People know Vizio because of its disruptively low pricing. While a couple of the company’s competitors in the US market insist that customers want curved screens, Irvine, California-based Vizio keeps cranking out affordable flat screens that sell very well.
At a recent event in New York, Vizio launched its 2015 E-Series and M-Series lineups. Concurrently, it re-introduced its Reference Series, a no-holds-barred UHD/4K LED-FALD LCD TV packed with features including 384 local-dimming zones and Dolby Vision high dynamic range. You can read about the Reference Series here.
The big news with the M-Series is that the entire line has been upgraded to UHD/4K resolution; Vizio calls it trickle-downtechnology. The resolution increase is a big deal because these are mainstream TVs, not luxury products.
The M-Series also gets a revamped bezel with newly designed legs in a brushed-aluminum finish. These Vizios have a sleek, modern, minimalist look that is both attractive and unobtrusive.
All the M-Series TVs use 32-zone FALD (full array local dimming) except for the 43-incher, which offers 28 zones. Screens sizes between 43″ and 55″ have a 60 Hz refresh rate, while sizes from 60″ to 80″ use 120 Hz panels. Confusingly, Vizio’s specs cite an “effective refresh rate” of 120 Hz for the smaller panels, and 240 Hz for the larger panels thanks to backlight flashing.
M-Series TVs feature 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi to ensure UHD/4K content streams smoothly. Apps that support 2160p streaming include Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, UltraFlix, and Toon Goggles, with Vudu adding that capability later this year.
Missing from the M-Series is wide color-gamut or HDR capability—which I wouldn’t expect in a mainstream TV—or 3D. On the other hand, it does offer a dedicated gaming mode with a 120 Hz refresh rate and super-low latency.
The M-Series is shipping now and comes in nine sizes from 43″ to 80″. Vizio’s aggressive pricing is in full force here: 43″ for $600, 49″ for $770, 50″ for $800, 55″ for $1000, 60″ for $1500, 65″ for $1700, 70″ for $2200, 75″ for $3000, and 80″ for $4000.
The entry-level 1080p E-Series received a redesign for 2015 that improved its aesthetics. A new, thin, black bezel along with feet (instead of a base) give it a clean, contemporary look.
All the 2015 E-Series employ FALD, with the sole exception of the 24″ model, which is edgelit. The 40″, 43″, and 48″ models have eight local-dimming zones, and models from 50″ on up feature 16 zones. Most of the E-Series models use 60 Hz panels, while the 65″ and 70″ models use 120 Hz panels.
The entire E-Series includes Wi-Fi connectivity and a full suite of connected apps. Vizio says it improved the speed of its interface compared to last year’s models.
The E-Series is shipping now and comes in ten sizes from 24″ to 70″. Prices are as follows: 24″ for $180, 28″ for $200, 32″ for $260, 40″ for $350, 43″ for $390, 48″ for $480, 50″ for $530, 55″ for $630, 60″ for $800, 65″ for $1000, and 70″ for $1400.