The 84L9300 is the largest member of the company's first U.S. series of 4K TVs, and Toshiba has beaten the other two to the punch in announcing smaller sizes, too: the 65-inch 65L9300 and 58-inch 58L9300. At least it has experience; Toshiba actually shipped a 55-inch 4K set in Japan and Europe last year, one version with and one without glasses-free 3D.
The all-new L9300 series is shipping this summer and pricing was not disclosed, but if LG and Sony's current pricing of around 20 grand for its 84-inch 4K sets is any indication, the L9300 won't be cheap.
4K/Ultra High Definition (UHD), in Toshiba's case means a pixel count of 3,840x2,160 pixels -- four times as many pixels as today's 1080p TVs. The advantage, according to its proponents, is an even sharper picture. One problem, according to us, is that you'll have to sit very close, especially to a screen this small, to appreciate the difference. There are many other issues, too, to the extent that we currently consider 4K TVs pretty stupid.
Aside from resolution the L9300 offers a passel of extras. It's "powered by Toshiba's CEVO 4K Quad+Dual Core Processor" that the company says does more than just 4K upscaling -- important because there's basically no 4K content -- by improving the picture in other ways, such as boosting contrast. Most of the company's other bullet points are likewise processing-related, including a 240Hz refresh rate, CQ engine, beefed-up noise reduction, and something I've had poor results with in the past, "Resolution +."
Perhaps more important from a picture quality perspective is the inclusion of local dimming on the TVs' edge-lit LED backlight. Dimming is usually a boon but in the case of the Toshiba L7200 I reviewed last year, it was underwhelming. Maybe the company can do better on these premium 4K sets.
The bezel is also quite thin and Toshiba went with what it calls a "sophisticated gun-metal trim." The stand has an open design and slick rectangular shape. It looks pretty sleek in person.
The L9300 also offers all of the options found on step-down Toshiba sets such as the L7350, including Cloud TV smarts and passive 3D. Check out the company's other 2013 product announcements here.