Toshiba 39L4300U Review (39L4300)
39 inch 1080p Edge-lit LED TV
by Robert Wiley, Senior Editor
After viewing the Toshiba 39L4300U was refreshed to see a mid tier TV perform at this level. The backlighting creates a bright picture and the 1080p screen does an excellent job showing it. Toshiba's new Cloud TV feature really opens up a lot of potential for the TV as well. The closest comparison from last year's line up is going to be the L5200U. That one only has a 1080p too screen but missed out on any sort of smart TV option. Toshiba really stepped up the mid level for 2013 and early 2014.
Picture Quality Rating: 8.5/10
LED Edge Lighting
LED edge lighting is always a plus when it comes to mid level TVs. 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. The form factor is also allowed to stay slim with this kind of backlighting.
We felt the color rendition in this TV was very close to being just right. Colors ended up looking just a bit over saturated. It's certainly not a bad look if that is the way you like it. Sometimes the slight over-saturation is favorable to viewers. If that happens to be the case, the 39L4300U is going to fit the bill just right. Overall we felt the picture quality was good.
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 39L4300U uses 1080p display to show full HD content at its highest potential. It's 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 somewhat different from the next TV up in the lineup. The hollowed out frame stand of the L7300 is replaced with a standard square. In this case, it is a rounded square with that nice gun metal color Toshiba is using on the majority of their TVs this year. 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 seems a little unbalanced 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.
Advanced Cloud TV Features
The 39L4300 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 - 8.5/10
The Toshiba 39L4300U sells for around $475 in this smaller size 39" offering. Vizio's M401d sells for about the same and may provide a bit better features. The Samsung UN40FH6030 is a bit uninspiring as well at $549. The appearance of the 39L4300U 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.
Overall Rating: 8.3/10
|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