Get a 32-inch Vizio HDTV for $259.99
If you're really strapped for cash, this refurbished model is an awesome option. But you can also buy it new and stay below the $300 mark.
Still squinting at a teeny TV in your den, bedroom, or fashionably compact apartment? Here's your chance to score something bigger on the cheap.
TigerDirect.com has the refurbished Vizio E320VA 32-inch LCD HDTV for $259.99, plus around $22 for shipping. If it happens to sell out, which seems to be the pattern this week, try Overstock.com, which has the same model for $279.99--plus $2.95 for shipping. (Your out-the-door total is about the same.)
Oh, and just to fully cover my bases today, Amazon has the Vizio E320VA new for $294.98 shipped. Much as I'm a big believer in refurbished gear, it's probably worth an extra $13 to get a full one-year warranty, rather than the 90 days included with the refurbished models.
Whichever way you go, the E320VA offers 31.5 inches of viewing area, four HDMI ports (including one on the side--very handy), and a maximum resolution of 1,366 by 768 pixels--aka 720p. Shouldn't you opt for a 1080p TV instead? At this size, you probably won't find one, as it's nearly impossible to discern a difference between the two resolutions.
CNET hasn't reviewed this model. The handful of user reviews at CompUSA are favorable, but on Amazon they're a little more mixed. See if you can guess the chief complaint. Yep: sound. As with just about every lower-end HDTV I've ever seen (and heard), the speakers on this one probably aren't great.
Even so, if you're in the market for an HDTV and your budget tops out at $300, this is definitely worth a look. I have a smaller Vizio model in my bedroom, and the picture is nothing short of gorgeous. (The sound: yeah, meh.)
Bonus deal: If you'll pardon a quick bit of nepotism, CNET has a pretty sweet deal running from now until March 31. When you sign up for a one-month free trial of Netflix, you can get CNET TechTracker Plus (Windows/Mac) free of charge. This seriously useful software manager/updater normally sells for $29.99.