Toshiba 50L7300U Review: A 50-Inch LED HDTV With Wi-Fi

Toshiba 50L7300U Physical Characteristics

The name of the game in HDTV styling these days is to make the bezel and panel as thin as possible. Even though a majority of consumers set their televisions on a bench or credenza, there’s something sexy about a super-thin display hanging on the wall like a piece of art. And because we all have family members who consider the TV an eyesore, manufacturers strive to create the most aesthetically pleasing experience possible.

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Toshiba follows this design principle by making its bezel only 14 mm wide at the top and sides and 23 mm across the bottom. The only other features up front are a small power LED, the remote’s IR receiver, and an ambient light sensor. The metal base attaches with four screws and allows for about 25 degrees of swivel.

The 50L7300U has a nice slim profile, which makes it very easy to achieve a flush wall mounting. The only thing that keeps the panel from being less than two inches thick is the speaker bulge at the bottom. As on most HDTVs these days, the speakers fire downward and are fairly small. Despite their diminutive form factor, though, they sound pretty good.

The back is well-ventilated at the top and bottom, although the set doesn’t run particularly hot. You can see the input panel at the right. Lower and further right is a small control panel with buttons for power, volume up and down, and a mode key. Pressing that turns the volume buttons into either channel up/down or input selectors. The threaded inserts for a wall bracket are here too. The 50L7300U accepts a 200 x 400 mm bolt pattern with M6 threads.

The side-facing input panel has three HDMI and two USB ports. There is also a composite video jack that requires a 3.5 mm to RCA adapter that is not included. Rounding out the side panel is an optical digital output.

Facing the rear is another composite video input plus RCA connectors for component video and stereo audio. There’s a 3.5 mm audio input and a VGA 15-pin D-sub as well. You also have the requisite antenna input, which faces down, an Ethernet port, and a fourth HDMI input.

Included in the package is a Bluetooth keyboard that works with a tiny receiver plugged into one of the USB ports. Pairing is immediate when you power the keyboard on. It also has a touchpad for controlling the on-screen cursor. The keyboard itself is great, though the mouse action is fairly laggy and imprecise. We found it quicker to simply use the Tab or arrow keys to navigate the browser and other cloud apps.

The remote is a pretty standard wand. It’s logically laid out and the TV responds quickly to most commands (except for when you access the Internet; then you'll have to wait a few seconds for anything to happen). When you’re sending standard TV commands, though, the remote works fine. My biggest complaint is that the CT-90428 is not backlit. It is fairly easy to operate by feel, fortunately. You can use it as a universal remote too, as it has multiple modes and transport keys to operate things like DVRs and Blu-ray players. Toshiba thoughtfully includes IR blasters that connect to the 50L7300U so you can operate components not in line-of-sight. You can also control other Toshiba devices through the HDMI CEC feature.

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  • A bit expensive. Give me a good plasma 50-60 inch, low input lag, no smart, wifi... maybe 3d and usb play, but even that not necesary for a low price and im sold (like maybe LG 50PN6500, althou most reviews say its not too good).Leds are a bit more pricey at 50 inch >D
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  • Toshiba have always made good stuff, i had a toshiba tv a while ago and it had a better picture and more picture adjustments than anything else on the market at the time.I fully disagree with the above about a plasma, regardless of input lag or whatever, the picture quality is total garbage with all the speckles, all plasmas have it.
    -2
  • Does it "phone home" like LG?
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  • dat PPI *shudder*
    -1
  • Love Toms...truly.BUTWhy are they reviewing a Ho-Hum 1080p TV from Toshiba? Seems more up CNET's alley to review blase consumer tech. Tom's is special for it's in depth and technical reviews of less heralded techie gear (i.e., CPU/GPU/HDD/Special Peripherals/Technical Prototypes...etc) What Im really trying to say is, Where is Half Life 3 and nVidia Maxwell? :D
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  • Quote:
    Love Toms...truly.BUTWhy are they reviewing a Ho-Hum 1080p TV from Toshiba? Seems more up CNET's alley to review blase consumer tech. Tom's is special for it's in depth and technical reviews of less heralded techie gear (i.e., CPU/GPU/HDD/Special Peripherals/Technical Prototypes...etc) What Im really trying to say is, Where is Half Life 3 and nVidia Maxwell? :D
    Christian is writing Tom's Hardware-style display coverage for us, and doing a fantastic job applying the same deep-dive methodologies we use for other components to help quantify the strengths and weaknesses of monitors/TVs. Don't worry; you'll see us cover Maxwell when the embargo lifts on it ;) For Half-Life 3, you need to talk to Gabe.
    3
  • Toms, could you please confirm/deny if you actually tested that the Movie preset was the best and didn't just assume it was like many people do? While it doesn't sound like the TV model you tested has this specific issue, it's definitely something to keep in mind that the "Movie" preset may not always provide the best picture. I own a Toshiba 39L1350U and the Movie preset reduces the contrast and black levels considerably. To quote myself from the following post I made on AVS Forum:
    http://www.avsforum.com/t/1477874/toshiba-l1350u-series-2013/30#post_23923173

