CNET's favorite Smart TVs are already great values, but Saturday July 7th they're even better.
Hey Cheeps, Rick is still on vacation for the few more days, but he'll be back in this space soon. In the meantime, the rest of the CNET crew will be doing our best to fill his shoes, finding the best deals we can.
If you're looking for a new TV at a great price, this deal's a doozy. In celebration of a self-serving fake holiday -- "National Cut the Cord Day," if you're asking -- TCL is serving up real savings on some of my favorite TVs. On Saturday, July 7, all TCL 4K TVs will be 10% off.
That includes the already dirt-cheap S405 series, the least-costly member of which is the 43-inch 43S405. It normally sells for $280, but tomorrow could cost just $252. That's a Black Friday-esque price in July for TV with the best streaming video suite around (Roku) and a "good enough" picture.
But the real keeper is my favorite TV for 2018 so far, the TCL 6 series. Its picture quality is legit excellent -- competing and in many ways beating Sony and Samsung TVs that cost twice as much or more, and also outperforming the similarly-priced (yet still more expensive) Vizio M series. And of course it has Roku.
Because these sets are more expensive (and better) than models like the S405, your 10% savings goes even further. Judging from current prices, here's how much every 6 series TV *could* cost Saturday July 7th. For the record I asked TCL to specify and was told only "you will find a minimum of 10% discounts at many of the retailers you'd expect."
|Model||Size||Regular price||expected July 7 sale price||Available at|
|55R615||55-inch||$600||$540||Best Buy only|
|65R615||65-inch||$970||$873||Best Buy only|
The 6 series comes 55- and 65-inch sizes, and there are two versions. The cheaper one (R615) is only available only at Best Buy and lacks the point-anywhere voice remote found on the more expensive one (R617). The two have identical image quality, so I consider the R615 the superior value.
Substantial price drops on TVs that are already this cheap are pretty rare outside of holiday sales and Black Friday, making TCL's one-day sale even more tempting. And if you're waiting for the inevitable price drop on Amazon's Fire TV Edition sets this Prime Day July 16, here's my take: Roku TV is a better system for streaming, and more important, none of those TVs will be able to touch the 6 series for image quality.
If you're a massive fan of Alexa then maybe a Fire TV deal is worth waiting for, but otherwise I'd pick the 6 series every time. Will Amazon make the 6 series even cheaper on Prime day? Anything is possible, but I doubt it. And if you really want to buy something on Prime Day, wait for the inevitable deal on a Fire TV Cube to pair with that Roku TV.
By the way, TCL is also giving away 103 55-inch 4K TVs -- the 55S405 -- and antennas on Saturday. Here's how to enter.