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Toshiba 40ZF355D Review

by David Mackenzie
11 June 2008

We first spotted Toshiba's 1080p "Picture Frame" LCDs at last summer's IFA electronics show in Berlin, and were immediately drawn to the unique and stunning design of these HDTVs. More importantly, though, we noticed the impressive contrast and deep blacks presented by the flat panel display. The only potential deal-breaker last year was that these premium displays lacked a 100hz mode, a feature present on some of the less expensive (and less pretty) Toshiba offerings.

Toshiba's new ZF series solves this problem. They share the stunning design of last year's XF series, but add the much requested 100hz feature, giving motion resolution for tricky fast-moving content an always-welcome boost. As with last year's "Picture Frame" displays, the Toshiba ZF series TVs feature SPVA LCD panels. SPVA (Super Patterned Vertical Alignment) is the LCD technology developed and owned Samsung and Sony, which is used in their high-end TVs to great effect. Can Toshiba put this hired technology to as great a use as their rivals? We're about to find out in this review of the Toshiba 40ZF355D LCD TV.

Design

Toshiba's thin "Picture Frame" bezel has earned them much attention, and rightly so. This design, to use a cliché, really does give the Toshiba 40ZF355D a "window to the world" look, and makes other displays - even the nicer looking ones - look truly dated by comparison. Even the fact that the bezel is styled in the potentially fingerprint-catching piano black couldn't put us off how striking it is.

Toshiba 40ZF355D

There's a silver trim around the frame, but this is really only visible from the top and sides, so don't worry about it getting in the way. Below the frame, there's a small speaker bar, also surrounded by a small amount of silver plastic.

For some reason, at the bottom of the frame, there's a blue glowing light which can't be fully turned off. Fortunately though, the light is actually a nice design touch, and once you tire of it, it can be dimmed to a non-obtrusive level anyway.

Functionally, the Toshiba 40ZF355D LCD television has control buttons, an HDMI input, and some old-fashioned AV inputs, hidden away to the right.

Connections

Rear connections on Toshiba 40ZF355D
Rear: 2x SCART and 1x Component inputs

When it comes to connectivity, the Toshiba 40ZF355D LCD HDTV features nothing out of the ordinary, and this isn't really a bad thing. On the back of the television, you'll find an input board featuring two SCART connectors (one of them is RGB capable, the other is S-Video capable, and both are Composite video capable) for connecting older equipment, and a set of Component video inputs.

Rear connections on Toshiba 40ZF355D
Facing Downwards: RF/Tuner, VGA, Digital Audio output, 2x HDMI input, DVB Card Input

Nearby, there's more inputs, which are mounted facing downwards. These include 2 HDMIs, a VGA PC input, and an aerial input. The final connections are on the LCD TV's side panel, located beside control buttons: the remaining HDMI input, as well as Composite/S-Video/Stereo audio inputs, and a headphone jack.

4.5 Star Rating: Highly Recommended

 

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