- Written by Ofer Laor
- Published on 19 July 2012
Sound, Interface, Remote of the Toshiba 55ZL2
Toshiba really didn't invest much in the remote; it is virtually identical to the other remotes for its high-end displays. The remote is plastic and tube shaped and has a sliding metallic looking plastic cover that can hide the more advanced buttons. I'm still unclear about the design – the remote is too long and the purpose of the sliding portion is clearly a design aesthetic, as it serves no real purpose. The buttons are not phosphorous and so some light is required to make heads or tails of them. Many important functions are placed in hard to reach spots – this display really needed a remote revamp, in my opinion.
The user interface is graphical and nice looking. It is fairly simple and more traditional than its LG or Samsung counterparts. Not all features are so easy to get to, but generally speaking, the user experience is positive and you can generally find what you're looking for relatively quickly.
The screen design is clean and simple. The display has a thinner bezel than any previous Toshiba screen I've seen, and the design lines are simple and clean. This is not a flashy design – it lets the contents of the screen speak for itself. Without the logo, I would have pegged it for a South Korean design more than a Japanese one.
As this is a very thin screen, some compromises with sound always have to be made. In this case, Toshiba placed the speakers in the back of the display, which means they need to bounce off the back wall to get to the viewer. While this works OK in most cases, this can detract from the overall sound quality.
Inputs are pretty standard. I liked the fact that the unit has two sets of USB connections, 4 HDMI connections, audio, satellite and OTA tuners. The unit does come with a built-in WiFi receiver and of course works with an Ethernet port (which I prefer).
Although the display does have an anti-reflective layer, the front glass does reflect quite a bit, so I would recommend against placing it in an area where it would reflect an open window.
While other high end Toshiba models now offer face recognition-based personalization (mostly picture and audio settings), these are present in the ZL2 but only manually – the face detection system here is dedicated to the 3D portion of the display.
Since the ZL2 has so many different parts, it requires seven cell (CEVO) cores to run all of its features. That is by far the most CPU-intensive display I have ever seen. One strange thing was the fact that it took 28 seconds for the TV to "cold boot" (if it was turned on recently, this time cuts down to a reasonable 10 seconds).