If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives. Originally based in California, Vizio--who was acquired by Chinese tech company LeEco in 2016--has in recent years established a very strong presence in the 4K and smart TV markets. Vizio's TV series tend to deliver the year's cutting-edge TV features without the razor-sharp prices. While Vizio generally doesn't produce as many "series" as competitors Samsung and LG, the company's lineups tend to be available in a huge range of sizes, often with variable screen resolution or smart features to help consumers maximize value by only paying for what they need.
Vizio has been carving out a niche over the last few years via TVs that deliver the hottest new TV tech for affordable prices. So far this year, we've had almost nothing but good things to say about Vizio's 2017 E Series and 2017 M Series, so our expectations for top-end P Series (available at Amazon) were pretty high. Vizio's top-of-the-line 2017 option not only meets (and maybe exceeds) our expectations, it manages to do so at prices that still feel friendly. With the 55-inch P Series available for under $1,000, it's a great option if you want a knockout 4K/HDR but don't want to pay for extras you don't need. The P Series does have a few drawbacks, but dollar-for-dollar there's no arguing the value here.
If you haven't heard of TCL, we don't blame you. While the company is an electronics powerhouse in China, it hasn't quite made a big dent in the US market yet. But after testing the company's new 2017 P Series, it's time for that to change. The P Series is a prime example of TCL borrowing liberally from Vizio's playbook, providing a ton of cutting-edge features for a low, low price--heck, even the name of the series is kinda copied from Vizio. For TV nerds, these sets also use a version of full-array local dimming that TCL calls "contrast control zones," with 72 dimming zones.
Vizio has announced a new series of 4K UHD TVs that leverage the advanced technologies developed for the company's Reference Series, such as HDR (High Dynamic Range) and more accurate color, but at significantly lower price points. The 50-inch P-Series TV retails for 999, including a 6-inch Android tablet that can be used both as a remote and for streaming content to the TVs via the newly supported Google Cast. Said tablet is bundled with all P-Series TVs. This 6-inch Android tablet/remote will be included with each of Vizio's P-Series TVs. Vizio is calling its implementation of Google Cast (nee Chromecast) Wi-Fi multimedia streaming SmartCast, and it will be supported by all of its P-series TVs as well as upcoming sound bars and standalone Wi-Fi speakers.
While many other manufacturers chase new technology with 8K and HDMI 2.1, Vizio is enhancing its 4K TV lineup, starting from the lower-priced V series all the way up to its top-of-the-line P-Series Quantum X. The V series steps in where Vizio's E line of TVs used to reside, with smart TV features, Dolby Vision HDR and up to 16 zones of local dimming, with models ranging from 40- to 75-inches. The number of dimming zones and peak brightness -- crucial for precise backlighting with proper contrast and vivid colors -- goes up as you proceed across the lines and increase the prices. This year's M-Series features up to 90 zones (double that of last year's M-Series) and 600 nits of peak brightness, while also adding the "quantum color" technology previously reserved for the higher-end P-Series, all in sizes between 43- and 65-inches. Speaking of the P-Series Quantum lineup, that covers 65- and 75-inch TVs (plus an 85-inch prototype that the company wouldn't commit to) with up to 480 local dimming zones, while the P-Series Quantum X feature the highest brightness rating of the group with "UltraBright 2900" that Vizio claims elevates Dolby Vision to a new level, plus a slick bezel-less design.