But it's not just the P-Series Quantum X's picture-quality-to-price-tag ratio that makes it a good choice; it's also packed to the gills with future-facing features that make it the perfect centerpiece for a new home theater. It supports Dolby Vision, various HDMI 2.1 gaming-centric features, and eARC for high-resolution audio pass through. The only downsides are its ho-hum design and its lackluster smart platform, but the latter can be addressed with the purchase of an external streaming device. Simply put, the Vizio P-Series Quantum X is an excellent top-shelf TV that manages to cost less than just about everything else on its shelf--and it does so without sacrificing performance. Editor's note: Due to COVID-19 complications, this review leans heavily on test results in lieu of hands-on time with the TV.
For the last several years, Vizio's M-Series has been a mainstay of TV value-hunters. The M-Series TVs (much like TCL's 6-Series) tend to give users the latest TV technology at much more affordable prices than the competition. To that end, 2019's M-Series Quantum delivers 4K resolution, an LED backlight with full-array local dimming technology, smart features, HDR and Dolby Vision compatibility, and--as you might have guessed from the name--quantum dots. Quantum dots are a newer TV tech that provide a big boost to a TV's color capabilities, and for the last several years they've really only been available in very high-end TVs from brands like Samsung and Sony. With the M-Series Quantum, Vizio is making this technology available to people who might not have $2,000 to spend on a new TV. Are the M-Series Quantum TVs perfect specimens? No--Vizio's learned how to cut just enough corners that, while nothing about them is too egregious, they're not as buttoned-up and posh-looking as their higher-price counterparts. Picture quality is the strongest foot forward here, while the design is nothing to speak of and elements of their software and behavior can be a bit frustrating.
Doesn't get as bright as the competition Before you slap your credit card down, there are a few things you ought to know about Vizio's first OLED. For one thing, it's not nearly as bright as quantum dot TVs in the same price bracket. In addition, if you're hoping for a seamless smart platform experience, Vizio's built-in SmartCast software might leave you hanging. At the end of the day, the Vizio OLED gives LG a run for its money and can easily be seen as a less-costly alternative to Sony's 2020 OLED--provided you keep its limitations in mind. The Vizio OLED comes with the company's SmartCast smart platform built in.
Last year's big TV value-hitters were the 2019 TCL 6 Series and the 2019 Vizio M-Series Quantum, and that trend continues into 2020. The 2020 TCL 6-Series impressed us greatly in August via its continued excellence in picture quality and gaming-facing features, but it's also a bit more expensive than the M-Series models. So which one is right for you? As it stands, the M-Series Quantum is an excellent value model, but you'll definitely want to compare it carefully with TCL's 6-Series before pulling the trigger on either. The 6-Series is brighter and offers a higher native refresh rate, making it the more attractive pick for gamers--especially with next-gen gaming consoles on the way.
What makes the TCL 8-Series such an impressive TV are two factors: its quantum dots, which make for a searingly bright picture full of vivid colors. It's among the brightest TVs we've ever tested, and TCL's never-before-used "mini-LED" technology, which is far better most full array backlight TVs (though not quite as impressive as OLED). But performance comes at a price, and the 8-Series carries a price tag that I'd characterize as "appropriately hefty," given its stellar performance. Its cost is still friendlier than some of the TVs it's competing with, but it doesn't have the type of value we typically associate with TCL Roku TVs. At the end of the day, though, if you're looking for a top-tier TV with an easy-to-use, flexible smart platform, the TCL 8-Series is one of the best TVs money can buy right now.