Toshiba 40L3453DB review

The price is right but enthusiasts will want to spend a little more

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Great Value

Our Verdict

Any 40-inch TV that costs just £400 clearly has instant appeal. And while it's certainly not without its flaws, for the most part the 40L3454DB backs this instant appeal up with a solid all-round performance.

For

  • Attractive price
  • Fair multimedia support
  • Good picture quality generally
  • Fairly low input lag

Against

  • Unattractive design
  • Underwhelming online service
  • Limited viewing angle
  • Pictures aren't very bright
Ratings in depth

Design 3 5
Features 4 5
Performance 3 5 5
Usability 3 5 5
Value 4 5

While I sometimes find myself yearning for the uncompromising Toshiba of old – and which I have a feeling still exists somewhere in the deepest recesses of the brand's native Japan – there's no denying that the brand has reinvented itself in the UK pretty successfully as a budget force to be reckoned with.

Its prices often now verge on the territory usually occupied by specialist budget types like Bush and Finlux, while giving you the reassurance of buying from a respected, long-established brand.

The 40L3453DB fits perfectly into this new Toshiba ethos. It's a 40-inch TV that costs just £400 but delivers more in feature and performance terms than you would expect to find from its cheap and cheerful peers.

Not that it makes a particularly fantastic first impression. It uses a bland, plasticky black finish for its bezel, makes that bezel wider than usual, and lumps the screen unceremoniously atop one of the ugliest, cheapest-looking desktop stands I've seen for yonks.

The best that can be said of the 40L3453DB's flimsy construction is that it ships with the screen already fixed to the desktop stand, meaning you don't have to bother putting the two together yourself.

Easier on the eye are the 40L3453DB's connections. Three HDMIs dominate, replacing the two we might normally expect to find at the £400 price level, and multimedia features are provided via USB, LAN and integrated Wi-fi options.

Toshiba 40L3453DB
Three HDMI ports is an unusual addition to a budget TV

The USB and network options can handle respectively direct playback/streaming via DLNA of multimedia files of pretty much any video, photo and music flavour, with the network options also enabling access to Toshiba's online content servers.

Dubbed Cloud TV, the Toshiba online smart TV system is OK so far as it goes, with a fairly simple one-screen hub carrying links to apps that include Netflix, YouTube, BBC News and, of course, the BBC iPlayer. (Actually, maybe we shouldn't say 'of course' any more, given that at the time of writing the iPlayer is not available on either Samsung or Sharp's latest TVs!)

Toshiba 40L3453DB
Some streaming services, such as Amazon Instant, are currently missing from Cloud TV

Cloud TV does not, though, support the ITV Player, Demand 5 and 4OD, and Amazon's replacement for LoveFilm, Amazon Instant, is also nowhere to be seen at the time of writing. There's also a dearth of secondary app types – games, information etc.

In fact, there are only around 20 apps on Cloud TV in total, and an unhealthy number of those are about as interesting to UK audiences as the European Parliament's proclamations on banana curvature.

But you know what? Maybe I'm being a bit churlish here. After all, Toshiba might be within its rights to politely suggested to me that having any access to online content at all is pretty generous on such a cheap 40-inch TV. So aside from pointing out that the 40L3453DB's Cloud TV system is a stripped down version of the one found on higher-level Toshiba TVs, I'll zip it and move on to something less conflicting: the screen's on-paper specifications.

Toshiba really puts the pressure on its cheapo rivals in this department, combining a native full HD screen with a pseudo 200Hz effect designed to boost image stability and motion fluidity. Also a relief to find at this level of the market is the 40L3453DB's Freeview HD tuner, while a claimed contrast ratio of 25000:1 – delivered via a dynamic contrast system – blows the contrast figures of your average budget TV out of the water.

There aren't as many picture calibration features to get your teeth into as we often see with Toshiba TVs, though. The only things of even vague interested uncovered by a whizz through the onscreen menus are noise reduction routines, various settings for the dynamic contrast engine and RGB gain adjustments of any interest. But again, it's probably a bit miserable of me to expect anything more for the 40L3453DB's money.

There's a decent chance that a 40-inch TV as cheap as the 40L3453DB will be required to do at least some gaming duties. So if that's your intention, you'll be reassured to hear that I measured its input lag at 33ms – a low enough figure to have minimal impact on your gaming prowess. Or lack thereof.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLED-LCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-C (MPEG4), DVB-T (MPEG4)
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports3
Number of SCART Interfaces1
Product FamilyL3453
EU Energy LabelA
Smart TVYes
Brand NameToshiba
Screen Size101.6 cm (40")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Horizontal Viewing Angle178°
Vertical Viewing Angle178°
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS
EthernetYes
Wireless LANYes
Analog TunerPAL, NTSC, SECAM
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
USBYes
HDMIYes
Weight with Stand (Approximate)13.50 kg
Backlight TechnologyLED
VESA Mount Standard200 x 200
Operating Power Consumption100 W
Standby Power Consumption500 mW
Dynamic Contrast Ratio25,000:1
RMS Output Power16 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
VGAYes
HeadphoneYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand603 mm
Width with Stand933 mm
Depth with Stand249 mm
CI+Yes
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
SCARTYes
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Number of USB Ports1
Energy Consumption per Year90 kWh
PC StreamingYes
Internet AccessYes
Media PlayerYes
Motion Interpolation Technology200 Active Motion & Resolution
Height560 mm
Width933 mm
Depth107 mm
ColourBlack
Brightness300 cd/m²
Comb Filter3D Y/C
Sound SystemDolby Digital Plus, NICAM, Virtual Surround
Product SeriesL3453
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesDigital Noise Reduction, Auto Program, Teletext, Web Browser, Picture on Picture
ManufacturerToshiba
Product Model40L3453D
Product Name40" L3453 Full High Definition Smart LED TV with WiFi Built-In
Manufacturer Part Number40L3453DB
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.toshiba.co.uk
Marketing InformationThe L3 is a Full HD Smart LED TV with access to Toshiba Smart TV services, Freeview HD and AMR+200 picture processing.
Package Contents
  • 40" L3453 Full High Definition Smart LED TV with WiFi Built-In
  • Remote Control
  • 2 x AAA Batteries
  • 3.5mm Component Adapter
  • 3.5mm Composite Adapter
  • Warranty
Response Time8 ms
SpeakersYes
Weight (Approximate)10 kg