Design and connections
Despite its budget price, the 32L6353 has a stylish and contemporary design. I particularly like the metallic-effect flash across the bottom and the way it's curved at the edges to give it a feminine look. The bezel around the screen is narrow too, measuring just 18mm wide, and if you peer around the back you can see that the set is slim, with a depth of just 39mm at the top. It does extend out at the bottom to accommodate the down firing speakers, but its overall profile is still quite svelte.
The remote is long and wide, but at least this means the buttons are generously sized. The layout is on the whole well thought out with the buttons for key features such as the smart TV system grouped around the central D-pad. The buttons, however, aren't as responsive as I would have liked and feel quite spongy to the touch. When you add this to the sluggish feel of the user interface and smart TV system, well, it's just not a good mix.
The TV has excellent connectivity for a set in this price range though, as Toshiba has included four HDMI ports, one of which supports MHL so it can charge mobile devices when they're connected via a micro-USB to HDMI cable. It has both Ethernet and Wi-Fi built-in and the Wi-Fi chip supports WiDi so you can mirror the screens of compatible laptops to the TV. It doesn’t support Miracast though -- a similar technology for smart phones.
On the rear you'll find a full-sized Scart socket as well as component inputs and an optical digital output. The set has a VGA socket too, something that's a rarity on most of today's TVs, and there are two USB ports.
The 32L6353's audio quality is distinctly average. It's got enough volume to fill a decent sized room thanks to its two 10W speakers, but unlike many of today's sets there's no mini-woofer integrated into the rear to help out on the bass front. As a result, its audio sounds boxy and wooden as the speakers haven’t got enough low-end grunt to produce convincingly deep bass tones.
Given the price, I wasn't exactly expecting great things from the 32L6353 in terms of picture quality, especially as Toshiba's pricier L7365 was a pretty average performer in this department. The good news though, is that despite a few niggles, this model manages to produce a pretty punchy performance when you take into account its low price tag.
Toshiba's picture presets aren't half bad, especially the three Hollywood modes that are designed for day and nighttime movie viewing, so you don’t have to make lots of picture adjustments to get good results from it.
Colours are on the whole quite perky with natural hues, although skin tones can sometimes look a little on the yellow side, something that's not easy to get rid of using the picture controls. Sharpness levels are good though, and even standard definition sources, such as channels from the Freeview tuner, tend to look reasonably crisp. This is no doubt helped by the relatively small screen size on this model. I found it was best to leave Toshiba's Resolution+ upscaling system turned off, as all it seems to do is add in unnecessary sharpening to the picture, which increases image noise.
The main problem with the set is that its black levels aren't all that deep and its backlight is uneven so you can see some misting in the corners of the display during darker scenes, something you can’t get rid of without robbing the screen of its brightness.
On the whole, though, the 32L6353 performs better than expected in the picture department for a TV that comes in at under £350.
Toshiba's 32L6353 is nicely priced, produces pretty perky pictures and has a stylish design. Its smart TV system and overall user interface, however, is sluggish.
Sony's KDL-32W653 only costs around £40 more, but when we tested the 42-inch version of that set we found it had significantly better picture quality and a smart TV system with a better selection of apps. We've no reason to believe the 32-inch version performs any differently to its larger brother so ultimately, if you can afford the extra outlay we'd go for the 32-inch version of model instead.