The C350 sequence from Toshiba offers big-screen, bodily type to Amazon’s Hearth TV streaming system. From the fonts to the colours, should you’ve interacted with any Hearth TV stick or different Amazon TV gadget, you will be totally acquainted with this tv. As you’d count on, it leans exhausting into Alexa and has full Amazon Prime Video integration, nevertheless it additionally has different streaming companies like Netflix, Disney Plus, HBO Max and extra. 

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Alexa powers superior voice featuresVoice distant included

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Sensible TV menus lag behind RokuOvert concentrate on Amazon companies

Image high quality on the C350 was tremendous for a finances TV, if somewhat worse than the competitors. In my side-by-side comparisons its colour and distinction could not fairly match the TCL 4-Collection and Vizio V-Collection, however at this value the picture high quality variations most likely do not matter that a lot. Arguably extra vital is the sensible TV, and whereas Alexa beats Roku and Vizio for voice management, we like Roku’s easier, extra agnostic sensible TV strategy higher. It is also annoying that some non-Amazon companies, like Vudu, get brief shrift, whereas others, particularly Peacock, aren’t accessible in any respect.

Proper now the C350 additionally prices greater than both of these opponents from TCL and Vizio, however with Prime Day quick approaching, we would not be stunned to see a giant value drop. Till that occurs, nonetheless, we are able to solely really suggest it for somebody who totally embraces the Bezos bonanza and desires their TV to be part of that. 

Learn extra: Early Prime Day TV offers: Save on fashions from Insignia, LG, TCL, Toshiba and Vizio

The Toshiba C350 sequence is offered in 43-, 50- and 55-inch variations, with bigger 65- and 75-inch sizes coming quickly. I reviewed the 50-inch mannequin.

Prime options and connections

Like different TVs at this value the C530 is a fundamental 4K HDR mannequin — no fancy extras like next-gen gaming perks, native dimming, large colour gamut or tons of sunshine right here. Its Hearth TV performance is the key characteristic right here and the menus have what Amazon calls a content-forward design: plenty of thumbnails for TV reveals and films versus tiles like Roku. Many concentrate on Amazon’s Prime Video library, however you’ll be able to obtain apps for different main streaming companies, which unpack rows of their thumbnails.

Geoffrey Morrison/Proinertech

I appreciated the Toshiba’s distant higher than the TCL’s as a result of it options Alexa voice in addition to Bluetooth, so you do not have to purpose it on the TV. The button structure is straightforward and clear, if not fairly as sparse as Roku, and consists of distinguished white shortcut keys to varied companies. 

The C350 mainly ties the Roku in most user-friendly setup screens. It has the added bonus that should you’re an Amazon Prime member (and I assume you might be should you’re contemplating this TV), when you undergo the preliminary setup you have already logged in and are prepared to observe reveals and films.

Hearth TV’s setup menus are easy and simple.

Geoffrey Morrison/Proinertech

One irritating design choice is that the image settings menu covers one-third of the display, and shadows about half. This menu would not disappear or shrink if you make changes both. Now, you’d assume this is able to solely be an issue should you’re a TV reviewer like me utilizing take a look at patterns (do not get me unsuitable, it completely is), nevertheless it additionally makes it tougher should you’re making an attempt to eyeball the proper setting at house. That is as a result of nearly all of the display is just not what the display will seem like when you exit the menus. Most likely not an enormous deal for many consumers, to be truthful, nevertheless it’s a bummer should you prefer to get a TV trying pretty much as good as potential.

Learn extra: Cease watching unhealthy TV image settings: 9 methods to optimize your large display

These image large adjustment menus can mess together with your tweaks. 

Geoffrey Morrison/Proinertech

Vitality Star score for the 50-inch mannequin is $21 a 12 months, which is mid-pack for this vary of TVs.

Some TVs on this value vary have three HDMI inputs, and it definitely is not a nasty factor that the C350 has 4. It even has analog video and audio inputs. So when you’ve got an outdated gaming console or any retro A/V gear, you are in luck. 

When you resolve you need to go your personal streaming route and eschew Hearth TV, you will not be capable to energy most streaming sticks from the TV’s USB connections. Not an enormous deal: It simply means you will have to run energy individually to the stick.

