Toshiba 46SL412U Review
The Toshiba 46SL412U (MSRP $999) impresses for its price point, but it’s not perfect.
With good contrast and color performance, the Toshiba 46SL412U (MSRP $999) impresses for its price point, but it’s not perfect, as it has no internet connection and only limited external media options. From a pure value standpoint, it’s a great buy, but for some people, the lack of bells and whistles may not be enough to draw attention this year.
There isn't much to dislike about this Toshiba's design.
The design of the Toshiba 46SL412U is fairly slick as far as televisions go, with a minimalist bezel and a very thin profile. You don’t have to worry about a horrifyingly ugly bezel, as this TV is easy on the eyes.
Television enthusiasts who lament the rapid inflation of remote control size will love the tiny remote included with the Toshiba 46SL412U. While it is small, it doesn’t seem to skimp on functionality, and although the key travel can be a little annoying, you won’t have to battle with the remote to get it to record your commands.
While it doesn’t have the most input ports we’ve seen this year, the Toshiba 46SL412U should get the average entry-level user where they need to go. With three HDMI ports and one hybrid composite/component video input, most users should be able to connect their media source of choice with no problem. If you’re not satisfied with the audio of the Toshiba 46SL412U, you can hook up your sound system easily with either the analog or digital audio out options.
Smart TV Features
A usable menu interface that stays out of the way
Possibly one of the more refreshing things about this TV is how simple the menu system is. There are very few options, but the structure of the menus is intuitive and simple to navigate. The menu is a bit ugly, but it has a heart of gold. Advanced menus follow the same patterns and structure of the main menus on the 46SL412U, in aesthetic and navigation.
Unfortunately, there's no internet connectivity or smart features. Using the lone USB port on the side of the television, you can play back either a collection of JPEGs or MP3s, but no other file formats. The playback mechanism is a bit clunky, and there are only very limited playback options, but you could do worse. This probably isn’t so good for using as an ambient content source at a party.
Great contrast and color, plus acceptable motion performance
Because of the good depth of blacks and the respectable peak brightness, the Toshiba 46SL412U nets a very wide contrast ratio of 4592:1. Wider contrast ratios mean more values along the greyscale that the TV can produce, resulting in more visible detail and smooth gradation in the shadows.
Colors were fairly accurate on the 46SL412U—it produced a very good looking picture. It doesn’t dazzle its viewers with exceptional motion performance, but it's acceptable for an entry-level television. There are no major issues, though a few artifacts are noticeable when content is moving across the screen. Turning the “Clear Frame” processing on will eliminate these issues, it will also make your picture look overly sharp and quite bizarre in some instances—a clear-cut example of the Soap Opera Effect.
A very good "no-frills" television
With good contrast and color performance, the Toshiba 46SL412U impresses for its price point, but it’s not perfect. With a lackluster audio system, videophiles will probably want to use an external setup to avoid the tinny playback. We also found its viewing angle to be awkwardly cramped, meaning you won't be hosting a large group for movie night any time soon.
A basic television in most regards, there are no frills with the SL412U series of Toshiba televisions, but for the price they will give you exactly what a consumer wants in an entry-level TV: value. The 46SL412U offers a decent range of connectivity options and solid performance where it counts.
There are some advantages that can be gained from looking for more expensive TVs, however, as the Toshiba 46SL412U has no internet connectivity and very limited external media options. If you are a streaming junkie, you might want to look elsewhere to sate your content appetite, unless you have an external device like a video game console to handle that sort of thing. If you're looking for a solid display at an affordable price, the 46SL412U may be what you're looking for.
Get Our Newsletter
Real advice from real experts. Sign up for our newsletter
Thanks for signing up!