Toshiba 58L4300U Review (58L4300)
58 inch 1080p Edge-lit LED TV
by Robert Wiley, Senior Editor
The 58L4300U is a replacement of the 5200U series from last year. Toshiba has made very big improvements on their mid tier models. The screen resolution remains at 1080p and an entire smart TV platform has been added. This increases the value of the set in a big way. Picture quality is solid with bright LED backlighting and realistic color rendition. The 58 inch size is as large as it gets for the L4300 series.
Picture Quality Rating: 8.5/10
LED Edge Lighting
The bright LED edge lighting was a plus on this mid level TV. Brightness and peak white performance was excellent in the content I viewed. This is an inherent advantage in that type of back lighting, but it also has its fair share of draw backs. The distribution of light across the surface of the screen has a tendency to be uneven. This results in screen uniformity issues. Most of the time this can be settled with a backlight adjustment.
I was surprised by the very realistic yet saturated color representation on the 58L4300U. I would say color performance was very solid. Toshiba provides a few different programming modes that help to display the best color for whatever you may be watching. Most manufacturers have these presets, but Toshiba's were pretty good. If you want to really ramp the TV up for sports programming, try the Sports Mode picture setting which this TV separates out.
Color comes off bright but slightly over saturated in this shot of the L4300. The 1080p screen provides a lot of detail but a lot gets lost in the dark areas of the screen
The L4300 series has a 1080p display for showing content in full HD. It is no comparison to 4K or an OLED 1080p display, but this one does a nice job. If the TV is used for regular TV viewing and gaming , 1080p is more than enough for a great picture. And when it comes to blu-ray viewing and using the TV as a computer monitor, 1080p is the preferred display over 720p.
Features Rating: 7.9/10
The appearance of the L4300 is very different from the L7300 above it. The frame stand is replaced with the standard square. It is a rounded square on this model that received a nice gun metal color. The sides and top of the TV have a glossy black bezel of about half an inch while the bottom has a metal strip running along it. It is a little strange at first not to see a black bezel on all four sides of the screen. This simple design is nothing to shout about, but warrants a second look.
Cloud TV Features
The 58L4300 is the lowest series of TVs from Toshiba to receive the Advanced Cloud TV features. This smart TV platform really increases the value of the set. Cloud TV essentially makes the whole system run faster while making it much easier to connect devices and personalize the experience. Toshiba also plans to incorporate mobile devices from all walks of life. That means iOS, Android, and Windows 8 devices can all connect and communicate with the Cloud TV platform through a free app from Toshiba. It's a great feature that simplifies the entire process.
Included with Cloud TV are a few apps to make the TV a center of interaction for the family while providing viewers with the content they want to watch. The Family Calendar is a central area for family members to share and post events. Personal messaging enables you to send and receive messages from friends and family. There is a photo album for uploading and sharing precious memories. A streaming news section makes it easy find and personalize what news you receive. Lastly there is a Media Guide that acts as an advanced programming guide with search and recommendation features.
Miracast and Widi
These two features let mobile devices, tablets, and laptops share their screens with the TV. I see it being useful in many situations. It will be a breeze to pop some photos on or play a video on the big screen for guests to enjoy. This feature will also make it easy to watch downloaded TV shows and movies. It's a good addition and we are happy to see a little more useful connectivity in 2013/14 TVs.
Value Rating - 8.7/10
At $999 the Toshiba 58L4300U offers a compelling price per square inch for a pretty good picture quality and plenty of HDMI inputs. The appearance is not fantastic, sound quality can be lacking depending on the source (HD broadcast is much better), and the Cloud TV Apps only really offer a few premium offerings and is not much of an added value feature. By comparison the UN55F6300 which has a much better Smart TV function is $1149 but you also lose 3 inches. The medium grade Vizio M601d is $1398 also with better sound and Internet function.
Overall Rating: 8.4/10
|Having reviewed and written about Television Technology for over 10 years, Wiley never tires of researching the newest qualitative trends related to the technology. Most people do not get excited about possibilities behind the latest video engine...Wiley does. Read more about Robert|