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Loewe Modus L 37 review

More overpriced than reassuringly expensive

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Our Verdict

Sparse connections and average performance mean the L 37 just isn't worth the high asking price

For

  • Decent image processing

Against

  • Poor connectivity

    Limited picture quality

    Expensive

Normally we don't have anything against premium-priced products as such. All we want is to find a little something extra for our money, and we're happy. Which is precisely why Loewe's £1,700 Modus L 37 makes us frown.

It's quite nicely styled, though the finish isn't as high-end as you normally expect from Loewe.

But what is disappointing is its connectivity, with just a solitary HDMI input in its ranks. This would scarcely be acceptable from a budget TV, never mind one that's this expensive.

The price isn't right

So, maybe the screen's high price is explained by its resolution? Sadly not - it's a standard 1366 x 768 HD Ready affair. The claimed contrast ratio of 800:1 hardly sets our pulses racing either, as even very affordable LCD TVs are claiming many thousands to one. Clearly this set does not have an auto backlight system to dim the lamp output during dark scenes for better black levels.

One thing the Modus L 37 does have, though, is Loewe's likeable Image+ processing engine. This does broadly the same things as most rival processing engines - improves motion handling, colours, black levels, and fine detailing - but with slightly more finesse than some.

Otherwise, unless you're particularly blown away by a neat 'interactive onscreen instructions' system, there's again nothing significant on the features side to justify the cost. The set isn't even retro-upgradable with extra features like many of its siblings in Loewe's range.

The Modus L 37's performance with our Mission: Impossible III test HD DVD is pretty good, at least. Detailed scenes like the escape through Shanghai after stealing the rabbit's foot are rendered with exceptional detail. Colours during bright scenes, like those around the Vatican, are also rich, vibrant and natural.

As Ethan Hunt sprints along a crowded street in Shanghai, meanwhile, the Loewe proves itself capable of handling motion better than many of its LCD rivals.

Grey matter

But although some bright scenes can look enjoyable, dark scenes like the assault on the Berlin factory suffer with noticeable greying over of black areas. It's not as severe as we'd feared from the 800:1 contrast ratio, but it's definitely an issue. Dark scenes also suffer occasional colour tone inconsistencies. The Modus L 37 also blots its copy book by losing rather a lot of contrast and colour during off-axis viewing.

Sonically the L 37 is efficient, with a fair dynamic range and good levels of clarity - though it's not up there with Loewe's best.

In fact, in many ways the L 37 hardly feels like a Loewe product at all - and it certainly never feels like it's a 37in TV that's able to justify its £1,700 price tag.