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ACN-5327 Portable TV Full Review


Portable TVs were always a draw to those on the go, looking for a way to take the ballgame or local show with them. Within city limits, reception is usually very good and it's just the thing for "roughing it" with the guys. In the past, the problem with portable TVs was their bulk, weight and sizeable power needs. Enter the Axion ACN-5327 portable LCD television. Finally, LCD screens have become the new defacto standard in portable TVs - and we'd expect no less. Axion's 2.5" TFT offering is unique in that it is built into a very small form factor and also allows for some flexibility such as built-in rechargeable circuitry and an A/V input jack for the ultimate flexibility.

First Impressions

The Axion 2.5" LCD color TV struck me as much smaller than the portable TVs I had used in the past (good riddance!) It has a tall orientation. Axion opted to put the battery compartment below the screen rather than behind it, giving the user a palm-sized unit that can be held easily or set up vertically with the included fold out stand.

Two thumb dials on the right side handle volume and contrast. While the left side sports the A/V input and headphone jacks along with the power/band-selector switch. Power goes to the bottom right of the unit and a selector switch located in the interior of the battery compartment must be configured in order to disengage the battery charger when using non-rechargeable alkaline batteries. The front of the unit is clean and simple with two channel buttons, a mono speaker, the LCD screen and a battery low indicator.

Overall I felt the unit was ergonomic and durable, suitable for use on the road without fear that the device might be easily damaged.

Watching Television

The Axion did a remarkable job of picking up both VHF and UHF channels in my local area. Using the two channels buttons is a unique process for those looking for a standard television tuner. The Axion CAN-5327 supports active automatic channel scanning. This means that you don't dial in the channel manually as with earlier analogue units, but allow the Axion to lock on the next active channel it can find. Using the unit is simple:

  • Extend the antenna

  • Set the power witch to either VHF or UHF (scanning for the next active channel begins immediately)

  • Press the Channel + or - buttons to jump to another active channel

  • Adjust the volume & contrast as desired

VHF channels are indicated by a red vertical channel scanning bar and UHF channels are indicated by a green bar. I found that rotating and adjusting the length of the antenna produced improved reception for some channels, so keep that in mind as you attempt to get the best signal possible.

The 2.5" TFT LCD display has 112,320 pixels (390 x 288) so it is less than the typical 640x480 NTSC (or 720x486 for those of you editing D1 video) and more akin to VHS if you want to think in terms of lines of resolution (which is not entirely accurate - but you get the idea.) At the moment, affordable portable LCD screens measuring 2.5" are simply not designed to be high performance monitors, so don't expect your $150 purchase to net you a high-definition digital display. These devices need to be used and accepted within their defined parameters.

Using the A/V Inputs

To fully test the television I utilized the A/V input jacks and fed a DVD into the 2.5" display to see the results. To facilitate this I used a standard mono A/V input/output cable that came with my Sony DSC-P92 digital still camera. Note that not all A/V cables are wired the same. In this case I used the black RCA for the video and the yellow RCA for the mono audio - the opposite of how I use it with my digital camera. You can use a simple 3.5mm to stereo RCA cable and experiment to see which cable handles audio and video. Inserting this cable automatically places the TV into video mode and defeats the internal tuner.

For my tests I played some scenes from one of my Farscape boxed sets. The results of this experiment were as expected. Picture was acceptable for this type of display and this unit could very well be used to play video games in the car or for quickly monitoring any other type of video source when needed. A/V installers might find a device like this invaluable on some jobsites.

Plugging in headphones mutes the built in speaker. Headphones, as with the television audio and A/V inputs are mono.

Conclusions and Overall Perceptions

The Axion ACN-5327 portable LCD television, with its 2.5" TFT LCD screen and rechargeable system is a great product for the price. If you're looking for portability, don't even think about getting a CRT-based solution. LCD is here to stay and the prices just keep dropping, especially for the smaller sized screens which are easier to produce in larger quantities. Hopefully, as LCD technology continues to improve, the quality and resolution of the smaller screens will also get better, resulting in much higher resolution displays, regardless of their size.

Axion ACN-5327 2.5" Portable LCD TV
MSRP: $149

America Action, Inc. (AXION)
100 Exchange Place
Pomona , CA 91768
Phone: 909.869.6600
Fax: 909.869.5545

About American Action, Inc
Established in 1983, America Action Inc., (AXION), has grown from a local sales center to a competitive consumer electronics (CE) importer and distributor in 21 years. AXION provides a full line of portablecompact CE displays and multimedia entertainment products, such as handheld and portable LCD TVs, personal gadgets, wireless monitoring systems, and other innovative CE products. AXION is constantly expanding its product lines to respond to the needs of the consumers. AXION is a company built upon reliability, commitment, and support.

The Score Card

The scoring below is based on each piece of equipment doing the duty it is designed for. The numbers are weighed heavily with respect to the individual cost of each unit, thus giving a rating roughly equal to:

Performance × Price Factor/Value = Rating

Audioholics.com note: The ratings indicated below are based on subjective listening and objective testing of the product in question. The rating scale is based on performance/value ratio. If you notice better performing products in future reviews that have lower numbers in certain areas, be aware that the value factor is most likely the culprit. Other Audioholics reviewers may rate products solely based on performance, and each reviewer has his/her own system for ratings.

Audioholics Rating Scale

  • StarStarStarStarStar — Excellent
  • StarStarStarStar — Very Good
  • StarStarStar — Good
  • StarStar — Fair
  • Star — Poor
About the author:
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Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

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