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New Toshiba LCDs pinch an inch

Toshiba announced two new LCDs at CEDIA, the 40RF350U and the 46RF350U, billed as having the "World's thinnest Bezel on an LCD TV."

Toshiba's new LCD: note the extra-thin bezel around the screen. Toshiba

Yesterday at the CEDIA show in Denver, Toshiba added to its strangely named "Regza" line of LCDs with a pair of models designed to maximize the amount of front-panel real estate devoted to the screen. Badged with the even stranger moniker "SNB," for "Super Narrow Bezel," the 40-inch 40RF350U ($1,899) and 46-inch 46RF350U ($2,499) indeed have some narrow-looking bezels. In fact, when we compared the 46-inch member of the Sharp LC-D64U series (the thinnest-bezeled LCDs we've seen yet) to its SNB competitor, the Toshiba's panel was narrower by all of 1.22 inches in width and 1.53 inches in height, although the Sharp was less deep by 1.56 inches. So when the Toshiba press release uses the phrase World's Thinnest LCD TV Bezel, we believe it. Other highlights include:

Toshiba RF350U series key features

  • 1080p native resolution
  • Three HDMI 1.3 inputs
  • VGA-style PC input with up to 1366x768/1280x1024 resolution
  • 10-bit panel with xvYCC color support
  • Dimensions of 46-inch model (panel only, WHD): 42.1 by 25.9 by 5.3 inches
  • Dimensions of 40-inch model (panel only, WHD): 36.7 by 22.8 by 5.1 inches
  • September release date

The new sets are notably missing the 120Hz refresh rate technology found on the similarly priced, albeit wider-bezeled LX177 series, which includes the 52LX177 we just reviewed. We don't consider that a major omission given the difficulty we had discerning the benefits of 120Hz, but high-end LCD shoppers who want the thinnest frames possible may want to wait for the inevitable, as-yet-unannounced 120Hz SNB models.