Pros: Incredible picture, the highest refresh rate available, great smart TV apps and interface, great looking 3D
Cons: Clumsy remote
At $799 (listed at both Best Buy and Amazon), the M501D-A2R is priced incredibly competitively, and is cheaper than a lot of similarly sized TV's from other brands without nearly the amount of offerings. With well integrated Smart TV applications, passive 3D (and 8 pairs of glasses!), 240hz refresh, wifi and ethernet, the M series really packs a punch as far as features go. Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and Youtube all come built in, as well as a plethora of social networking and Yahoo apps. There is also easy access to the Vizio App store that has a few dozen other apps, from fitness to local broadcast affiliates. It also has a built in media player, which can stream from a media server (like Plex or PS3 Media Server) via DLNA or directly from a USB thumb drive.
With super rich blacks, vibrant colors and smooth motion, the picture on the M series is really stunning. It even makes the menu system on my PS3 look impressive.
Perhaps the biggest downside to these TVs is the inability to "force" the TV into 3D mode. Both my Roku 2 XS and my PS3 are capable of streaming 3D video, but my Vizio is not recognizing them as such, and therefore just displays them as two side by side images. I was able to stream 3D video from the on board youtube app as well as play a PS3 game in 3D, though, and was also able to get 3D out of a file from my thumb drive, but it would be so much easier to simply stream 3D videos from my media library the way I do all of my other movies and television shows. I was not able to get a straight answer from Vizio as to why they've built their TVs this way, but this may be resolved in a future firmware update. Let's hope.
The remote is also pretty well designed. I've had some line of sight issues, and often need to push buttons 2 or 3 times to get the function I'm going for, but the buttons are well placed, it has a nice backlight, and I'm able to have synchronicity with my Denon receiver thanks to CEC integration.
Even with the inability to force this TV into 3D mode, it's gorgeous, lightweight, and pretty damn cutting edge. I highly recommend this for anyone looking for a great TV at a modest price.
EDIT: A recent software update has solved my issues "forcing" this TV into 3D mode. Cheers to Vizio for recognizing this as a huge issue and solving it almost immediately.