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Back in April I attended Toshiba's 2007 product showcase and got my paws on all the upcoming products. At this event Toshiba showed off one TV that was so new, there wasn't even a working model on display, instead there was a mock-up on show, that I wasn't even allowed to publish a picture of. That TV was the Regza 40XF355D and now I have the full retail unit in front of me.
The thing that makes the XF series so special is the ludicrously slim bezel that surrounds the screen, and you really do have to see this TV in the flesh to understand the impact that this design has. To put it in simple terms, this 40in TV actually takes up less physical space than most 37in units. For example, the 37in Panasonic TX-37LZD70 that I looked at recently is 1,031mm wide, while the 40XF355D is only 934mm wide, despite offering three inches more diagonal viewable area!
Also in the 40XF355D's favour is the fact that it looks absolutely stunning. That ultra-slim bezel (23mm to be precise) is finished in glossy black, while the speakers are mounted below the screen in a recessed enclosure, like the Toshiba 42Z3030D that I looked at last month. Toshiba has also ditched its crescent shaped stand for the XF, instead reverting to the smaller central stand last seen on the Regza 42-WLT66 - a decision that works well, especially since the stand is also finished in glossy black.
The 40XF355D isn't just a pretty face either, it's very well endowed when it comes to connection options too. You get a generous three HDMI 1.3 ports, so you've got support for Deep Colour, despite the fact that the wait for compliant software continues. There's also a component input for analogue HD sources, along with two SCART sockets and a D-SUB PC input. At the side of the TV are both S-Video and composite inputs, with corresponding stereo audio input. The third HDMI is also located on the side, making it a handy option for anyone with an HD camcorder.
If you're in the habit of watching TV late at night while the rest of the house is asleep you'll be happy to see a headphone socket in evidence. It's also good to see an optical digital audio output, so you can pass through a digital bit stream from an HDMI source to an external surround sound processor. There's also an output for an external subwoofer to add a bit more bass to your movie watching experience.
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