The first in Sony's flagship Bravia X Series, this LCD has looks, style, and an expansive specification to match. The only fly in the ointment is the price – you don't have to look far to find similar 46in screens for much less. So does Sony have a good case for hiking up the cost, or is it just relying on reputation to eek out your last pennies?

Full HD resolution, twin HDMI inputs capable of taking 1080p content, and two further HD-capable component video jacks certainly puts a compelling case in the Japanese giant's defence. But while some may get off on looking at the socketry at the rear of the set, it's what's on screen that really counts.

Exemplary picture

Well, for starters the Sony is comfortably superior to its rivals for watching TV – the occasional smearing of motion is more than compensated for by its exemplary stability and exhilarating colour palette.

It's a similarly agreeable story when displaying 1080p images. The Sony summons heroic levels of low-light detail, grips motion tenaciously and draws edges with a steady hand. Textures and skin tones are revealed in their entirety, while the impression of depth delivered by the combination of contrast and resolution is first-class. Picture noise is all but eradicated.

Unlike most flatscreens, the Sony even sounds passably substantial, offering a suggestion of low-frequency action where rivals have long since given up trying.

Not a performance-per-pound star

So far the jury's backing Sony, then. The set looks as decorative as anything else on offer, and puts measurable distance between itself and much of the competition when it comes to picture quality.

Concerns regarding the price are thrown into sharp relief when considering the circling rivals, though – we don't feel the sums add up. Yes, this is undoubtedly the TV we'd choose to live with if all things were equal. But with a £1000-odd difference between this and, say, a Samsung of similar specification, it's clear the Sony can't win out when it comes to sheer performance per pound.

Stuff says... 

Sony KDL-46X2000 review

One of the best screens we've seen, but the price premium looks too much for us – haggle hard