The LG LK450 is one of the most popular TVs on the market, and by our guess the reason is simple economics: it's cheap, especially for a major-brand model. Like the entry-level non-LED competition from Samsung and Sony, this TV is stripped of most features aside from the screen. Unlike those TVs, however, its picture quality--hampered by poor black-level performance--isn't up to snuff. Since a picture is all you're paying for at this level, we find the LG LK450 tough to recommend.
Series information: We performed a hands-on evaluation of the LG 42LK450, but this review also applies to the other screen sizes in the series. All sizes have identical specs and according to the manufacturer should provide very similar picture quality.
|Models in series (details)|
|LG 32LK450||32 inches|
|LG 37LK450||37 inches|
|LG 42LK450 (reviewed)||42 inches|
|Panel depth||3 inches||Bezel width||1.75 inches|
|Single-plane face||No||Swivel stand||Yes|
While inoffensive enough while turned off, the LK450 isn't a style-first TV. LG spiced up the standard glossy black frame with a strip of sandy-brownish color along the bottom that ends up looking tacked-on. The stand pedestal takes a squared-off shape that seems clunkier than the rounded Samsung and more prominent than the low-profile Sony, but at least it swivels.
|Remote control and menus|
|Remote size (LxW)||8.25 x 1.9 inches||QWERTY keyboard||No|
|Illuminated keys||0||IR device control||No|
|Menu item explanations||No||Onscreen manual||No|
LG's entry-level clicker lacks the backlighting and meatier size of its step-up cousin, but we appreciated the big cursor and the logical button groups. The company's menus are no-frills albeit logical enough in their own right. Our big complaint: the menu response was often poor and fell behind our rapid button presses, an issue that became especially frustrating when dealing with the TV's numerous picture settings.
|Key TV features|
|Display technology||LCD||LED backlight||N/A|
|3D technology||N/A||3D glasses included||N/A|
|Screen finish||Matte||Internet connection||No|
|Refresh rate(s)||60Hz||Dejudder (smooth) processing||No|
The most notable extra is the LG's ability to play back music, photo and video files from attached USB drives. Unlike the Samsung LND550 series the LK450 lacks an Ethernet port so it can't do the same via DLNA over a home network.
|Adjustable picture modes||7||Fine dejudder control||N/A|
|Color temperature presets||3||Fine color temperature control||10 points|
|Gamma presets||3||Color management system||Yes|
The LK450 is best-of-breed at this price, providing as much (or more) control as on any flagship-priced TV on the market. That includes more picture presets than most other makers, including a pair of Expert modes that offer that 10-point calibration and color management system--neither of which are found on the equivalent entry-level sets from Sony, Samsung or Vizio.
|HDMI inputs||2 back, 1 side||Component video inputs||2 back|
|Composite video input(s)||1 back, 1 side||VGA-style PC input(s)||1|
|USB port||1 side||Ethernet (LAN) port||No|
|Other: Headphone jack|
The LK450 delivers more connections than just about any other entry-level TV, with a second component-video slot and a headphone jack being the standouts.