The Toshiba TV range of 2021 is here, and it holds a number of cheap TV gems that may well be worth your while in the coming months.
Toshiba has a fair amount of pedigree when it comes to consumer devices, introducing the world’s first mass-market laptop in the ‘80s and even inventing flash memory. Its TV range is a bit less thrilling, being more content to offer affordable, competent TV displays that don’t break the bank, but Toshiba still represents a modicum of affordable quality with the odd feature not in the usual 4K TV playbook.
These days, Turkish company Vestel – one of the largest suppliers of TVs across Europe – is the current licensee of Toshiba TVs, actually manufacturing the sets based on the designs of Toshiba’s Japanese team.
Looking at 2021, Toshiba has recently added a 4K Chromecast-enabled set in the form of the UA2B, and it’s made a lot of noise around its very affordable and hands-free Full HD model, the WK3A.
So if you’re wanting to put a foot on the ladder of 4K, upgrade an old telly, or add a second screen that won’t cost a lot of cash, Toshiba is well worth looking into. Perhaps the contrast isn’t quite as good as bigger TV brands, but you’ll be paying considerably less for similar specs across the Toshiba TV range.
Toshiba 2021 TV technology
Despite being on the more affordable end of TV tech, Toshiba still tries to push boundaries. For instance, many of its TVs feature sound by Onkyo, a well-regarded Japanese HiFi hardware manufacturer. All of the 4K TVs we’re going to outline here feature Dolby Audio and a DTS™ Decoder. They also all feature HDMI ARC compatibility – for audio passthrough to a soundbar – which is pretty much essential if you’ve gone down the Sonos surround sound route.
Toshiba's LCD 4K TVs use VA (Vertical Alignment) rather than the more expensive IPS (In-Plane Switching) display technology. That means deep blacks and lush contrast, but with some compromises to response time and the width of viewing angle.
As for internal oomph, all of Toshiba’s 4K TVs (except the U29) feature a Quad Core processor. And they vary between using either Android TV or their own Linux based OS, depending on the model.
Picture-wise, Toshiba has its own TRU Picture Engine which is formed of three technologies. TRU Flow is very effective at smoothing judder when watching sports. TRU Micro Dimming improves the contrast by processing different parts of the image. And TRU Resolution is an upscaler that makes sure that non-4K content looks as good as it can in high resolutions. It’s worth noting that these TVs run at 50Hz, which isn’t ideal for gaming (60Hz and 120Hz being favored refresh rates for games) but is perfectly fine for everyday TV and films.
The 4K range features as standard: Dolby Vision HDR, HDR10 and HLG HDR, the latter of which was part-developed by BBC and is used to great effect in their incredible A Perfect Planet series.
Toshiba 2021 TV range
Toshiba has a bewildering amount of different ranges listed on their website, but in reality you’ll find the four 4K models we’ve listed below in shops and online.
But before you go jumping in, there’s another little layer of confusion too. Toshiba’s model numbers can seem daunting at first, though there’s really just four digits you need to worry about. Here’s how to decipher them: the first two digits denote the screen size, while the next three or four digit string is the all-important model number, and the remaining digits can be ignored entirely.
If size is something that matters to you, bear in mind that in the last couple of years Toshiba has actually reduced the size of their largest TVs from 75-inch to 65-inch. The UL20 is the only model widely available that comes in that 65-inch size too.
Toshiba UA2B 4K TV (available in 43, 49, 50, 55, 58, and 65-inch)
The Android-powered UA2B is a 4K TV with built-in Chromecast and an ample four HDMI ports, alongside all the usual smart TV extras like Netflix, Youtube and Amazon Prime Video. The microphone is housed inside the remote, and is activated with a button. As with all of Toshiba’s line up, it benefits from the TRU Picture Engine and Dolby Vision HDR, and it’s one of the few in the range to feature beefed-up Onkyo speakers. The 50-inch model comes in at a very reasonable £449.99, while the 58-inch is at £509.99 and looks to be a Currys exclusive.
Toshiba UK4B 4K TV (available in 43, 50, 58-inch)
The flagship and only ‘borderless’ model, the UK4B comes in three sizes, peaking at 58-inch. Alexa is built-in, making this set part of Toshiba’s touted ‘Hands-Free’ range. The company has thankfully ditched its external microphone accessory, Toshiba Connect – which would occasionally un-mute itself at inopportune moments – and the mic is now embedded seamlessly within the set’s slight bezel.
For audiophiles out there, the UK4B is the only Toshiba TV that features a bass sub alongside the Onkyo speakers, meaning that you could save a few pennies by not having to splurge on a soundbar. With four HDMIs, but just one USB port and no Chromecast built in, though, you might find that you need a USB hub to power any additional HDMI streaming devices.
The UK4B is available through Argos in all three sizes, with prices ranging from £359.99 for the 43-inch to £479.99 for the 58-inch. The TV is stacked full of top quality features, and to be able to get that all for under £500 is really impressive.
Toshiba UL20 4K TV (available in 43, 50, 55, 58, 65-inch):
The UL20 is available from the largest range of retailers of the group, including Amazon, AO, Currys and Very, and the price starts from a very reasonable £299.
Its OS is based on Linux rather than Android and works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa enabled devices. The UL20 comes in Toshiba’s largest size of 65 inches, all while clocking in at well under £500. It doesn’t feature Onkyo speakers, but the drivers still have the same power rating at 2x10W, so technically they’re just as loud. For connectivity, there’s three HDMIs and two USB ports, and it’s got Bluetooth too.
Toshiba WK3A Full HD TV (available in 24, 32-inch):
Toshiba is still catering for the Full HD market by releasing new models at smaller sizes, which are a boon for those wanting an affordable and reliable TV for a spare room. The WK3A can be operated Hands-Free using Alexa, so it also works brilliantly as a kitchen TV when you’ve got your hands full. The model comes in just two sizes, 24 and 32 inches, which are much smaller than their 4K counterparts, reflecting the intended use as a second TV.
- Check out the best small TVs too