CNET First Look
Vizio M series: A lot of picture quality for not much moneyVizio's M series delivers excellent image quality even compared to more expensive TVs, and throws in a free Android tablet to boot.
Howdy folks, this is the Vizio M Series. It's one of the company's mid-price TVs for 2016, but includes a list of features you'd associate with high-end television. It has worthwhile picture enhancements like high dynamic range and full array local dimming. As well as a remote that's actually a full function six inch Android tablet. The TV itself has relative generic styling with a dark gray finish and a thicker panel. One distinguishing touch are the unusual stand legs which are made of bent metal and remind me of clothes hangers. A tablet remote, on the other hand, is pretty unusual. And Visio thought it out well, even including a nifty magnetic wireless charging cradle Control of the TV is handled by Visio's SmartCast app, which replaces a traditional on screen menu for stuff like picture settings and changing info. Visio also includes a simple standard remote, but it only handles basic functions. One advantage of the tablet is more apps than the traditional smart TV system. A big disadvantage, however, is that you have to go through some extra clicks on the tablet to get stuff like Netflix and Hulu up and running on the screen. It's the same process used by Google's Chromecast device and it's great if you're used to using your phone for everything. I find it more cumbersome than a standard TV-based app, however. So if I bought an M-Series, I'd probably connect a streaming device like a Roku or AppleTV instead of using the tablet. As ambivalent as I am about the tablet-based control, I love M-Series picture quality. For the money it has an excellent image thanks to the local dimming system that creates deep black levels and lots of pop without uneven lighting across the screen that can plague some competitors. Set can also handle the latest high dynamic range sources in both HDR 10 and Dolby Vision format, whether from Netflix or Vudu. In the end, the best thing about the M series isn't the free tablet, the excellent picture for a very affordable price. [MUSIC]