Toshiba 17WL46B – LCD TV - Toshiba 17WL46B Review

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The rear looks equally sleek, while a removable cover hides all the downward facing connectors. A nice touch is that all the ports are labelled on the rear panel, so you know what is where, without having to crane your head and look up at the ports themselves. The full complement of connections from left to right reads – DC power from the supplied power brick, D-SUB, left and right audio-out, left and right audio-in, composite video in, S-Video in, two SCART sockets, an aerial connector and a headphone socket. Not a bad set of connections, although the lack of DVI, HDMI or component video, means that you won’t be watching HD content on this screen.


Picture quality from the internal analogue tuner is very good, and the image produced is bright and vibrant. However, it’s worth noting that you need a decent aerial to get the best out of this tuner – plugging it into my roof aerial produced superb results, but when I tried it with a powered indoor aerial the results were a bit patchy. Obviously you’re never going to get top notch reception from an indoor aerial, but when I plugged the same antenna into an old CRT portable TV, the reception was far better – so, obviously the tuner is playing a part too.


Where the 17WL46B really excelled though, was when I hooked up a couple of gaming consoles. Both my Xbox and PS2 looked superb on this display, whether connected via RGB SCART or S-Video. The colours were vivid and the image crisp and clear. Of course, once again the lack of HDMI will mean that the next generation consoles can’t be used on this screen to their best effect, but to be honest, anyone buying an Xbox 360 or PS3 is likely to be pumping the signal to a much larger screen.


The remote control is slim and stylish, finished in the same matt silver as the screen itself. The remote instantly tells you that this is a consumer electronics device, rather than an IT one. For some reason when a computer company produces a remote control it always looks dull and doesn’t sit well in the hand, but the remote with the 17WL46B looks and feels like the evolution of years of TV manufacturing by Toshiba.


So, what else is there to say about the 17WL46B? Well, there’s Teletext if you have the patience for it. There’s also a sleep timer, which is always handy for a TV that’s most likely going to be in the bedroom. Other than that, it’s all fairly standard as far as the feature set goes, so the other major consideration, as always, is price.


Shortly after Toshiba supplied me with this screen I spotted it on sale in John Lewis for £699, which seemed excessively expensive to me. Thankfully, I have since discovered that Toshiba dropped the price considerably, and after a little nosing around I managed to find the 17WL46B for just over £320 – a far more appealing price point, no doubt.


So, on price, the 17WL46B is going head to head with Samsung’s 730MW, but which is the better unit? Well, the Samsung has both DVI and component video connections, while also sporting an FM radio tuner. However, the Toshiba wins hands down in the design stakes, for both the TV itself and the remote, and given the choice I’d much rather have the Tosh in my bedroom than the Samsung. Ultimately, it comes down to what you need – if you want a screen to use as your PC monitor and a TV, then the Samsung is the better choice. But if you’re after a stylish LCD TV for your bedroom or kitchen, and aren’t too bothered about PC connection, the 17WL46B is definitely worth a look.


”’Verdict”’


There’s a lot to like about the 17WL46B – it looks great, it’s well designed and has pretty impressive picture quality via the internal tuner, and through the AV inputs. It may not be as versatile as other LCD TVs which aim to satisfy two markets, but if you’re looking for a small, stylish, flat screen TV for your home, this Toshiba would suit your needs.

Score


Score in detail

  • Image Quality 7
  • Value 8