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Vizio's new big-screen line includes 60-inch LED TV for $999

Today Vizio announced pricing and immediate availability of its new lineup of big-screen HDTVs in advance of the holiday shopping season.

Vizio's 60-inch E601i-A3 sells for $999.

Is it too early to think about holiday shopping? Not if you're a TV maker like Vizio.

We recently reviewed two impressive, high-value Vizio TVs, the 32-inch E320i-A0 and the 47- and 55-inch M3D0KD series, but the company is just getting warmed up. Today it announced a slew of new big-screen TVs, highlighted by the 60-inch E601i-A3, which is available now for $999.

That's just about the lowest price I've seen for a 60-inch LED TV with smart TV. The E601i-A3 offers Vizio's VIA apps suite, which has one of the most comprehensive content lineups around, albeit nested in a ho-hum interface. Vizio also includes its "flipper" remote with the backside QWERTY keyboard to ease searches within apps, although unlike some smart TV suites VIA omits a Web browser. The edge-lit LED panel has a matte finish and refreshes at 120Hz.

A remote with a QWERTY keyboard makes Vizio's Smart TV apps easier to use.

Vizio also offers the same TV in 70 inches for another grand, model E701i-A3. Again, that's one of the lowest prices anywhere for a 70-inch TV. Both of these sets compete directly against Sharp's value-priced LC-LE640U series.

In addition, Vizio launched three new models in its step-up M series, one at 55 inches and two at 65. Aside from screen size their specifications seem similar to the 60- and 70-inch E models, so at first blush the E models seem like the superior bargain. One of the two new M-series 65-inchers, model M3D651SV, has passive 3D Vizio calls "Theater 3D".

Here's the full rundown in order of screen size.

  • M550VSE (55-inch, $949)
  • E601i-A3 (60-inch, $999)
  • M650VSE (65-inch, $1,499)
  • M3D651SV (65-inch, 3D, $1,699)
  • E701i-A3 (70-inch, $1,999)

I have the 60-inch, $999 E601i-A3 in the lab now, so expect a full review soon. It lacks the edge-lit local dimming of the M3D0KD I reviewed earlier so I don't expect it to reach that level of picture quality, but it could rival that of our reigning favorite 60-inch LED value, the Sharp LC-LE640U. In the 60-inch range both also have to compete against the likes of the excellent Panasonic TC-P60U50 plasma -- although that last is a "dumb" TV.

Vizio will also send us the M3D651SV for review in the next few weeks.