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Vizio E-Series LED Displays Preview

Vizio E-Series LED Displays

Vizio E-Series LED Displays


  • Product Name: E-Series
  • Manufacturer: Vizio
  • Review Date: April 07, 2014 08:00
  • MSRP: $159.99 - $1,699.99
  • First Impression: Gotta Have It!
  • Sizes 23- to 70-inches
  • Edge-lit for 23- and 24-inch models
  • Direct backlight for 28- to 32-inch models, and all non-smart displays up to 48-inches
  • 5-16 dimmable areas for smart displays 39- to 70-inches
  • Pricing $159.99 - $1,699.99

When Vizio puts out a line of displays, they don't mess around. Take for instance, the recently released E-Series. While other manufacturers usually have a single display at any given size, Vizio has included two in their new E-series line. We've talked already about the P-Series from Vizio with 4K resolution and 64 dimmable areas of backlighting; however, not everyone has the money or desire to shell out the cash for one of these displays. Sometimes people just want something a bit bigger than what they have or a second display. While they may not need all the bells and whistles, they still want want the best they can get at their particularly price point.

Vizio is known for their low cost displays, and their reputation for quality is on the rise. Their new E-Series has been announced with a number of things that have our interest piqued. First, many of the models are not only "smart" but also come with built in Wi-Fi so that people can actually use the apps. Second, they've included local areas of backlighting on many models, so the notoriously bad black levels and hot-spotting common with edge-lit displays is reduced. Lastly, Vizio has continued their tradition of dropping 3D like the hot potato of marketing we all knew it was.

The E Series includes models from 23- up to 70-inches. The largest models haven't been completely finalized yet but we have details on models up to 60-inches. In the chart below provided by Vizio, you'll notice a number of oddities. Taking the model numbers from left to right, the E represents the series, the next two numbers the diagonal measurement, and the third number doesn't seem to correspond to anything specific in the display. The B is to differentiate from last year's model (they had an A in the model number). The number after the B seems to be for internal tracking by Vizio and we'd bet it has something to do with where the display is sold. The "smart" models have an 'i' at the end. 


Running through the columns we have the model and price, though we are already seeing differences between the pricing listed here and on Vizio's website. Any of the models with the Vizio Internet Apps Plus have built-in Wi-Fi. The smallest models (23- and -24-inches) are still sporting edge-lit LED backlighting, while the larger displays all have what Vizio is now calling Full-Array LED backlighting. For the smaller (less that 39") displays and a few of the larger models, this is a fancy name for normal LED backlighting. Calling it "Full-Array" suggests to many that it has local dimming; most do not. Only the models with a number in the Active LED Zones have local dimming. These include all the 'i' models 39-inch and larger, while the non-smart models in the 39- to 48-inch range have no local dimming areas (there are no direct-view models larger than 48-inches).

The models with local dimming all have 120Hz effective refresh rate with the models 48-inches and larger sport Vizio's "Clear Action 180" feature. We searched their manual (55- and 60-inch models) and their website but could find no description of this feature; we're guessing it is a motion blur reduction technology. Lastly, you'll notice some differences in the number of dimmable zones. The 39-inch model, for example has six while the 40-incher has only five. We confirmed that this isn't a typo by visiting Vizio's website. Again, the 50-inch model has 16 while the 55-inch model only sports 12. Does this mean that the 50-incher will have better black levels than the 55-inch? Probably and is something you might want to consider before purchasing. 


Lastly, Vizio has continued their tradition of jumping off the 3D bandwagon. While there are certainly a few people out there that think that 3D is important, Vizio obviously thinks they are the minority. The prices of their sets, especially when you consider that they have both local dimming and Wi-Fi, certainly reflects that Vizio is trying to save all the pennies they can. 3D obviously didn't seem to have enough return on investment.


Will 5-16 areas of local dimming be enough to have the new E Series of displays from Vizio competing head-to-head with plasma displays? Probably not. But it is a heck of a lot better than edge-lit or direct backlighting displays. At prices that will feel right at home coming from Vizio but sound like an open-box special from anyone else, the new E Series from Vizio is sure to be a hit.

For more information, please visit www.vizio.com.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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