We might as well just say it straight out – if you simply want to buy the best 26in TV currently on the market and you're willing to put your money where your mouth is, go for this Panasonic. It really is a stunning set, and blows most in its class out the water.

So why the glowing recommendation? Well, lets start with the specification. The Panasonic boasts two HDMI inputs, twin analogue and digital Freeview tuners – both of which deliver class-leading, off-air performance – and, perhaps most impressively, it can can take any resolution format up to and including 1080p at 24 frames-per-second.

Back to black

Then, of course, there's the bucket-load of background gizmos to improve picture performance. Top of the tree is the 'Intelligent Screen Controller', which adjusts backlighting, contrast and brightness according to the scene.

And it actually works. Dark scenes achieve backlighting as low as one seventh that of the manufacturer's previous series, and pitted against current competition the Panasonic beats all-comers for the depth and darkness of its black tones and scintillating contrast.

As befits such a high-performing set, the colour palette is also reasonably subtle, and doesn't suffer from any unwanted smearing.

Class-leading audio

To cap things off, when it comes to audio performance this is by far the best sounding TV in its class. Given its size, it will probably find itself relegated to the bedroom without the benefit of external speakers, so the quality of the built-in ones is a real plus.

Try as we might to find fault, the only downside of this LCD is that it's a tad expensive so you'll have to be in a frivolous mood to splash out. That said, a bit of online scouting should throw up a few bargains – we've seen it for £550, and think it's worth every penny.

Stuff says... 

Panasonic TX-26LXD70 review

Price issues aside, this Panasonic is quite simply a stunning 26in TV and well-worth splashing out on