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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Overview

Profile

Design

Bezel

Connectivity

Remote

Stand

Picture settings

Picture settings, continued

Picture quality

The Toshiba 40E220U is a sub-$500 television with a lot to offer the bargain-minded consumer. It has fairly deep black levels, a better selection of inputs than most competing sets, and rich, vibrant colors. Image processing is quite good, with crisp pictures and very good off-axis performance. On the downside, the Toshiba's shadow detail isn't as good as its competitors', uniformity is lacking, and the design is a little dated. While there are plenty of options at this price level, the Toshiba offers a no-frills television with a fine picture.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The TV features a black bezel.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The gray bottom edge is a little dated.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Two HDMI ports are included.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The TV's stand doesn't swivel.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Just as the 32-inch Toshiba 32C120U has the best picture quality in its size, the 40-inch 40E220U similarly stands out among its peers. While you don't get plasmalike depths, the E220U's black levels are good for the price, and shadow detail is acceptable.

Despite measuring fairly poorly, its color reproduction is a plus, with a vivid, yet natural color palette. Video processing is average -- good in some areas and not so in others -- but its motion performance is noticeably crisper than its peers'.

Bright-room performance is fine, but in the dark some spotlight problems in the corners spoil what is otherwise a good picture.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
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