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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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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

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Tags: blu ray player