Though expert reviewers like the image quality (especially at lower recording speeds) of some competing DVD recorders a little better, user reviews largely favor the Toshiba DR420 for its reliability, ease of use (relative to other DVD recorders) and overall value. The biggest negative is the lack of a built-in tuner. That makes the DR420 an iffy choice for those who get their programming over the air or from basic cable (without a cable TV box), but it's suitable for most others. You won't find lots of extras on the Toshiba DR420, but some well-appreciated features like chasing playback, time-slip recording and even a commercial skip are available. Experts do like the image quality of the Panasonic DMR-EA18K (Discontinued) a little bit better, especially at slower recording speeds (which lets you fit more on a single disc), but usability and other issues leave a bad taste in a large percentage of users' mouths. If you need a DVD recorder with a built-in tuner, the Toshiba DR570 (*Discontinued) includes one and is also well regarded, especially by its owners.
The Toshiba DR420 doesn't get a whole lot of feedback from professional reviewers, but it is included in the lists of best DVD recorders at About.com and TopTenReviews.com. User reviews are plentiful, however. Amazon.com is the best destination for those, but additional feedback can be found at ABT.com and RateItAll.com.
Nearly 50 users have reported on the Toshiba DR420 DVD recorder, granting it a solid 4 out of 5 stars overall. A couple of reliability issues are reported, but most complaints stem from the lack of a tuner and the kinds of usability problems associated with most DVD recorders. On the plus side, the value, performance and relative ease of use are frequently praised.
Review: Toshiba DR420 DVD Recorder, Black, Contributors to Amazon.com
The Toshiba DR420 earns a place on the top DVD recorder list at About.com. Robert Silva's report doesn't touch upon performance, but he compliments the DR420 as a "budget-priced DVD recorder with very practical features." (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Top DVD Recorders, Robert Silva
The Toshiba DR420 is the second-highest-rated DVD recorder here. Mike McPeek's review is features-oriented, but it includes some helpful general observation on what the DR420 can and can't do. He says that the Toshiba DR420 is "hard to beat" if you want good results in an inexpensive DVD recorder.
Review: DVD Recorder Player Review, Mike McPeek
Only a handful of user reviews can be found on the site of this retailer, but most seem to be completely to mostly pleased with the Toshiba DR420. The lowest review (three stars) complains that the recorder's inputs are limited to standard definition sources, but that's something that's common to all DVD recorders.
Review: Toshiba Black DVD Recorder -- DR420, Contributors to Abt.com
RateItAll.com has a few user reviews for the Toshiba DR420. A few offer helpful hints -- like reminding others to finalize their recordings if they want them to be playable on other DVD players. All say they are pleased.
Review: Toshiba DR420 DVD Recorder, Contributors to RateItAll.com