Toshiba 50L7300U Review (50L7300)
50 inch 1080p 240Hz LED TV
by Robert Wiley, Senior Editor
The 50L7300U is the smallest entry in the 7300 series. The feature set is pretty light, but what it gets is pretty nice. The 240Hz refresh rate and the Cloud TV features really up the value of this set. Cloud TV is probably the standout feature due to the high compatibility with all sorts of mobile devices. The only thing it misses out on that the L7350 series above it got is 3D playback. That makes the L7300 perfect for those looking an upgrade with out 3D functionality.
Picture Quality Rating: 8.8/10
Picture quality on the 50L7300U is strong in certain areas while it lacks in others. Most importantly, detail and color performance were two high points I noticed when viewing the TV. I would consider detail in dark scenes and shadows on par with some of the heavy hitters out there. In contrast to the dark detail color popped with brightness that is typical to LED backlit TVs. I wouldn't go as far as saying the color was realistic, but I liked what I saw. It was in the side viewing angles that really lost the L7300 a few points. Contrast and color faded pretty heavily when viewing not too far from off-center. Many LCD/LED TVs are making big improvements in this area, so it really hurts when one doesn't keep up.
Bright colors and detail in dark areas come off very strong in this shot of the L7300 series
240Hz Refresh Rate
The 240Hz refresh rate spec of the L7300 is one of the best picture quality aspects on the TV. The panel allows for better processing of fast motion and panning. It effectively smooths the fast motion so there is no judder or blur. The feature does a good job but fails to entirely remove all of the issues. This can be considered a good thing, because we've seen features like this work too well and create a lot of distracting side effects.
Features Rating: 8.3/10
Cloud TV Features
Toshiba is moving to the cloud in 2013/14. Their Smart TV enabled sets this year receive Advanced Cloud TV functionality. It is designed to instigate a smarter and more connected user experience. Personalization and locating content to consume end up being the most streamlined aspects of this smart TV suite. It is all done by making it much easier to connect with any type of mobile device you may be using. Toshiba plans to release a companion app to the Cloud TV service that lets users connect with an iOS, Android, or Windows 8 device. This sort of connectivity is good to see and really hits home the praticallity that Toshiba is aiming for. Below is a short list of features to be included with Advanced Cloud TV:
- Family Calendar
- Personal Messaging
- Photo Album
- Streaming News
- Miracast and WiDi
Included QWERTY Keyboard
A full QWERTY keyboard is included with Advanced Cloud TVs from Toshiba. This inclusion may be a bit much for those who already have some sort of wireless keyboard, but it will be nice for people who hate typing on a scrunched remote QWERTY keyboard. The keyboard will also make it easier to navigate the smart TV menus, use social networks, and browse the web. We see it as a nice added bonus.
Built-in Wifi and Web Browser
The built-in wifi and full web browser are a perfect complement to the Advanced Cloud TV features and the included keyboard. The wifi allows you to instantly access your home network without having to find a way to hard wire the TV or use an accessory dongle to enable the connection. The full web browser is also a nice addition. With all of the internet connected mobile devices around today it may not be the most practical way to browse, but it's good for viewing pictures and similar content on the big screen.
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. The features works well with You Tube and allows you to keep searching on your Smart phone while it continues to play.
The 50L7300 series even shares the same design as the L7350 series. So it should be compared to the L9300 above it and the L4300 below it. Everything aside from the bezel has a matte gun metal finish. The 7300 keeps the square frame stand design while the L4300 goes with a solid square. This one has a single armed neck to hold up the screen instead of the two armed design on the L9300. It's also got a thin metal strip that runs along the bottom of the screen below the glossy black bezel. This is a subdued yet stylish look.
Value - Bang for the Buck Rating: 9.3/10
At around $849 the Toshiba 50L7300U is a great high quality product in this typically plasma dominated size. The Samsung UN50F6400 is $1099. The picture quality is slightly better on Toshiba which has less of a matte finish than the F6400, while the Samsung soundly trounces Toshiba's Smart TV functionality and suite offering. Sound quality is another slight negative on the Toshiba, but what a deal.
Overall Rating: 8.8/10
|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