Plasma for Less
What We Think
Like the stock market, plasma pricing tends toward sudden, dynamic dips - the TV you have your eye on today will likely cost even less tomorrow. With this in mind, we called in three plasma HDTVs spotted selling on the Web for around three grand or less: JVC's PD-42X795, $3,200 ($5,500 list); Dell's W4200, $2,599 direct from Dell ($3,000 list); and Maxent's MX-42XM11, $2,000 ($2,500 list). But you can't assume that all "budget" plasmas are created equal. So we put these low-ballers through our usual rigorous procedures to see well how each stood up. This involves tweaking the TV using both the set's standard user controls and hidden "service" controls that only technicians have access to. What differences - if any - would we find as we stepped up in price? Let's now turn our attention to the wall to see what, value-wise, these TVs really get us.
Full lab results on these HDTVs.