While TV prices are plummeting (unless one looks at what we may pay for 4K), Kogan has definitely plumbed new depths with its newest 3D-ready 50-inch screen.
This is possibly one of the more stylish and attractive Kogan TVs we've seen; in fact, it's just a nice-looking TV, no qualifiers required. Out of the box, it's a slim-line, fairly lightweight screen, with an attractive metal-finish bevel and a well-weighted base (that you will need to screw in yourself).
The rear of the TV has four HDMI ports, component and composite ports, two USB ports, plus antenna in and VGA. Obviously, the part missing from the list is the Ethernet port — this isn't an IPTV-ready TV. (For that, you might want to blow another AU$99 on the Kogan Agora Smart TV Dongle). It will, however, work as a PVR when an external drive of up to 1TB is attached.
The remote feels a little light, but the buttons have a good feel and the layout is fairly intuitive and simple to follow, although the smaller buttons proved a little fiddly at times and hard to press.
Overall, we were pretty happy, and actually fairly impressed with how the Kogan performed. Both in standard and 3D, we found the image to be clear and quite sharp. Testing with high-speed action films such as Clash of the Titans, we saw very little blur, even when viewing the 3D version of the film.
Plugging in a PlayStation 3, we tried a few tracks of the futuristic title Wipeout HD. The colours were vibrant and clear, and once again we though the action was respectably crisp.
The TV also has a built-in media player, handling MPEG, MOV, MKV, MP4, MP3, WMA, AAC, JPG, PNG, BMP and TXT files. We tested a couple of media films (MKV and MP4) direct from a USB thumb drive. On first try, we found that we weren't getting any sound from the video files — we exited and tried again with no issues at all. We tried a few more times, and were unable to replicate the fault.
Criticisms have been made of the user interface for Kogan TVs in the past, but we found this to be simple and user friendly, especially when changing inputs or finding files on USB storage, which are two of the more likely uses.
When looking at a product like the Kogan 50-inch 3D LED TV, one needs to take into account the price. At the time of writing, Kogan's LivePrice for the product was AU$751, capping out at AU$799 apparently. In that price bracket, this is easily one of the bigger TVs you'll find, and it even comes with one set of active 3D glasses.
We might hesitate to recommend this as the main TV for anyone except the most budget-conscious purchasers; the lack of network functions is a minus in this world of IP and catch-up TV. But for anyone looking for a second TV for a rumpus room, kids' room, games room or converted garage, this is definitely a great option, and one that's hard to beat at the price.