From The Road: Checking Out Sony’s OLED XEL-1

Sony OLED XEL-1 (Image property of OhGizmo!)
By Andrew Liszewski

I guess my XEL-1 review unit from Sony must’ve gotten lost in the mail, but thankfully I was able to get some one-on-one time with the OLED TV at my local Sony store. Not surprisingly the display looks amazing, and is exactly what you’d expect with a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. And even though it only has a native resolution of 960×540 pixels, you don’t really notice it since the display is just 11 inches in size. But am I tempted to take one home? Absolutely not.

SonyOLED XEL-1 (Image property of OhGizmo!)

As far as I’m concerned the XEL-1 is nothing more than a tech demo/marketing exercise. Sure, it’s cool that Sony was the first company to get an actual OLED TV to the market, but who’s going to pay $2,499.99 for a display that can’t even do 720P? Even the XEL-1’s design seems engineered to promote the technology first and foremost. By keeping all of the controls and connections in the base of the unit, it allowed them to make the actual OLED display remarkably thin. And it works, as that seems to be the biggest feature most people noticed as they walked past. But while OLED technology is definitely a viable contender when it comes to who will rule the flat screen market in the future, it’s probably a good idea to wait a few more years before making the investment.