    "Using the same settings on both Game and Movie, via OCD-levels of eye-balling I found that Game and/or PC modes (which look identical) have similar white levels with backlight @ 50 compared to Movie's backlight @ 68. By comparison Movie's backlight setting had to be set to 40 just to get black levels similar to Game and/or PC with backlight @ 50. And for reference,"Standard" seems to be about the same as Game and/or PC except that the backlight @ 42 seems to equal Game/PC's backlight @ 50."


    For reference, CNET seemed to have assumed that the the "Movie" preset was the best when reviewing the L2300U (which is the same as the L1350U but in a different color) and then went and criticized the TV for having poor contrast and black levels. I just want to make sure Tom's doesn't make the same mistake in the future.
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  • 665346 said:
    Toms, please do not just assume that the Movie preset is the best. I own a Toshiba 39L1350U and the Movie preset reduces the contrast and black levels considerably. To quote myself from the following AVS Forum thread post: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1477874/toshiba-l1350u-series-2013/30#post_23923173 "Using the same settings on both Game and Movie, via OCD-levels of eye-balling I found that Game and/or PC modes (which look identical) have similar white levels with backlight @ 50 compared to Movie's backlight @ 68. By comparison Movie's backlight setting had to be set to 40 just to get black levels similar to Game and/or PC with backlight @ 50. And for reference,"Standard" seems to be about the same as Game and/or PC except that the backlight @ 42 seems to equal Game/PC's backlight @ 50." This also means that your calibration settings are most likely incorrect for Game mode. It's important to note that CNET made the same mistake by calibrating via the "Movie" preset when reviewing the L2300U (which is the same as the L1350U but in a different color) and then went and criticized the TV for having poor contrast and black levels.


    We did not assume that Movie mode produced the best contrast, we measured every mode to determine which was the best starting point for calibration. Our black level measurements take into account the full rendering of detail down to the lowest brightness steps. It's easy to drop the brightness control and measure a better black level but detail will be crushed. In the game mode, we couldn't get any better black levels than movie when you take detail into account. Check out the article where we talk about the use of dynamic contrast. That will give you a pretty good idea where the balance is between contrast and detail. Remember also that Game mode does not have the accurate color gamut or flat grayscale and gamma tracking possible in Movie.

    When referring to forum posts, a statement like "via OCD-levels of eye-balling" means that the writer is expressing an opinion, not facts arrived at by science. We suggest taking information like that with a grain of salt.

    And yes, our calibration settings would be incorrect in Game mode.

    -Christian-
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  • Quote:
    We did not assume that Movie mode produced the best contrast
    Could you please read the edit I made to that post? I attempted to remove (or at least greatly reduce) any accusatory wording I may have used.

