Toshiba 40L6353 review

Half-price 40-inch TV with half-power smart TV

TODO alt text

The Toshiba 40L6353 is a stripped-down effort to reproduce what most of the other major TV brands are offering for a higher price. However, without the processing power it needs there's nothing smart about many aspects of Cloud TV.

We liked

A great selection of ins and outs is welcome, and four HDMI ports at this price is an industry first. The price is hard to argue with for such as big TV, and if all you ever use are the apps for BBC iPlayer, Blinkbox and Netflix, then Cloud TV has arguably done its job.

HD pictures look sharp and colourful, while audio is good enough for living rooms. Digital media support is good, too, as is the built-in EPG.

We disliked

Aside from the lack of a dual-core processor, the Toshiba 40L6353 lacks the UK-centric catch-up TV apps and Lovefilm, while the various free smartphone and tablet apps need some streamlining.

Standard definition lacks sparkle and there is some noticeable blur and judder. MKV files can't be streamed over a network.

Final verdict

Why offer smart TV apps but not the power to navigate them? The Toshiba 40L6353 has bitten off more than it can process, though Cloud TV's niggles go deeper than a mere lack of power. Some forgivable image flaws aside, the Toshiba 40L6353 puts in an impressive though unremarkable picture performance, ditto sound.

£599 (around US$935 / AU$1,020) is a decent price for a 40-inch TV with access to apps, but the Toshiba 40L6353 badly needs a dual-core processor to bring it up to speed.

Without that, Cloud TV can be a painfully slow experience. So slow, in fact, that those looking for a smart TV will be disappointed; it's best thought of as an occasional feature at best.

Is this the best value big brand 40-inch TV around? Judged purely on size, possibly, but it's not without a large number of flaws.

Also consider

Toshiba doesn't have too many rivals at this low price-point, but a notable competitor is the Finlux 40F8030-T, with which it shares core characteristics - both positive and negative.

Spend another hundred pounds or so and the Toshiba 40L6353 is inevitably totally surpassed by high-powered smart TVs such as the Samsung UE40F6400 and Panasonic TX-L42E6B.

Or, stay in Toshiba's range and step up to the L7 Series and the Toshiba 40L7355 (£650), which gives you Cloud TV, active shutter 3D, two pairs of 3D specs and a slimmer design.

First reviewed 19 August