HDMI inputs: fourComposite analog inputUSB ports: two (0.5A energy)Web: Wi-Fi, WiredAntenna inputAnalog audio output (3.5mm)Optical digital audio outputSpeakers: two downward-firing
Geoffrey Morrison/Proinertech

Alexa, what’s Vudu?

The voice search works properly. It directs you to Amazon typically, nevertheless it does provide you with some alternate choices. For instance, should you say “Thor Ragnarok” it’ll deliver up a display with that and a few associated content material, and if you choose the film out of these selections you’ve gotten the choice to purchase or hire on Amazon — or watch it on Disney Plus. One other click on brings up further locations to observe. Nonetheless, it would not present all choices like Roku or Vizio would. It would not present you Vudu, for instance. 

It is really value specializing in Vudu for instance of the constraints pressured on this Toshiba, presumably by Amazon. There may be, technically, a Vudu app. So at first look in a retailer or on a guidelines, it appears to have extra choices to purchase or hire content material than simply Amazon. The reality, nonetheless, is that it is an historical model of the Vudu app that has an archaic interface and solely means that you can watch SD content material. You learn that accurately: not even HD, and overlook about 4K. 

And that is for content material you already personal. You’ll be able to’t purchase something within the Vudu app. It’s a must to go to Vudu’s web site to purchase it. With TCL/Roku, Vizio and Samsung, you should buy immediately within the app. So you need to completely contemplate this TV not simply “primarily” an Amazon gadget, however an Amazon gadget that may lock you out of non-Amazon stuff. 

Geoffrey Morrison/Proinertech

It is also value repeating that Hearth TV, and by extension this TV, is the one main streaming platform to lack an app for Peacock. Subscribers can strive side-loading in the event that they’re adventurous, however our recommendation is to get a special TV if Peacock is vital to you.

Image high quality comparisons

The TCL 4-Collection and Vizio V-series are direct opponents of the Toshiba C530, with comparable options and costs, in order that they make excellent comparability fashions. I related them through a Monoprice 1×4 distribution amplifier and seen them side-by-side-by-side watching a mixture of HD, 4K and 4K HDR content material.

The Vizio and the TCL look very comparable. The Toshiba is in a method higher and most different methods barely worse. It is considerably brighter than both, nearing the a lot more-expensive Samsung Q60A with non-HDR content material (though with HDR content material the Samsung is much brighter). None of those TVs are dim, in fact, however when you’ve got an especially brilliant room and want all the sunshine you will get out of your TV, the Toshiba has a bonus.

That stated, with take a look at patterns it was readily obvious that the C350 solely achieved its peak brightness for a couple of seconds, then instantly dimmed. With precise content material, this wasn’t readily noticeable. It did this no matter settings, so it is potential it was nonetheless doing it with precise content material, simply not as a lot or as noticeably as with take a look at patterns. 

In different elements of image high quality, the C350 is not pretty much as good as the opposite two. Not considerably, however when viewing all of them on the identical time, sufficient that you possibly can see it. The colour is rather less correct, rather less lifelike. The distinction is rather less punchy. It wasn’t unhealthy, however once I’d slide throughout the sofa to view both the TCL or Vizio (all have mediocre off-axis image high quality), these two simply seemed somewhat higher.

Prime actual property?

Anybody searching for a finances TV has some glorious choices all for little or no cash. The TCL 4-Collection might be the only option for most individuals, particularly those that do not know their distinction from their composite. It is easy to make use of due to its Roku interface, and has entry to all the key streaming companies. The Vizio V-Collection is sort of pretty much as good, with extra image setting choices and a extra vigorous interface. 

Which leaves the C350. When you purchase every part by Amazon, together with renting motion pictures and shopping for TV reveals, then it is most likely tremendous. However the limitations imposed by Hearth TV is perhaps irritating in the long term. A extra budget-agnostic TV, just like the TCL/Roku or the Vizio, can help you get content material any means you need (largely), with out funneling or limiting you to Amazon’s ecosystem. It is form of like a automotive that solely drives on sure roads. When you solely drive on these roads, that is tremendous. However if you wish to take a brand new shortcut to work, you are out of luck. 

If somebody’s not very tech-savvy and has gotten used to Hearth TV particularly, or Alexa usually, then this is perhaps a sensible choice as a result of it is very a lot an Amazon product, regardless of the title on the underside. For everybody else, nonetheless, I would suggest the TCL or Vizio first.

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