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Toshiba L5200U LCD series (pictures)

The Toshiba 5200 series offers a modest design and decent black levels for the money but colors are not entirely accurate.

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Ty Pendlebury
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1 of 9 Sarah Tew/CNET

Overview

If you're looking at spending under $1,000 on a new TV, then the Toshiba 5200 series might be one to consider. While it doesn't have any real features to speak of, unless you count 120Hz, it does boast decent LCD picture quality for the price. Black levels are better than its nonplasma peers can conjure up, and shadow detail is fairly good. The only drawback here is color; if you want Skywalker Ranch-style accuracy, you're better off going for a different brand. The Toshiba's odd color and grayscale controls make it difficult to wrestle something more faithful than the TV's oversaturated Movie mode. If you're paying about a grand, I would still say you should seriously consider the Panasonic UT50 instead, but the Toshiba does a decent job of home entertainment for the modest price.
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2 of 9 Sarah Tew/CNET

Ports

With only three HDMI ports and one component input, the Toshiba is designed for smaller setups.
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3 of 9 Sarah Tew/CNET

Profile

Like most edge-lit TVs, the 5200 is afforded a slim profile.
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4 of 9 Sarah Tew/CNET

Remote control

The remote control is a little simplistic and unfortunately not backlit.
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5 of 9 Sarah Tew/CNET

Bezel

The bezel is piano-black and quite slim for an inexpensive TV.
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6 of 9 Sarah Tew/CNET

Stand

The stand is fairly run-of-the-mill and doesn't swivel.
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7 of 9 Sarah Tew/CNET

Bottom bezel

The bottom of the TV has a subtle, gun-metal strip that is only noticeable in bright lighting.
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8 of 9 Sarah Tew/CNET

Menu

The menus are bare-bones but logically arranged.
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9 of 9 Sarah Tew/CNET

Picture quality

Toshiba is not the name hovering on people's lips when they think of LCD televisions, but based on the performance of the L5200 alone perhaps it should be. It managed to outperform two higher priced TVs from the Samsung and Sony in terms of black levels alone. Shadow detail was also quite good, but compared to the similarly priced Panasonic UT50 plasma it's obviously not able to compete. There was also some minor issues with uniformity with some spotlighting in the corners, though it paled in comparison to the backlight clouding of the Sony HX750. Colors showed good saturation but the television's biggest problem was with color accuracy, with slight green casts to midlevel tones.

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