(Pocket-lint) - Toshiba was noticeably absent from Pocket-lint.com until last year, when it mounted a comeback in Europe thanks to a partnership with Vestel, and the X97 OLED TV spearheading the charge.
The Japanese TV manufacturer is ramping up its efforts for 2018, with a range of new 4K HDR TVs, all of which support Dolby Vision and Amazon Alexa, among other new features.
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One of the biggest new features coming to the majority of the 2018 range; both UHD and FHD sets, is Toshiba's Smart Portal. The new portal will display the various installed video on-demand services, input selection and TV guide in a bar across the bottom of the screen, that pops up over the programme you're watching. While we haven't been able to see it in action for ourselves just yet, it sounds similar to LG's webOS offering.
Once again, a 4K HDR OLED screen will be the company's flagship set, in the form of the X98. This screen, available in 55- and 65-inch variants supports Dolby Vision and HLG picture formats, so is fully future proof. Toshiba has enlisted the expertise of Onkyo to tune the X98's integrated speakers and subwoofer to help it deliver a much improved audio performance.
The U68 and U78 offer many of the same features, both support HDR, Dolby Vision and HLG and both will come with Toshiba's Smart Portal. Where they differ is with screen sizes and audio capabilities. The U78 will only be available in 49- and 55-inch guises and will have Toshiba's XSound Plus, meaning they get front-firing speakers for direct audio to the viewer.
If it's a wider choice of screen sizes you're after, you'll want the U68 series, which is available in 43-, 49-, 50-, 55-, 65- and 75-inch variants, meaning there really is something for everyone. All the screens bar the 43-inch model will get XSound Pro, the same as that on the X98. This means these screens not only get front-firing speakers, but an integrated subwoofer as well to enhance bass levels.
Rounding off the U-family of screens is the U58, which also supports 4K HDR, Dolby Vision and Hybrid Log Gamma. The U58 series will be available in 43-, 49-, 50-, 55- and 65-inch models and all get the XSound package, which "includes speaker boxes to ensure more well-defined audio". All speakers on the U-family of screens are tuned by Onkyo. Toshiba has yet to reveal any prices, but says the U58 series offers "incredible value", implying they will be the most affordable in the U-family.
Finally, the T68 series of 4K HDR screens will be available in 43-, 49- and 55-inch models and all will support Dolby Vision and HLG. They will get the XSound Plus sound package, bringing with it front-firing speakers.
All of the new 4K HDR Toshiba TVs will work with Amazon Alexa, meaning you can speak to an Echo or Echo Dot and control the majority of aspects of the TVs using your voice. Controls will include turning the TV on or off, changing channels and inputs, fast-forwarding and rewinding what you're watching.
Toshiba will also be releasing a range of full HD smart TVs in 24/32/39/40/48/49in variants, all of which will come with the company's new Smart Portal interface. They will arrive in a range of black or white colours, depending on the screen size you opt for, while some 24in and 32in models will have built-in DVD players.
Prices for all screens have yet to be confirmed, but we will update this piece as and when we know more.