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Toshiba 40E220U

*Est $430
December 2012
by ConsumerSearch
Toshiba 40E220U

  • Crisp HD detail
  • Excellent black levels for its class
  • Good performance in well-lit rooms
  • Poor remote control
  • Colors could be more accurate
  • Few features

Bottom line

The 40-inch 40E220U is Toshiba's cheapest no-frills 1080p HDTV. It's not 3D compatible or Internet savvy, but it offers good picture quality at an attractive price.


Excellent picture quality when you're in the right spot. The 40-inch Toshiba 40E220U is a fairly basic LCD HDTV that sacrifices bells and whistles in return for solid performance compared to similarly priced competitors.

Virtually all reviewers note that the 40E220U has surprisingly deep blacks for its price category. That's helped, in part, by Toshiba's DynaLight feature, which controls the brightness of the backlight in response to picture content for deeper blacks and higher apparent contrast.

Color performance is a little mixed, reports say. Lee Neikirk at notes a suitably average color performance that tested "with a better color gamut than we were expecting," but most reviews take notice of the 40E220U's tendency to make some skin tones redder than other models, while the overly blue tones make the image look colder. The Toshiba 40E220U is one of the few TVs that still uses a standard CCFL backlight, so it does not produce the same bright whites as LCD sets with LED backlights.

For a low-priced model, this set is blessed with a good assortment of picture adjustments. However, once you have the various settings where you like them, it might be a good idea to write them down; CNET's Ty Pendlebury complains that it is exceedingly easy for you to accidentally delete settings should you decide to change picture modes.  

We saw some differing opinions when it comes to screen uniformity; Neikirk calls it "almost perfect," while Pendlebury says "uniformity is lacking." This is not uncommon, as uniformity can sometimes vary greatly between specific sets. The most notable uniformity shortfall cited is a touch of light leakage from the backlight in the upper corners (known as flashlighting), primarily seen when viewing this set in a dark room. On the plus side, the matte screen makes the 40E220U a good performer in well-lit rooms.

Though this is a 60 Hz set, Neikirk notes that despite the lack of any  motion-smoothing effects or settings the 40E220U has good motion performance. However,'s Jack Burden says that in scenes with slow camera pans "you will notice some judder."

Finally, while Toshiba uses Audyssey technology to pre-tune the 14-watt built-in sound system in the 40E220U, the resulting audio fails to impress very many reviewers or owners.


No Frills. The 40E220U is a fairly basic LCD HDTV with no added functionality beyond watching 2D TV. Connectivity is typical for a set in its class, including a shared component/composite input, two HDMI inputs, a VGA input, digital audio out, PC audio in and USB. The set can play back music or show photos stored on a USB device.


It's retro, man. This is a value-priced TV, and it looks the part when it comes to its plain -- if not outdated -- two-tone design that includes silver trim at the bottom of the black bezel. A number of customer reviewers slam the "squishy," closely spaced buttons on the remote for poor ergonomics. Equally annoying is the fact that the stand doesn't swivel.


Budget priced. The 40E220U is a low-priced, basic HDTV with core performance that's a bit better than its price tag might suggest. That makes it a strikingly solid deal for the money.

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Our Sources


Review Credibility: Excellent offers a very in-depth, technical review of the 40E220U broken up into several specific sections. Overall, reviewer Lee Neikirk gives it a 6.9 overall score. He says that most of the performance features "are just average" while praising its very deep black levels. Neikirk calls the set a "good value for its price."

Review: Toshiba 40E220U, Lee Neikirk, Sept. 13, 2012


Review Credibility: Excellent tests the Toshiba 40-inch 40E220U. The review is hands-on and competent, though the information provided is not as comprehensive as it typically is from some other reviewers. Likewise, while discussion is greatly expanded from years past, it is still briefer than we find from other top experts.

Review: Toshiba 40E220U, Editors of, Undated


Review Credibility: Excellent CNET's reviews are typically very thorough and hands-on. In this case, reviewer Ty Pendlebury compares the Toshiba 40E220U with the more expensive Samsung LN46E550F, giving the Toshiba a 3.5-star score. While Pendlebury likes the "crisp images with a decent amount of contrast," he finds uniformity problems and shadow detail lacking.

Review: Toshiba 40E220U Review: Medium Thrills, Small Budget, Ty Pendlebury, Nov. 7, 2012


Review Credibility: Very Good With nearly 60 customer reviews, the majority -- 82 percent -- "would recommend this product to a friend." Overall, the set earns 3.9 out of 5 stars, with most praising the Toshiba 40E220U as having great value and features for the price.

Review: Toshiba - 40" Class (40" Diag.) - LCD - 1080p - 60Hz – HDTV, Contributors to, As of Dec. 9, 2012


Review Credibility: Very Good With nearly 90 owners leaving feedback on the Toshiba 40E220U, impressions at largely mirror those at The set earns a similar overall score of 3.8 stars. Most reviewers are pleased, but a significant minority do report sets with defects or that failed prematurely. We also saw some grousing about the TV's "cheap" remote control.

Review: Toshiba 40E220U 40-Inch 1080p 60Hz LCD HDTV, Contributors to, As of Dec. 19, 2012

6. LCDTV Buying

Review Credibility: Good In this brief but to-the-point summary, Jack Burden finds a few negatives but concludes that the 40E220U "provides good picture quality at a solid value." However, testing is not documented.

Review: Toshiba 40E220U Review, Jack Burden, Undated

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