There is a growing number of 60-inch and 65-inch TV displays for people that really have big living rooms and big budgets. These are the kinds of TVs to get if you want a minimum viewing distance of about 6.5 feet or a maximum viewing distance of 10 feet. But if you find even the 1080p 60-inch displays expensive and find 55-inch TVs a compromise, you can consider 58-inch displays. 58-inch TVs are not as common as 55-inch and 60-inch TVs but they are out there and still look very large. Toshiba is making some including the high-end Toshiba 58L7300U HDTV which is a great choice if you want flagship-class features but don’t need 3D support.
The 58L7300U has an unconventional but attractive design sporting a gun metal frame and a unique stand. The elements of the exterior have shades of black and grey except for the neck which is oddly aqua-colored but it looks good and gives the TV some personality. The base is rectangular and lacks the middle area leaving just the perimeter which is a nice touch. Despite that, this TV is considerably heavier than others in its category weighing more than 60 pounds. This is because the Toshiba 58L7300U is noticeably thicker than the premium models that other manufacturers like to advertise. The 58L7300U is not the kind of TV to consider if you are a fan of pencil-thin displays and nearly invisible bezels.
In terms of features, the Toshiba 58L7300U is a lot like the cheaper Toshiba 58L4300U which is also a 58-inch TV. Toshiba clearly wants their customers to access their favorite Internet services without relying on any dongles or connecting other components. The 58L7300U achieves this through Toshiba’s Cloud TV Portal which is a rather friendly interface that makes full use of the screen’s real estate. It presents all sorts of useful widgets including a calendar and organizer along with a panel that highlights TV shows. It is also possible to use services like Facebook and Twitter to keep touch with others. Skype is supported as well although you have to purchase the Toshiba Freetalk webcam separately which will set you back about $130.
On the upside, you won’t have to buy an extra dongle if you want to wirelessly connect to your router. The Toshiba 58L7300U already has built-in Wi-Fi making it much easier to set the TV up for networking and Internet use. You also don’t have to buy any special add-on if you want to use your laptop’s WiDi functionality to mirror or extend your laptop’s display to the TV. The TV has built-in WiDi as well which is quite rare for a 2013 TV.
One of the more useful apps on the Cloud TV interface is the MediaShare app which allows you to fetch videos, photos and music from other computers in the network. If your network performance is sluggish, you can also use one of the 2 USB ports to connect a flash drive so you can directly play music or watch slideshows and movies currently stored in that drive.
Unlike the Toshiba 58L4300U, the 58L7300U comes bundled with a handy wireless keyboard and touchpad so you can make better use of the Cloud TV experience. The keys are a bit cramped but it is still a lot more functional than the confusing remote control. To use this keyboard you have to connect the USB sensor to the USB port although there is still a USB port vacant for flash drives.
A large 58-inch TV would be an attractive choice for young gamers. But just in case these young folks decide to game for excessive hours, parents can do something about it by using the Gaming Timer feature. You basically set the time you want to allocate for gaming and the input source connected to the game console will lock down after the elapsed time.
The Toshiba 58L7300U has a built-in CPU for driving the Cloud TV experience but unfortunately the menu responsiveness is quite sluggish compared to those TVs that use dual-core CPUs. Hopefully a software update in the future will solve this problem because the menus are neatly organized and faster responsiveness would really make settings adjustments easier.
But in all other areas, the 58L7300U performs rather wonderfully with very good color accuracy and very slight errors in color temperature which is quite an achievement. Whether you are watching movies or playing games, there should be little need to adjust the picture settings. It even handles greyscale curves very well. This is all thanks to the CineSpeed Panel and CG Engine video processor built into the display. When playing games, it is best to use the gaming mode so you can reduce the controller delay. Fast paced scenes are subjected to blurring although you can optimize the motion performance by simply using the ClearScan 240Hz feature which increases the refresh rate.
Another area that the Toshiba 58L7300U excels in is audio quality. The built-in speakers sound amazing to the point that adding a sound bar is a minor upgrade. It incorporates the Audyssey ABX and Audyssey EQ technologies which are provided by the same company that provides audio enhancing technologies to some of the best-selling AV receivers.
Finally, the 58L7300U is Energy Star compliant so you won’t have to worry about power consumption and environmental friendliness even the screen is very large. The DynaLight feature properly adjusts the backlight intensity based on the content to save energy.
The Toshiba 58L7300U costs $1,199 which sounds like a steal for a 58-inch LED TV. If you need 3D support, you would have to pay $200 more for the 58L7350U so it is great that Toshiba offers choice. Don’t forget that there is the 58L4300U which is $100 cheaper and actually has plenty of similar features including the built-in Wi-Fi and WiDi. The 58L7300U is really the sensible choice though if you want the included wireless keyboard and dig the nice TV exterior. The good audio and picture performance along with the large size is enough to earn the recommendation despite the somewhat disappointing networking features.
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