Samsung PN51F4500 Review (PN51F4500AF)
51 Inch 720p Plasma TV
The PN51F4500 seires plasma TV from Samsung is a budget option for those not wishing to go the LED TV route. The F4500 is a bare bones 720p plasma TV that doesn't offer the smart TV options or 3D playback of the plasma TVs above it in the line up. These exclusions keep the price way down. The picture quality is still fantastic due to the plasma display. This covers the colors, refresh rates, and side viewing angles. Plasma displays do take a little more energy to run, but it's a small price to pay for the excellent picture quality offered in the PN51F4500.
(Samsung also offers a PN51F4550 model. It is the same TV , but the cabinet color is a cool gray versus the black on the 4500 model. Availability of both models at different resellers may vary.)
The picture quality features that matter on this TV are the 720p resolution and the 600Hz refresh rate that is standard for plasma displays. 720p may sound like a downgrade in 2013, but in reality it is still the predominant technology for broadcast and many video games. It may be dated a few years down the road, but 720p will still be functional. The urge to future proof technology is strong, but the value in this plasma TV is great. Contrast and color reproduction are excellent in this plasma TV as well. Flesh tones are done very well with an overall sense of color accuracy. Low end LED TVs sacrifice a lot in these categories, but that is not the case in the Samsung PN51F4500. Side viewing angles are also excellent and do not degrade as viewers move from a center viewing point. One couldn't ask for much more in a value plasma.
The appearance of the PN51F4500 is very similar to the E450 series plasma from last year. It has a slim profile with a glossy black plastic square stand. It's unobtrusive, but remains attractive with it's thin bezel and fame. The F4550 version of the same TV features a cool gray cabinet color if black doesn't fit the design the room this TV will be featured in.
This budget plasma represents an excellent value. At less than $600 for a 50+ inch TV with fantastic picture quality, it is a steal. Those turned off by the less than 1080p resolution can take the small step up to the F5300. Panasonic and LG also have 720p plasma TVs on the table, so there will be some heavy competition in the budget plasma class this year.