capsule review

HP PL4272N

At a Glance
  • HP PL4272N

    TechHive Rating

    This 720p plasma set comes at a good price, but it didn't stand out in any other measures.

In our tests, the PL4272N didn't produce the best-looking pictures in our November 2007 issue's roundup of twelve HDTVs, but they weren't bad for the price--though the 1024-by-768-pixel native resolution obviously prevents HDTV from being all that it can be. The worst problem to my eyes? The skin tones on the Mission: Impossible III Blu-ray disc were a bit pinkish.

The PL4272N's on-screen menus are identical to those on its LCD cousin, the HP LC4276N. They're small and colorful, yet easy to read, with 'Simple Menu' and 'Full Menu' options.

One menu option on the PL4272N that you won't find on an LCD is White Wash, a utility designed to fix burn-in problems before they become permanent. Oddly, this maintenance chore appears on the Setup menu, rather than in the Picture menu, where you might expect to find it.

Despite supplying the utility, HP doesn't seem too worried about burn-in. The PL4272N is one of only two plasmas we looked at (the other is the Vizio VP42) that lacks an option for displaying gray sidebars in 4-by-3 mode--a good precaution for plasmas if you like to watch standard-def programs in their original aspect ratio because it will cause more-even phosphor aging. Neither HP nor Vizio includes in the documentation for its plasma set the ominous burn-in warnings found in the other plasmas' manuals.

Like its LCD cousin, the PL4272N omits many features that, while not make-or-break, could have added to the viewer's enjoyment. For example, it has no headphone jack, no picture-in-picture, and no media slots.

The PL4272N comes with the same large, nonprogrammable remote as the LC4276N. It has few buttons for a remote of its size, but they're easy to find and use. The buttons don't light up.

Lincoln Spector

This story, "HP PL4272N" was originally published by PCWorld.

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At a Glance
  • TechHive Rating

    This 720p plasma set comes at a good price, but it didn't stand out in any other measures.

    Pros

    • Good picture
    • Low price

    Cons

    • Awkward design
    • Few features
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