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Toshiba 55L7200U 55” 3DTV

Star Rating: 
8 out of 10

Toshiba’s latest flatscreen is a serious contender this holiday season.

The Pitch: Better known for its laptops, Toshiba is an underdog out to prove they can do TVs just as well as—and possibly better than—the next guy by putting Samsung, Sony, and Sharp directly in their crosshairs.

What It Really Is: It’s a TV that delivers an excellent viewing experience, but when it overreaches into the “SmartTV” arena, we can’t help but imagine it would sound a whole like like Fredo Corleone in The Godfather. Limited to just a few included apps, with a keyboard (awesome!) that can’t control Netflix (lame!), and a pretty terrible Wi-Fi connection (the included wired port is ALWAYS a better option on any SmartTV), the higher functions of the Toshiba work well enough to fulfill our low expectations of all SmartTVs—which, inevitably, pale in comparison to an Xbox or AppleTV. Where the Toshiba excels is in picture quality and design. The extremely thin bezel means all you see is screen, and passive 3D makes $80 replacement glasses a non-issue— just steal them from the movie theater next time you see a Pixar flick. Upscaling from 2D to 3D is well-done, and is especially suited to certain content like sports and video games that aren’t 3D out of the box. What this all tallies up to is an excellent viewing experience, whether you’re playing video games, watching TV, or firing up every component of your home theater to recreate an IMAX-ish experience. Ready-Made Press Blurb: “You can’t spell smart without ‘T’ and ‘S.’ You also can’t spell Toshiba without ‘T’ and ‘S.’ Coincidence? We think not.”

Fun Fact: One small warning: We found the built-in speakers to be exceptionally weak, sometimes forcing us to pump up the volume to 100% just to hear dialogue on TV. This 55” Toshiba will make a great centerpiece for your home theater but without a proper sound system, you’ll be straining to hear indoor voices. Or, you could just exclusively watch Nicolas Cage movies where explosions and screaming are always 95% of the audio.

Who’s It For: Technophiles will likely be disappointed with the Internet-enabled functionality of the Toshiba but, considering the price, the design, and the excellent picture quality, it’d be hard not to want this 55” beauty front and center in your living room.