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4K Resolution
Budget TV
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Detailed Overview of the TCL S450G Series

The TCL S450G represents a notable option in the budget television segment, particularly for users who prioritize a high native contrast ratio for deeper blacks in low-light conditions. The integration of a VA panel ensures this contrast performance, which is a significant selling point of the device. This television also continues the trend of low input lag seen in previous models, catering to gamers and those desiring to use the TV as a PC monitor. The support for Chroma 4:4:4 further emphasizes its suitability for clear textual display when connected to a computer.

The latest iteration, the TCL S450G, has maintained its good picture quality in 'Game' Picture Mode, a feature that was appreciated in its predecessors. However, it has also inherited some of the limitations of the earlier models, such as the absence of advanced gaming features like Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and a 60Hz refresh rate ceiling. Nonetheless, it has improved upon aspects like smart features by incorporating the Google TV interface, which offers an extensive array of streaming applications, enhancing the user experience in terms of content accessibility and interface interaction.

While maintaining its lineage's strengths, the TCL S450G has not significantly advanced in terms of peak brightness, which remains insufficient for very bright rooms, nor has it introduced local dimming to boost its HDR performance. The upscaling of lower-resolution content also remains a point that has not seen substantial improvement, highlighting an area where future versions could enhance the value proposition of the series.

Preview of the official model TCL S450G

Technical Specifications

Picture Quality LED, VA subtype, 4K resolution, 8,300:1 native contrast, HDR and SDR poor peak brightness, Okay color gamut, Good reflection handling
Display Resolutions Supports 480p, 720p, 1080p, 4K
Input Ports 3 HDMI 2.0, 1 USB, 1 Digital Optical Audio Out, 1 Analog Audio Out (3.5mm), Composite In (with adapter), Tuner (Cable/Ant), Ethernet
Refresh Rate 60Hz
Power Consumption 37 W, Max 78 W
Smart Features Google TV version 11, Ads cannot be disabled
Sound Quality Low-Frequency Extension at 160.00 Hz, Dynamic Range Compression noted

Key Advantages of the Television

The most important key feature of this TV is its high native contrast ratio, making it ideal for enjoying deep black levels in darker viewing environments. Here are the key benefits:

  • High native contrast ratio for superior dark scene reproduction
  • Good reflection handling for better viewing in moderately lit rooms
  • Low input lag which appeals to gamers and PC monitor users
  • Supports Chroma 4:4:4 for clear text when used as a monitor
  • Maintains good picture quality in 'Game' mode
  • Equipped with the Google TV smart interface
  • Wide selection of streaming applications
  • Suitable for use as a responsive PC monitor

Potential Downsides of the Television

The main problem with this television is its inability to deliver an optimal viewing experience in very bright rooms due to insufficient brightness. Here are the specific downsides:

  • Poor viewing angles leading to image degradation from the side
  • Insufficient brightness to overcome glare in brightly lit environments
  • Sub-pixel dithering may affect color accuracy and shadow detail
  • Lacks advanced gaming features like VRR
  • Limited to a 60Hz refresh rate
  • No local dimming feature for better contrast or HDR
  • Poor upscaling of low-resolution content
  • Ads in the smart interface cannot be disabled

Personal Opinion on the TCL S450G Series

When considering whether to purchase the TCL S450G, it's important to weigh both its strengths and limitations. The high contrast ratio and good reflection handling make it a solid choice for those with controlled lighting conditions, and the low input lag paired with Chroma 4:4:4 support is appealing for gamers and those in need of a large PC monitor. The inclusion of Google TV also provides a comprehensive streaming experience, which is a significant plus for content consumers.

However, its drawbacks, such as the poor brightness and lack of advanced gaming features, may be a dealbreaker for some. If you're planning to place the TV in a well-lit room or are an avid gamer looking for the best gaming performance, there may be better-suited options available. Nevertheless, for users with specific needs, such as a high-contrast display for watching movies in a dark room or a responsive display for casual gaming and productivity, the TCL S450G offers a respectable balance between price and performance.

Rating: 6.7

Christopher Reed

Christopher Reed is a tech enthusiast who loves reviewing the latest gadgets and TVs. He has a knack for providing an unbiased and thorough assessment of each product, helping readers make informed decisions.