The Smart TV Choice

Toshiba Pro Theatre 50L4300VM

HWM (Malaysia) - - LAB TEST - TExT // Az­Izul rAh­mAN ISmAIl

Tele­vi­sions used to be a sim­ple af­fair, you tuned into a chan­nel for the show you want to watch and that's the end of it. But Toshiba be­lieves that a TV should do much more than be­ing a pas­sive dis­play for your me­dia con­sump­tion. Thus, the com­pany in­tro­duced the new Pro Theatre L4300, a one-of-a-kind smart TV that runs on An­droid.

With a dis­play mea­sur­ing 50-inches across, the L4300 has a min­i­mal­ist de­sign with a rel­a­tively slim bezel, rounded cor­ners and matte black fin­ish. The in­cluded stand, which ap­pears small when com­pared to the main dis­play, holds up well. From the front, the over­all look is sleek, yet sub­tle, a qual­ity that you'd want in a TV. How­ever, from the side, the L4300 mea­sures 84mm thick, which is a tad bulky for a LED TV of this size.

The L4300 comes with two re­mote con­trols, a tra­di­tional re­mote with a num­ber pad, a but­ton for al­most ev­ery func­tion, and direc­tional but­tons; and an “easy” re­mote for nav­i­gat­ing the TV's smart fea­tures, namely An­droid.

While the more tra­di­tional re­mote has a nice matte fin­ish, a sat­is­fy­ing tac­tile feel, and in­tu­itive enough for the aver­age TV view­ers, the shorter “easy” re­mote has a glossy face, with six-but­tons, and an ana­log stick-like slider.

While the “easy” re­mote makes nav­i­gat­ing the An­droid menu eas­ier via an on-screen pointer, we of­ten find our­selves with each re­mote in hand, as the direc­tional but­tons al­low for brisk nav­i­ga­tion, es­pe­cially with long menus.

Pic­ture qual­ity on the L4300 is ex­cel­lent as ex­pected. Ac­cord­ing to Toshiba, the TV uses an Ac­tive Mo­tion Rate (AMR) 100 tech­nol­ogy, which is ca­pa­ble of sim­u­lat­ing a 100Hz re­fresh rate. It also re­lies on Toshiba's en­hanced Au­toView tech­nol­ogy – In­tel­li­gent Au­toView – to re­pro­duce real­is­tic col­ors.

Run­ning on An­droid 4.2 (Jelly Bean) OS with a cus­tom skin, the L4300 has 2.3GB of on­board mem­ory. It also has a large num­ber of down­load­able apps, with web brows­ing and Mira­cast wire­less screen mir­ror­ing be­ing some of the bet­ter ex­am­ples. Mir­rored games were sur­pris­ingly playable, thanks to a higher frame rate of 60FPS, but at the same time, limited to only 720p res­o­lu­tion.

The L4300 of­fers a small, yet ex­ten­sive se­lec­tion of con­nec­tiv­ity op­tions. On the back, you'll find ports for HDMI, LAN and VGA, along­side in­puts for Com­po­nent Video, Com­pos­ite Video, HDMI au­dio, ana­log au­dio, and a con­nec­tor for the TV an­tenna. On the side panel are three USB ports and one HDMI port.

We wished that the L4300 has more HDMI ports as a typ­i­cal setup would re­quire one HDMI for a set­top box, an­other one for a gam­ing con­sole, and an additional port for a me­dia player. We also found that the gen­er­ously re­cessed side panel can be hard to reach, es­pe­cially if you plan to wall-mount the TV.

For its price, we ex­pected more from the Toshiba Pro Theatre 50L4300VM. With that be­ing said, it is still a great choice for those in search of a 50-inch LED TV with an ex­ten­sive li­brary of An­droid apps, ex­cel­lent pic­ture qual­ity, and smart ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

The L4300 makes up for its small num­ber of ports with In­ter­net con­nec­tiv­ity and on­line con­tent.

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