consists of two models so far, the 42-inch LG 42SL90 and the 47-inch LG 47SL90. The televisions do not have announced manufacturer's suggested retail prices yet, though we can expect them to be more expensive than the SL80 versions of the same models, which were priced at $1,599.95 and $1,899.95, respectively.

By using LED backlighting instead of CCFL, the SL90 models are able to provide brighter pictures and greater contrasts aided by the concept of "local dimming." CCFL LCD televisions use a fluorescent light to illuminate the display, which means that light levels must be relatively uniform across the entire display. LED backlight TVs use a greater number of distributed LED lights. This allows different areas of the screen to shine at different brightness levels. The longtime issue that LCDs have had with the color black are greatly improved by this technique.

Edge-to-Edge and Ultra Slim

The SL90 series televisions share the SL80's "edge-to-edge" design, which has a single plate of glass that runs from one edge of the TV to the other. The framing bezel is under one-inch thick. This gives the appearance of a TV whose entire front panel is made up of the display, a striking aesthetic innovation.

The SL80 models were slim to begin with, a mere 1.8-inches in depth, but the SL90 models take it even further. The LED backlighting allows for an even greater reduction in the depth, to a practically waifish 1.15 inches. Easy to hang on a wall or tuck into a corner, these televisions are stylish and convenient.

Conclusion: Nice, but Necessary?

The SL90 models are very appealing, but compared to the SL80, it's not clear that they're a necessary purchase. Until the MSRPs become available, it'll be hard to say definitively, but the increased brightness, greater contrast, and energy efficiency of LED backlighting may not be convincing enough to make one choose an SL90 over an SL80, especially when the SL80 models are already so slim.

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