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Toshiba BDX1300KB Blu Ray Player Review

Feb. 5th 2013

Toshiba BDX1300KB Blu Ray Player Review

Review: We go hands on with the Toshiba BDX1300KB

Introduction

Only released in April of this year, the Toshiba BDX1300KB is the veritable new kid on the block (and we don’t mean that it makes terrible music). This product is so new, in fact, that it has no Amazon reviews whatsoever (for those who don’t know, we use Amazon’s customer reviews in order to offer a broader picture of the products we look at). Still, undaunted by this first foray into virgin territory, we hung our reviewer upside down, covered his naked body with pedigree chum and put him in a room full of starving rottweilers until he agreed to explore it for us (the territory, not the room).

THE SPECS

Weighing in at a slight 1.8 kg, this is a smaller, lighter player. Modern Blu Ray players are tending to be smaller and more space conscious, which is great, because most of us by now have about a zillion movies on DVD or Blu Ray. This change is also better for the environment (if, like me, you’re the tree hugging type) because less plastic needs to be manufactured in order to make it.

At this conjuncture, it is worth making a disclaimer. If you already know what I am about to say, then by all means skip this bit and go on to the next part. Blu Ray quality is still dependant on the quality of your TV and sound system. There are so many people who get seduced by the funky adverts and buy a Blu Ray player expecting it to magically transform their TV and sound system into a movie theatre. You might laugh, but I see them every day as they vent their frustration and self-loathing on an unsuspecting Amazon marketplace. So, in order to really get the most from your Blu Ray player, you will need and HD TV (at 1080p resolution or above) and a decent surround sound speaker system. Thank you.

The USB ports, despite being almost completely standard on Blu Ray players these days, are nonetheless completely welcome. Using these ports you can view content from memory sticks, external hard drives and digital cameras.

The Toshiba BDX1300KB is Internet ready, but only via Ethernet cable. This poses quite a few problems for connectivity and requires that the player itself (and thus the TV) be within a cable’s reach of the HomeHub. Annoying!

THE PRICE

For £65, this is not an expensive Blu Ray player. However, there are much better players that can be purchased for £10 or £20 more, so the ‘budget’ marketing of this particular model has not been terrifically effective I’d say.

THE PERFORMANCE

The Toshiba BDX1300KB exhibits really high quality sound and images; it is also compatible with pre HDMI TV screens (though I really don’t get why – see above).

All the menu screens are filled with jargonisms instead of straightforward labels and it is so slow you could make a cuppa in the time it takes to load a disc. For a Blu Ray player that came out only two months ago, there is simply no excuse for this.

The SD card slot at the front is a nice touch, but staring at that whilst it takes so long to load a disc is just infuriating, trying to take your mind off of it in other ways is equally infuriating. Also, it really doesn’t upscale DVDs that well, which is just one more thing to ruminate on as it loads.
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AAAARGH!

WHAT OTHER USERS SAY

Because there are no Amazon reviews for this product at the time of writing, I was able to unearth a couple from elsewhere on the net. In the process I noticed that the Toshiba BDX1300KB seems to have really slipped under the radar, as the reviews I did find were considerably less than plentiful.

CNET.com gave this product a decent review, but pointed out that there are much better models in this price range. Their review also pointed out that the loading times were a total pain in the ass (though they didn’t word it quite like that!)

What Hi Fi?’s official site were considerably more generous, bestowing a 4/5 score and praising the Toshiba BDX1300KB on its ease of use and low price. The review criticised the player’s relative lack of features, however.


Our Verdict

This will do a decent job if you buy it, by which I mean that it won’t explode in your face when you try to use it. However, in 2012 we deserve better, even from a ‘budget’ model. Bland, pedestrian design, un-ambitious features and a loading time that would make the Dalai Lama antsy are all issues that simply need to be dealt with. There are better models out there, some of which are even a bit cheaper.

Features:

4/10

Performance:

6/10

Design:

8/10

Value:

6/10

Was: £99.99
Now: £58.99

Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.co.uk.

Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 business days

Posted by Player Bluray | in Dolby Digital, HD, Internet, Product Reviews, Toshiba | Comments Off

Toshiba BDX1250 Blu Ray Player Review

Dec. 22nd 2012

Toshiba BDX1250 Blu Ray Player Review

Review: We go hands on with the Toshiba BDX1250

Introduction

I spy with my BD eye (OK, I’m sorry – that was bad) a budget Blu Ray player that is now even cheaper than before! How about that? But is the Toshiba BDX1250 value for money or is it just very cheap? We dressed our reviewer in a fish paste bikini and dunked him in the shark tank at Seaworld until he agreed to find out for us…

THE SPECS

Unlike some of the more corpulent Blu Ray players on the market these days, the Toshiba BDX1250 only weighs 1.8 kg. Space saving is important these days because while property prices have generally gone up, DVD and Blu Ray prices have gone down and are still dropping (especially if you have Amazon or live near a CEX). These days, we can afford to buy the complete ‘Count Duckula’ on DVD for nostalgia’s sake, but we still have to live in a flat the size of a shoebox.

In a world like that; size matters…The smaller the player, the more errant discs you can stash behind it.

Blu Ray offers roughly 6 times the quality of DVD, but it is worth noting that a Blu Ray player really isn’t worth much to you unless you have an HD TV (with 1080p resolution at least) and a quality sound system. For all the marvellous quality of image and sound promised on the adverts, the reality will be virtually indistinguishable from DVD unless you have the proper home entertainment setup.

The Toshiba BDX1250 really does put a lot of stock in BD Live, a Blu Ray exclusive function that enables you to access web-only special features and additional extras on your TV. BD Live is actually a lot of fun, but the amount that Toshiba is harping on about it does draw attention to the fact that BD Live is the only way you’ll be getting the BDX1250 online. There’s no WiFi (meaning you’ll need to drag a long-ass Ethernet cable from one room to the other) and only a very limited net connection, which does not allow for apps, games, or anything else.

THE PRICE

It is here that the Toshiba BDX1250 really starts to show off. This is not the best Blu Ray player in the world (by some margin, it must be said) it is, however, one of the cheapest. Available at just over £60, the Toshiba BDX1250 comes into head-on collision with other, far superior, players available at the same price. However, the Amazon marketplace has this player available for as low as £40, which is a very good offer indeed.

THE PERFORMANCE

For a cheaper model, I’m delighted to say that the Toshiba BDX1250 is really quick to load. It starts up much faster than even a lot of the more expensive models. The picture and sound quality are also stunning.

Like a lot of Blu Ray players, the BDX1250 does make an annoying whine as it loads up, but this stops as you play the movie. All in all, I’d say that this is a nifty little number indeed (Well, I would say that if it didn’t make me sound like a circa 1970’s pervert).

WHAT OTHER USERS SAY

With an aggregate Amazon score of 4.5/5, this is clearly a very well liked machine. The world loves a bargain, but only if it offers almost as much as the expensive products and does so at a much cheaper price. The Amazon marketplace is full of glowing reviews for this player, some of which I will now collate.

‘Jake24’ from Yeovil gave the player a glowing 4/5 review. He praised the fast loading times, excellent quality and, of course, the low price. ‘R.Napier’ from Wiltshire was also a satisfied customer, writing that although (s)he hadn’t used the Internet functions, the Blu Ray playback was “flawless”. The review ended with R stating that the Toshiba BDX1250 was “the best value Blu Ray player out there”.

‘David Glasgow’ also offered a perfect score, stating that the player was easy to use for the young, old and technophobe alike, which is always good to hear. We agree, Dave!

‘Mr. James C. Kellam’ (a very formal user name) from Scotland was critical, though, giving a (somewhat stingy, I felt) 1/5 review despite conceding that the playback was quick, quiet and high quality. He complained that the BDX1250 won’t play DVD-Rs, which is a real negative point. He also said that the product comes WITHOUT an HDMI cable and that the power lead is much too short. These are all very valid arguments.

Our Verdict

At £60, there are better Blu Ray players, but at £40 – this might just be the right purchase for you. It is simple, straightforward and easy to use, but severely lacks visual, audio and Internet options.

Features:

6/10

Performance:

7/10

Design:

7/10

Value:

9/10

Was: £99.99
Now: £66.37

Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.co.uk.

Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 business days

Posted by Player Bluray | in HD, Internet, Toshiba, Wireless | Comments Off

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