Insignia NS-32E400NA14 LED TV Review
For less than $300, the Insignia E400 just might impress you.
We’ve reviewed plenty of expensive, flagship, enthusiast-level TVs from the likes of Panasonic, Samsung, and Sony. Want to know a not-so-secret fact about those? They’re all pretty good. Yes, you read that correctly: If you pay a lot for a TV, chances are it’s going to display an enticing picture. Some just happen to be more enticing than others.
But we’re not here to talk about those TVs today. There are plenty of people looking for a small, cheap TV that will make their cable box or PS3 look at least decent. Our budget TV du jour, the Insignia NS-32E400NA14—henceforth known as the E400—is the definition of no-frills. For an MSRP of $279.99, you get a rectangle that magically plays content from connected devices.
And here's a spoiler: The E400’s picture can’t hold a candle to a $3,000 Panasonic. But for less than $300? It ain’t bad.
Design & Interface
Surprisingly thin, unsurprisingly generic
Basic rectangle-inspired design? Check. Boring slab-of-plastic stand? Check. Thick bezels? Ch—wait, no! The Insignia E400 actually has slim bezels, plus a thin profile. It won’t compete with LG’s nearly bezel-less design, but for about $280, it looks pretty. Unfortunately, the remote is the most boring device I’ve ever seen. Just glancing at this cheap piece of plastic will put you to sleep. At least it has volume and input control.
If you’re still awake, Insignia’s menu interface will make sure you stay asleep. It’s a rectangle in the middle of the screen, and is similar in design to the menus on almost every cheap TV. The basic controls, like brightness and contrast, are all there, plus some advanced settings like adaptive contrast and noise reduction. Protip: Don’t use the adaptive contrast settings. It will make the picture overly bright and wash out the colors. It will ruin your favorite movie, and thus your childhood memories.
For the price, this is a worthwhile performer
Let’s get the bad out of the way first: This Insignia has a terrible viewing angle. True, you won’t be holding a Game of Thrones premiere party with this TV, but if anyone sits at an off angle to watch it, they will notice a much worse picture. To make matters worse, blues look way too deep and can be borderline unnatural.
Aside from those two flaws, though, this is a decent performer. While blues look off, reds and greens are almost spot-on in terms of accuracy. Also, the E400 can achieve an impressive black level, which means content looks richer and more detailed. I was satisfied with the picture quality during a playthrough of Happy Gilmore, and then remembered how cheap this Insignia is. Then I became impressed.
Motion performance was also noteworthy, especially for a TV with a 60 Hz refresh rate and no motion enhancement options. Blocky artifacts during scenes with intense motion are almost nonexistent, although playback isn’t as smooth as entry-level plasmas like the Panasonic S60.
Go find a better sub-$300 TV. We dare you.
Despite some flaws, this is one of the best TVs you’ll find for under $300. Good color accuracy, motion performance, and contrast are really all you need for a pleasing picture. It also has three HDMI ports, which means this 32-inch display has room for your cable box, Playstation, and Apple TV.
If you’re a TV enthusiast, the Insignia E400 will not make you happy. If you just want a rectangle to play movies and games with, though, this TV will treat you—and your wallet—very well.
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