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Toshiba 39L1350U LED TV Review

39 in.

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Behind the Screens

Since you can't trust everything you read on the internet, we feel the need to give you hard proof. Below are our test results, which we acquire with the help of Dr. Ray Soneira's DisplayMate test pattern software, and two of Konica Minolta's light-reading instruments, the CS-200 chroma meter and the LS-100 luma meter. Read on to learn more about the L1350U's time in our labs.

Contrast

A black-hearted little TV

Since a display needs a big buffet of darks, greys, and lights in order to cast lifelike, detailed images onto its screen, we always test a TV's contrast ratio. To acquire this ratio, we simply compare a display's peak luminance to its darkest luminance.

To our surprise and delight, the entry-level Toshiba L1350U proved very black at heart. We realize that sounds like a bad thing, but not in the case of TVs. The LS-100 luma meter gathered a black reading of 0.05 cd/m2 and a peak brightness of 228.40 cd/m2 —both of which are excellent readings. Normally, LCDs skimp on black levels and just blast you with brightness, but this Toshiba is generous on both ends of the spectrum.

Color

Not the brightest Crayon in the box...

Color is a very important aspect of a television's performance. In testing this dynamic, we focus on three areas: color gamut, temperature, and curves.

Beginning with color gamut, which is how well a TV matches the Rec. 709 standard for international HDTV color, we were met with disappointment. The L1350U fails to match this standard, producing instead an unrealistic gamut marked with undersaturated reds and overemphasized blues, not to mention a muddled white point. What does this mean in terms of actual performance? Reds aren't as vibrant as they should be, blues are unnaturally intense, and whites have a bit of an indigo tinge. These are not lifelike colors, and it's noticeable during viewing.

Next up is color temperature; colors ought to maintain a reading of about 6500º K throughout the greyscale, to avoid any unwanted tones in light and dark areas of a picture. The L1350 again fails to deliver happy results, with visible errors that plague every portion of its greyscale.

Finally, the color curves, which describe how smoothly a TV transitions from one hue to the next, also betray failing performance. We were happy to note fairly smooth curves, which make for a clean, polished picture, but placement is another story; the reds on this TV peak prematurely, meaning the brightest versions of this color will lack detail.

Viewing Angle

Move over

Seeing as LCD technology frequently results in poor viewing angles, we weren't particularly shocked when we discovered this Toshiba's poor score. First we took a reading of this TV's contrast from a 90º angle (that is, from head-on). Next, we move along an arc in 10º increments, taking new readings along the way. By comparing the original contrast to what we collect along the way, we can see at what angle the contrast fall below 50% of its original value—which marks its viewing angle.

For the L1350U, the total viewing angle is 42º. If you sit more than 21º from the center, your view will be greatly compromised.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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