Toshiba 32ul863b

We're not sure we could live in perfect harmony with the Toshiba Regza 32UL863B's audio performance, though. It's functional, but nothing more. The size of the TV, and its slender depth, means the 2 x 10W speaker system is forced to use tiny drivers, and it shows.

Out of the box, the sound is thin - bereft of both low-end punch and breadth. Unfortunately, the sound menu doesn't offer much to improve it.

Curiously, there are no predefined user settings (such as Music, Speech and so on), so you're forced to adjust the five-band equaliser to suit your tastes - and the differences that can be achieved here are minimal.

Other tweaks that can be made are two surround sound modes - Cinema and Spatial - and calling on Dolby Volume to limit fluctuations in sound level when you switch sources.

Value

The Toshiba Regza 32UL863B represents good value for money, providing you want all the features that if offers.

While you can get a more content-rich smart TV service from Sony's KDL-32CX523, and save £100, you have to do without built-in Wi-Fi, 100Hz processing and professional-grade calibration options. You'll also need to find room for its bulkier CCFL-backlit build.

Meanwhile, screens from the likes of Samsung and LG don't come close to offering the same features at this size and this cost.

However, if you're not fussed about some of the Toshiba Regza 32UL863B's bonus bits, you can find a 37-inch TV for a similar price - and you might just want those extra five inches.

Ease of use

Everyday use of the Toshiba Regza 32UL863B is aided enormously by the brilliant remote control, which represents a real design triumph by the Toshiba R&D boffins. This sleek handset has a brushed aluminium slider that means you can hide away buttons that you're not going to use, making it very intuitive.

We've tackled previous Toshiba remotes that looked like they should have fallen out of a Happy Meal, so this came as a pleasant surprise.

So too did the Toshiba Regza 32UL863B's interface. Toshiba's entry-level TV sets have bored us to tears with their somewhat bland user space, but this smart TV comes with a Mensa-certified menu to match.

The main screen features a semi-circular array of animated icons in two tiers (a bit like Sony's XrossMediaBar in that regard) that you'll soon be whizzing around in no time. It's responsive and a pleasure to browse through. The presentation is all a bit Apple-like - Toshiba will just have to hope that the iGiant is too busy suing every other AV brand to care.

It's not all plain sailing, though. Toshiba supplies the Regza 32UL863B with a laughably sparse user manual. So, for example, anyone wanting to know what the set's vast array of picture calibration options are for will have to boot up their computer and read the manual online. Yawn.

Also, while we like the new user interface, the icons are a bit small - you may find yourself squinting occasionally.