Toshiba has now launched its latest 4K TV ranges for 2019, and it's got a bit of help from the Amazon Alexa smart assistant – but not in the way you expect.
The budget L5 series and mid-range L7 series are Ultra HD televisions aimed at providing market value to consumers – with HDR support and Onkyo-designed speakers making a fleshed-out television package even at this low price. But there's also a new accessory that rethinks the way to integrate voice assistants with your home television.
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The jazzy new accessory in question, Toshiba Connect, is an Alexa far-field microphone, connected via USB, enabling the television set to pick up voice commands from across the room – you know, while you're watching TV or arguing over the remote.
Increasingly, TV makers will look to include support for the likes of Alexa and Google Assistant, though you'll usually require a compatible smart speaker or relevant smartphone app to actually make your commands heard. While some sets will have microphones placed in the TV remotes, it's also a feature normally saved for the likes of OLED TVs and other high-end models.
To start, you'll only be able to buy the Alexa microphone with the UL5A model when shopping at Argos – though it will be available separately for any other 2019 Toshiba smart TV beginning later in the year.
Smarts on the cheap
The Toshiba 2019 range includes the UL7A, TL7A, UL5A, AND VL5A models.
The UL7A and TL7A both come in 49- and 55-inch sizes, while the UL5A and VL5A come in 43-, 49- and 55-inch sizes – as well as a 65-inch size for the VL5A.
Toshiba isn't known for making high-budget televisions, and even these 4K sets will cost sub-£500 for the mid-range L5 series, and sub-£600 for the more premium L7 models.
They will also all have Dolby Vision and HDR10 – even for the cheaper models. You may not be getting the full impact of HDR at this price point, but you'll certainly be able to play the formats and get the beginning's of sharper contrast and more vivid colors. It's only the L7 series, though, that will offer the Wide Color Gamut needed to really make these colors pop.
The UL7A will feature 42W speakers – the loudest of the range – and also come with a slimmer, chrome casing. The TL7A, meanwhile, features front-firing speakers, but without the increased audio output.
Full pricing and availability
- Toshiba UL7A is available from Dixons in 49” RRP £449 and 55” RRP £549.
- Toshiba TL7A is available from AO.com in 49” RRP £449 and 55” RRP £549.
- Toshiba UL5A is available market-wide in 43” RRP £349, 49” RRP £399 and 55” RRP £479.
- Toshiba UL5A with Toshiba Connect is available from Argos in 43” RRP £369, 49” RRP £419 and 55” RRP £499.
- Toshiba VL5A is available from Dixons in 43” RRP £349, 50” RRP £399, 55” RRP £479 and 65” RRP £699.