    Quote:
    When referring to forum posts, a statement like "via OCD-levels of eye-balling" means that the writer is expressing an opinion, not facts arrived at by science. We suggest taking information like that with a grain of salt.
    I stated that I was quoting and linking to a post I made myself; if look at the user name of said AVS Forum post you would see that it is my own. Therefore I don't exactly appreciate it when you say that my results have no scientific merit and are purely an opinion...not all of us can afford multi-hundred dollar calibration tools just to provide exact numbers on what we're seeing. (for reference, I was not even the person that insisted on buying the TV, I would have been fine without one)
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  • I want to see a review on the Vizio 4K TVs :)
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  • 134065 said:
    Quote:
    Love Toms...truly.BUTWhy are they reviewing a Ho-Hum 1080p TV from Toshiba? Seems more up CNET's alley to review blase consumer tech. Tom's is special for it's in depth and technical reviews of less heralded techie gear (i.e., CPU/GPU/HDD/Special Peripherals/Technical Prototypes...etc) What Im really trying to say is, Where is Half Life 3 and nVidia Maxwell? :D
    Christian is writing Tom's Hardware-style display coverage for us, and doing a fantastic job applying the same deep-dive methodologies we use for other components to help quantify the strengths and weaknesses of monitors/TVs. Don't worry; you'll see us cover Maxwell when the embargo lifts on it ;) For Half-Life 3, you need to talk to Gabe.


    Christian did a great job, no issue with the article...just curious why (of all things) a random Toshiba TV gets the Tom's wax n' wash. Obviously, my whining can be attributed to an overabundance of first-world-white girl problems.

    Lastly, I did try to talk to Gabe about HL3...but apparently im no longer allowed to attempt contact after mailing him 3 of my fingers with a note written in blood and tears, asking:

    "Can you count to three now?"

    :D
    2
  • 1280742 said:
    I want to see a review on the Vizio 4K TVs :)


    We're working with Vizio to get samples of their new 4K screens. In the meantime, we have a Toshiba 4K HDTV arriving next week. Samsung is also looking good for future reviews. Definitely stay tuned!

    -Christian-
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  • I can't wait to see and hope that is the Toshiba 58L9300U 4k UHDTV you review. I have had that set since November 2013 and it has almost exactly the same appearance as this set you reviewed. It is a great TV and one of the best values, from a name-brand manufacturer too. It does a great job of upscaling 1080p to 2160p, and I expect that will show in the review whether you review the 58", 65" or the huge 80" 4K set. It has all the features you reviewed plus a few more, including upgraded sound and speakers
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  • BIG THANKS for giving us HDTV reviews now as well. You asked to suggest what you should cover in more detail in future HDTV reviews, so here's my take -I'm in the process of upgrading my media center to 4K by end of May, so I'm mostly interested in how to best integrate a high-end gaming desktop to a 4K 60Hz display.For example, what connectivity the TV allows to produce 4k 60Hz content, which graphics cards will support HDMI2.0, how did the PQ look playing a modern game in 4K, etc etc...
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  • Quote:
    I can't wait to see and hope that is the Toshiba 58L9300U 4k UHDTV you review. I have had that set since November 2013 and it has almost exactly the same appearance as this set you reviewed. It is a great TV and one of the best values, from a name-brand manufacturer too. It does a great job of upscaling 1080p to 2160p, and I expect that will show in the review whether you review the 58", 65" or the huge 80" 4K set. It has all the features you reviewed plus a few more, including upgraded sound and speakers
    It is indeed the L9300U model but in the 65-inch size. I'm looking forward to it as well!-Christian-
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  • Come on Tom's! Surely there is something good in the world to write a review about!Smart TVs aren't even exciting to the general consumer market, meanwhile in the tech world it is a liability that we look to avoid. I welcome TVs which will eventually allow us to wirelessly display content from our other compute devices, but I simply want a display... leave things like UI and content to companies that know what they are doing.Anywho, I understand it is the doldrums of winter news... but you can do better.
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  • Nice review, on future content, please include a section detailing the sets ability to function as a monitor for productivity and gaming as I am considering buying a 4K set as my primary monitor.
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  • Quote:
    Nice review, on future content, please include a section detailing the sets ability to function as a monitor for productivity and gaming as I am considering buying a 4K set as my primary monitor.
    +1
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  • I'll be interested when I can get a TV like this for under $400. But by then 4k's will be $1200 and I'll want those instead :(
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  • 367869 said:
    I'll be interested when I can get a TV like this for under $400. But by then 4k's will be $1200 and I'll want those instead :(


    When 8K sets come out, I will buy one and sell you my 4K Toshiba for half price! Only $1400 then for late 2013 model ;)
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