LG announced its new Blu-ray lineup just over a month ago at CES 2010, so we were shocked to hear we'd be getting review units in early February. The BD590 took home the Best of CES 2010 award in the home theater category for its built-in 250GB hard drive and CD-ripping functionality, and the BD570 is the more direct successor to the popular (and well-reviewed) BD390. LG says the BD570 and the BD590 will be coming in mid-March with list prices of $280 and $380, respectively. We'll be doing in-depth reviews with both of these products over the next few weeks, but we wrote up our initial impressions of the BD590's exterior design and revamped user interface.
Design The BD590 takes its design cues from its predecessor, but it's a slightly slimmer, less bulky unit, despite the fact that it includes a hard drive. The front is dominated by a long glossy panel that automatically flips down when the disc tray is ejected. We're not big fans of flip-down panels--they seem like one more thing that can break down the road--but it does keep the unit looking sleek.
Under the front panel reveals a few playback buttons (including handy chapter forward/backward buttons) and a USB port. Of course, if you plan on keeping a USB drive in the port, you'll have to leave the front panel down, which is considerably less slick-looking. The power and eject buttons are toward the top and are always accessible.
The included remote is a complete redesign of last year's clicker. The main surface is glossy black, which looks sleek coming out of the box but, being a remote, naturally accumulates fingerprints quickly. Button layout is mostly straightforward. Playback controls have a "hill" that runs underneath, making it easy to find by feel; there are also nubs on the rewind/fast-forward button. The main directional pad is surrounded by six buttons, which is a little more cluttered than most Blu-ray remotes we use, but we didn't find it that troublesome in use. Along the bottom are a few buttons for controlling a TV.
We loved the dead-simple user interface on last year's BD390, so we were a little dismayed to see that LG has done a complete overhaul.… Read more