Toshiba is a popular brand that is instantly recognizable by a lot of average consumers but isn’t likely that these customers associate the brand with TVs. It could be the lack of marketing or possibly the fact that the space is crowded with big players like Panasonic, Sony, Samsung, LG and VIZIO to name a few. It doesn’t matter what size of TV you are trying to target either because virtually all TV sizes are covered by a handful of companies. Toshiba has to face the competition head on and it doesn’t mind if the release of TVs like the Toshiba 58L1350U is any indication. But it has to offer a good value proposition in order for customers to care.
The 58L1350U has a very plain but safe design and that is to be expected for a large TV in the budget category. When you think of modern TV released in 2013, you would immediately think of things like a thin bezel, dark frame and rectangular stand. This is exactly what the Toshiba 58L1350U manifests but it should have no trouble in standing out when placed in a living room simply because the 57.5-inch LED screen looks very big. The 58L1350U is the largest display out of the available Toshiba L1350U and shares the same design with its siblings as well so you should really consider the 58L1350U if you are after a budget Toshiba TV that makes a visual impression. Despite the large size and budget nature of this TV, you should be able to fit it in small spaces due to its thin profile.
The Toshiba 58L1350U comes equipped with a total of 3 HDMI ports with 2 on the back and 1 on the side for convenient access. Toshiba cleverly placed other commonly accessed things on the side of the TV as well including the USB port and power, volume and channel input buttons. The rest of the connection ports are pretty ordinary too including the D-sub port for computers, digital audio out, audio jack and component and composite ports. Don’t be too alarmed by the few number of HDMI ports because you can always expand the number of ports by getting an AV receiver or HDMI splitter.
Budget HDTVs like the 58L1350U remind everyone that TVs weren’t really “Smart” as they are now. The main purpose of buying a TV is to watch video content after all and to a lot of people, that remains as the primary thing to care about. The Toshiba 58L1350U doesn’t have any fancy Smart TV features that the highly affordable mid-range and other pricier TV models possess. In fact, the 58L1350U doesn’t even have an Ethernet port. The good thing about this is that people won’t have to get so confused when setting this TV up. It also means fewer options to worry about. You won’t need to worry about somebody pressing that “Smart TV” button just to see an interface that confuses the user. Simplicity turns out to be the main feature of the Toshiba 58L1350U.
The USB port on the side of the display does make the 58L1350U a little bit more advanced than the average flat screen TV released many years back. You just have to fill a USB drive with some images, and/or audio content and you can preview these files on the TV without the need of hooking up any extra components. Unfortunately, the TV’s built-in media player is riddled with limitations. For instance, only the JPEG file format is supported and you won’t be able to view any images larger than 6 MB or pictures bigger than a 4096 x 4096 resolution. On the audio side, only MP3 files are supported. The drive must also be formatted in either FAT16 or FAT32 in order for the TV to properly read the file. If you put the latest firmware update in the USB drive, the TV can recognize it and update the firmware too.
You cannot expect a budget TV to be a trailblazer when it comes to things like picture quality and audio performance. But for a 58-inch TV that is cheaper than $1,000, having passable performance can be viewed as a very good thing and the Toshiba 58L1350U employs a few vital technologies that should give average consumers a pretty good impression. First of all, the 58L1350U is an LED TV so the image quality is still better than LCD displays of the past thanks to the high-contrast nature of LED displays. The ColorStream HD component is one of the few technologies used by the Toshiba 58L1350U and it gives you the flexibility to adjust the saturation, brightness and hue to your liking. If those controls are too advanced, you can quickly switch between 3 modes – Cinema Mode, Dynamic Picture Mode and Game Mode. Dynamic Picture Mode is the recommended setting for most cases while the Cinema Mode is ideal for movies. You should switch to the Game Mode while playing your favorite gaming console because the mode decreases the controller delay.
The 58L1350U also has the ability to adjust the backlight’s intensity depending on the image being displayed so you get a consistently decent picture. This also serves as a nice energy saving function.
The speakers are not really that impressive since Toshiba 58L1350U is a budget TV after all. But it is quite surprising for Toshiba to add Audyssey EQ and ABX technologies to this TV. The sound quality ends up being a bit more balanced and movies sound pretty good. Getting a sound bar is still recommended though especially if you plan on using the USB port to play high-quality MP3 files or simply want to enjoy movies at louder volumes.
The 58L1350U can end up being a smart choice because of the TV’s $899 price tag. It is quite difficult to find modern TVs without Smart TV features because the bigger manufacturers see the extra online functionality as a vital feature that makes the TV more marketable. But there are still lots of people that prefer something simple like the Toshiba 58L1350U. Besides, you can always hook up an advanced home theater component like a gaming console, Blu-ray player or even a small PC just to add online capabilities.
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