With Dynex's latest 32-inch TV, the DX-32L100A13 (MSRP $290), the budget-friendly company is hoping to acquire those hard earned greenbacks from you. After spending some time with this rather homely TV in our lab, we think that consumers in the market for a TV this size might want to take a look at it. It may not have a native 1080p resolution or produce great sound, but this stout 32-incher actually has a decent picture.
The DX-32L100A13 is everything you would expect for the low asking price: a thick piece of plastic with a screen and an uninspired base. Everything feels cheaply made, which does have the benefit of making this TV extremely light and easy to move around. With that said, we will take a heavy TV made with quality in mind over a lightweight, cheaply built product any day of the week.
There isn't too much to say here. This Dynex is a slab of plastic with a round base. Since everything is so light, setting this TV up was a breeze compared to some of the larger and heavier TVs we review. If cheap and lightweight are your criteria for buying a TV, then the DX-32L100A13 might be for you.
Not only does the TV feel lacking in quality, the remote does, too. This flimsy plastic rectangle features a nice alternative to the standard "input" button that many remotes have. There are buttons for each type of input (HDMI, TV, composite, etc.) towards the bottom of the remote. This makes switching between cable and a gaming console a breeze.
One thing we do need to point out is how unresponsive this remote was. There were numerous times where we had to check and see if someone took the remote's batteries out because it would not power the TV off or adjust the volume. This remote needs to be pointed directly at the sensor on the TV for consistent results.
The Dynex DX-32L100A13 comes with a remote, batteries, a quick setup guide, and a very basic user manual.
The DX-32L100A13 has plenty of ports. Connections are located on the TV's left side and are easy to access. This Dynex does not swivel, which can cause problems on bigger TVs when trying to access ports. Since this TV is so small and lightweight, the lack of rotation is merely a minor annoyance and does not hinder access.
We did not expect to be blown away by the DX-32L100A13's performance, although we did come away pleasantly surprised. The viewing angle was atrocious but the motion performance did well for a TV with a refresh rate of 60 Hz. The Dynex's colors were just average while the contrast was very good. The real treat here was the screen uniformity, which was excellent – a pure white screen was crystal clear and a pure black screen was equally flawless.
Yes, this Dynex just blew away three more expensive TVs in the contrast test. The DX-32L100A13 was able to get very dark and exceptionally bright, which led to this rather impressive score. It is worth noting that a large contrast ratio does not mean a TV is instantly amazing; what helps make a TV's picture great is how smoothly it transitions from light to dark, which we discuss with the color curves below. More on how we test contrast.
These curves are not that great. They start off fine, but as a lighter input signal is added, the curves cannot keep a consistent luminance. The black lines, which represent the greyscale, are a bit jumpy, meaning that the transition from black to white is not that smooth. The reds are most problematic, as they peak way too early. More on how we test color performance.
This is a decent color temperature. Most of the fluctuations are not visible, although the picture tends to get warmer at the darkest levels. More on how we test color temperature.
The color gamut for the DX-32L100A13 was slightly off for red, green, and blue, but it still looks decent. The reds are oversaturated and the blues are, too, but only slightly. The greens are a bit undersaturated and the white point is bluish. More on how we test color temperature.
The picture dynamics were great for this Dynex. The DX-32L100A13 kept a consistent black level with an increasingly white screen and a consistent white level with an increasingly black screen. More on how we test picture dynamics.
The Dynex DX-32L100A13 is a native 720p HDTV and displays all standard NTSC formats.
One thing that $290 will not get you is a good viewing angle. The DX-32L100A13's total viewing angle of 17° was trounced by LG's 32-inch LM6200 model, although that TV costs over twice as much.
For a sub-$300 TV with a refresh rate of 60 Hz, the DX-32L100A13 had decent motion performance. There was some blurriness on moving pictures and some color trailing to be found, but this little Dynex did great on our jagged line test. Vertical lines moving horizontally across the screen did not appear too jagged.
As far as motion processing features, this TV has nothing of the sort.
The uniformity on the DX-32L100A13 was surprisingly great. An all-white screen produced a crisp image with no dark spots to be found. Similarly, an all-black screen had a smooth image with no light leaking into the picture.
The Dynex DX-32L100A13's two 6-watt speakers produce a surprisingly loud sound, just don't expect them to produce a good quality sound.
The audio generally sounds tinny with a distinct lack of bass, which is not surprising since there is no subwoofer in the TV. Having a subwoofer in a TV is a rarity, but many TVs make up for the lack of it by having better quality speakers or a simulated surround sound experience. This Dynex has neither.
In the sound menu, there are options to increase and decrease the bass and treble. There are also different sound modes like standard, news, music, and movie. These modes have the bass and treble set differently – that is really the only difference. The bass and treble are set on a scale from 1 to 100, with the standard option at 50 for each. Increasing the bass made the sound less clear while increasing the treble made it even tinnier.
If you are willing to pay the low asking price for this TV, rest assured that the savings don't stop there. The Dynex DX-32L100A13 is very inexpensive to run over the course of a year. With the backlight maxed, the annual cost is about $13 while the average recommended backlight setting of 20 yields a $10 annual cost.
We barely touched the DX-32L100A13 for calibration. Sometimes this is a good thing, like the Sony HX850, which was calibrated quite nicely in cinema mode. In the case of this Dynex, touching the settings either produced a negative effect or didn't do much. For example, turning the brightness up caused the picture to look washed out while adjusting the contrast had little effect on anything.
For testing purposes, we typically use "cinema" or "movie" for the video mode. This Dynex did not have a movie video mode, therefore we used "standard."
All of our calibration is done in conjunction with the DisplayMate software.
The DX-32L100A13 has four video modes: standard, vivid, energy saving, and custom. Any time a setting is changed in a video mode, it changes to custom.
Dynex's menu interface is like your first car: it may not be pretty, but it gets the job done. The designers went with the bare minimum needed for a menu: an ugly box in the middle of the screen with settings to change. Our main gripe with this menu is that it has a USB tab, but we could not access it, even with a USB drive plugged in.
The Dynex menu is separated into five tabs: picture, audio, settings, channel, and USB. Channel is only available if your cable is plugged in through the antenna input and USB is only available when a flash drive is in the USB input, although we could not access our plugged in USB drives while testing this TV.
The menu is basically an ugly box in the middle of the screen that lists different settings which can be tweaked. We discussed some of the picture settings in our calibration section and some of the audio settings in our audio section. As for the settings tab, it has the following options:
Dynex includes a quick setup guide and a very basic user manual, but they inform consumers on this manual's cover that they are going green and the real manual can be found online.
This real manual is actually well done and quite detailed. There are instructions for just about everything in here, from how to aim the remote to what each connection does.
The Dynex DX-32L100A13 (MSRP $290) surprised us. We didn't think that a TV for this price would produce decent results in our tests, but we are happy to report that we were wrong.
Is this TV perfect? Not even close. The sound quality is lackluster, the viewing angle is awful, and the design borders on ugly. TV enthusiasts will probably dismiss this little LCD because it is has a native 720p resolution. If 1080p is a requirement for you, look elsewhere.
If you do not care about resolution and want something small for cheap, the DX-32L100A13 becomes less of an ugly duckling and more of a brick house. It offers a very good contrast ratio, screen dynamics, and uniformity, as well as ample ports to plug your favorite gadgets into. This TV is cheap to run over the course of a year, as well. We could think of worse ways to spend $300.
Meet the tester
An enthusiast of all things tech, Josh is one of Reviewed.com's resident television experts. When he's not looking at bright TV screens in a dark room, he's probably reviewing a laptop or finding a new snack at 7-11.
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