Ease of use
This is a fairly strong area for the Toshiba 32RL858. As hinted at in the Features section, for instance, the on-screen menus for its Places online service are really attractive - colourful, friendly and much less intimidating than those of most if not all other smart TV interfaces.
They should also provide a simple way of organising potentially lots of services - should lots of services ever materialise! And the attempt to personalise Toshiba Places for different users in your home is welcome, if not fully realised yet.
The normal TV menus initially disappoint by not following the graphics-rich, intuitive 'two-wheel' system found on higher-level Toshiba TVs. But while the Toshiba 32RL858's more straightforward text- rather than graphics-oriented menus might not be as attractive, they're reasonably logically organised and do a decent job of enabling different users to select the level of picture fine tuning that best suits their technical confidence.
Turning to the Toshiba 32RL858's remote control, it again is a cut above the budget TV norm, thanks to feeling less flimsily built, being better organised and responding more satisfactorily to button presses. It also doesn't have that rather odd and irksome sliding silver shield that lets down the remotes for Toshiba's high-end TVs.
Not surprisingly, given how slim it is, the Toshiba 32RL858 struggles to impress with its sound. The tiny speakers shoehorned into its svelte frame fail to deliver any sense of soundstage expansion when asked to try to portray an action scene, leaving such scenes sounding flat and overcrowded.
Bass is in severely short supply too. Before you get too despondent, though, it should be said that the set does cope adequately with the sort of undemanding, run-of-the-mill audio fodder that dominates the majority of a typical household's day-to-day viewing.
The Toshiba 32RL858's audio is only average, there's no getting round that. But it isn't as brittle and feeble-sounding as some budget TVs we've heard.
The Toshiba 32RL858 is pretty much off the scale in this department. Toshiba's TV offers far more in both feature and performance terms than pretty much anything else around in the sub-£400 segment of the 32-inch television marketplace.