Toshiba 32C110U LCD TV Review
The Toshiba 32C110U ($349 MSRP) is a budget 720p television that’s best suited to a small bedroom or kitchen.
The Toshiba 32C110U ($349 MSRP) is a budget 720p television that’s best suited to a small bedroom or kitchen. It’s low on frills and has quite a few flaws, particularly a total lack of detail in the shadows.
Not too shabby for a budget TV, but it has none of the modern sleekness of many LCDs in a higher price bracket.
The Toshiba 32C110U has a rather thick black bezel made of glossy black that surrounds three sides of the screen. The bottom lip is a wider than the rest and transitions into a halftone grey pattern. The design is a little dated, but at least they’re trying something beyond the plain, black frame. The base is cheap plastic, which is frequently the dead giveaway that you’re looking at a cheap TV.
We had mixed feelings about the remote control. It’s compact and lightweight, but the button placement is cramped and difficult to feel your way around without constantly looking down. The rear of the television also limits your options, as it houses just two HDMI ports, a VGA port, a single set of composite AV ports, and a single set of component AV ports. That's more than enough for a bedroom or a very small living room, but even $100 more will get you a television with more connectivity options.
Smart TV Features
The menu is extremely simple, which is rarely a bad thing.
Load up the Toshiba 32C110U's menu and you'll see that all the options are clearly laid out. It’s certainly not a beautiful interface, but it gets the job done and keeps you from getting lost. We’ve seen a lot worse. Our only complaint is that the response time between hitting a button on the remote and getting a reaction from the TV can be a little laggy, so sometimes you may find yourself mashing a button multiple times in frustration. You also need to point the remote directly at the IR sensor for it to work, which can be annoying if you're splayed out on the couch and line of sight isn't perfect.
The Toshiba 32C110U features a single USB port on the side that can connect to USB mass storage devices to read photos and music files. Unfortunately, the range of compatible file types is extremely limited: JPEGs and MP3 files only. The interface is rudimentary but straightforward.
A very wide contrast ratio for this range, plus decent color accuracy
Like many other 2011 Toshiba models, the C110U features handsomely deep shadow tones and respectable highlights, giving it a contrast ratio that is much wider than we'd expect from a budget TV like this one. While detail in the shadows can be difficult to pick up, the picture has more natural depth as a result than other displays in this price range.
The motion performance of the Toshiba 32C110U is also quite good. There are definitely issues with judder, however, wherein moving objects have a certain flicker to them. It’s especially noticeable if the object has vertical stripes. On the plus side, we didn’t notice any motion artifacts like color trailing or halos, which can occur in even the best of TVs. These drawbacks are distracting, but they're pretty much par for the course with budget televisions.
This Toshiba's performance inconsistencies prevent us from recommending it.
The Toshiba 32C110U ($349 MSRP) is a budget TV, so we try not to ask for too much. For instance, there are few special features and the design elements—both exterior and interface designs—range from drab to downright ugly. Those are normally small problems and easily forgiven, but they're also coupled with core performance issues.
In our performance tests the 32C110U offered generally solid color performance at the default settings. Unfortunately, those same default settings result in shadow detail being almost completely suppressed. The lack of detail was so alarming that we had to run the test a few times to be sure. Of course, you can go into the menu an up the gamma setting to bring some of that shadow detail up, but doing so throws color accuracy off.
There are always sacrifices when designing a $349 display. You can't ask for the world at this price, but you shouldn't have to settle this much, either. There's a lot of people looking for an affordable display at this size and in this price range. As a result, there are plenty of options and better performers than Toshiba's entry-level 32C110U.
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