The last Toshiba TV that I reviewed was the Regza 42WLT66, which offered a great feature set and truly stunning value for money at the time. Where the 42WLT66 did stumble slightly though, was the overall design – you were getting a huge amount for your money, but it wasn’t the best looking TV out there. Now Toshiba is trying to set things straight with its new WLT68 flagship range.
I’m looking at the somewhat modest 32WLT68, which as its name suggests is a 32in model. You can also get 37in and 42in examples, if you’re after a bit more screen size and have a room big enough to accommodate. Before I cover the undeniably stylish design of the WLT68 range, I need to mention one important fact. Despite the fact that the WLT68 series sits at the top of Toshiba’s TV range, none of the models sport a 1,920 x 1,080 full HD panel. Considering that both the 42in and 47in WLT66 sets are full HD compliant, I’m somewhat surprised that the 42in WLT68 can’t boast the same resolution.
Of course I wouldn’t have expected this 32in model to have a full HD panel, so there’s no black mark against its 1,366 x 768 resolution. And besides, as I always say, good picture processing can be more important than native screen resolution anyway. Of course this set can still accept both 720p and 1080i inputs, but no native 1080p input. That said, since the panel isn’t full HD, the lack of 1080p input isn’t really an issue . The 3500:1 dynamic contrast ratio is commendable, while the brightness of 500cd/m2 is pretty much what you’d expect.
Back to the design, and there’s no denying that Toshiba has done a very good job with the 32WLT68. In fact it’s difficult to believe that this TV has come from the same factory as the disappointingly dull looking 42WLT66. The screen is surrounded by a glossy black (or piano black as it’s so often referred to) bezel, which gives the set a sleek and stylish look, even when turned off. The speakers are located below the screen behind a slim black grille that’s angled downwards – the result being that you can’t even see that they’re there unless you’re looking for them. The fascia below the speakers is finished in brushed aluminium and is suitably minimalist, helping create very clean and uninterrupted lines.
The crescent shaped stand is one of the best I’ve seen, giving the TV a very stable base without taking up too much space. The screen will also pan left and right very smoothly on the stand, making it easy to reposition the viewing angle with little effort. All the controls are hidden on the right hand side – here you’ll find the power switch, programme up and down, volume controls, a menu button and an AV select button. Yes, it means you have to stick your head around the side to see them, but let’s be honest, how many times do you ever touch the controls on a TV? That’s what the remote control is for!