The Good The Toshiba L9300U series 4K/Ultra High Definition LED LCD TV has accurate color and can deliver its full motion resolution without smoothing; 3D sources shown with full HD resolution and all the benefits of passive 3D; 4K resolution provides some benefit with 4K PC games; includes wireless keyboard; excellent connectivity; compatible with 4K/60 sources (HDMI 2.0) after firmware upgrade.
The Bad Exceedingly expensive and a poor value compared with 1080p TVs and many 4K TVs; poor black level, uniformity, off-angle and bright-room performance; improvements afforded by 4K resolution are minimal to nonexistent; imprecise local dimming causes some blooming and washout; sluggish, low-resolution menus and Smart TV suite.
The Bottom Line Although its 3D deserves praise, overall the Toshiba L9300U is a worse performer and more expensive than its 4K competitors.
More pixels but less picture quality
CES 2014 has come and gone, and with it scads of new TV announcements -- many of them with 4K resolution. Toshiba itself bowed a promising line of 4K sets that include full-array local dimming, a technology that, in my experience, goes much further toward improving picture quality than a few million more tiny pixels.
Toshiba's L9300U series is still for sale, though, at least in the 65-inch size we reviewed (the 58-incher is getting scarce), but you shouldn't buy it. It's more expensive than many other 2013 4K TVs and doesn't perform as well. In fact, despite its high price, the L9300U doesn't even perform as well as some budget 1080p TVs we've tested.
So yes, this review is late and its subject basically obsolete already -- as well as impossible for me to recommend to anyone -- but still instructive. It serves as another piece of evidence that, as we found on previous 4K TVs from Panasonic and Samsung, the extra resolution is well-nigh invisible from a normal seating distance, especially with 1080p sources. It also provided me my first in-depth look (so to speak) at how great passive 3D can look on a 4K TV. I look forward to testing more 4K sets in the near future, including Toshiba's own. I expect most of them to run circles around the L9300U, and cost a good deal less.
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