Sharp LE835U series information: This review is based on our hands-on experience with the LC-LE835U TV. The related Sharp LE830U, LC-LE831U and LC-832U offer very similar (but not identical) picture quality. According to the manufacturer’s specifications, the two most outstanding differences between our review sample and the three other models listed are that our unit offered 3D capability and a 240hz refresh rate while the other models are not 3D capable and (aside from the 240hz LC-832U) have a 120hz refresh rate. A small difference in dynamic contrast ratio also exists between models, with the 835U at 8,000,000:1, the 832U at 6,000,000:1, and the 831U at 5,000,000:1.
3D is old news. The current hype for high-end HDTVs is Internet access and apps galore (actually this has been a feature in TVs in some way, shape or form for over 15 years but who’s counting). Oh, and picture quality has its place too. Let’s see how this Sharp measures up on all fronts.
Features and Design
The Sharp Aquos Quattron LE835U series is the company’s latest generation edge-lit LED 3D-ready HDTV and is very attractive on its supplied silver-accented stand. Just from late last year, the company changed the ID of many of its televisions, creating a flat panel with a bezel 50% narrower. With the thin bezel it looks like a large picture window – exactly what HDTV’s pioneers envisioned back in the day. With such a thin frame, there’s not much more to discuss on the front although on the bottom right is the 3D emitter for the optional active shutter glasses required to watch 3D programming. This year Sharp, Sony and other companies decided to take the glasses out of the carton of many models in order to lower list prices. With 3D such a bust, they’ve decided if you want 3D, you’ll buy the shades at the time of sale or at a later date—if ever the amount of programming truly gets appealing. After all, how many times can you watch “Avatar”?—we’re at 15 and counting… Also along the lower edge is an icon that turns white in 2D, blue in 3D—or you can just shut it off. There are sensors for the remote and Optical Picture Control which adjusts brightness to the ambient light. Also here are touch sensors for controls you’ll never use unless your remote dies.
Flat-panel HDTVs seems to be getting lighter by the week. The new Sharp 60-inch weighs 68.3 pounds (panel only), compared to a 60-inch version of last year’s LE820 which tipped the scales at 89.3 pounds. Thickness is about the same at 1.6 inches while overall dimensions have dropped (54.5 x 33.1 x 1.67) versus 56.6 x 35.9 x 1.6. This is a mathematical way of saying the bezel of the new panel is very thin, practically not there.
On the left side is the primary jack pack with four HDMI inputs as well as USB 1 and audio out. On the rear are additional jacks including Ethernet, PC-in and RS-232. This should take care of most add-ons, but it would be nice if there was an SDHC card slot for quickly reviewing stills.
The set has fairly standard audio package of 10 watts by two with a 15 watt subwoofer. It goes without saying a quality soundbar or multichannel surround system should be part of your entertainment mix—especially if you’re buying a 60-inch television.
What’s In The Box
You get the panel, stand with connecting screws, owner’s manual (88 pages in English) and four-device remote (three buttons are programmable). As part of our usual lament, the remote is decent but a $3,000 HDTV should have a backlit one. There’s one item missing from the carton of last year’s wireless-enabled sets—the USB Wi-Fi dongle. Now Sharp has wisely built the Wi-Fi circuitry into the TV eliminating the add-on. It handles 802.11 a/b/g/n signals.
After putting the puzzle together (it’s really simple and the lighter panel certainly helped), we connected a Sharp BD-HP35 3D Blu-ray player and a Verizon FiOS cable box. Our review sample was supplied with one pair of Sharp active shutter glasses ($150) so keep that extra cost in mind if you’re heading down the 3D trail. Note: Sharp told us they will only offer active 3D HDTVs this year rather than any of the lower-quality passive sets hitting the market.