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Sony's promising 2018 X900F TV ships soon, starts at $1,500

The maker of some of our favorite 2017 TVs is among the first to price new 2018 models.

Sarah Tew/CNET

If you're waiting for the one of the most highly anticipated TVs that debuted at CES to become available for sale, I've got some good news.

Sony's XBR-X900F series, successor to the X900E I liked so much last year, should arrive later this month. It's the first major 2018 TV to get pricing and availability details, and I expect it to be one of the best midpriced LCD TVs of 2018.

Now playing: Watch this: Sony super-sizes X900F local dimming TV

Sony also announced pricing for the step-down X850F series, a TV that was absent from its CES announcements. Here's the scoop.

Sony 2018 LCD TV pricing

Model Size Price
XBR-55X900F 55-inch $1,500
XBR-65X900F 65-inch $2,300
XBR-75X900F 75-inch $4,000
XBR-65X850F 65-inch $2,000
XBR-75X850F 75-inch $3,300

The bad news? As usual for new TVs early in the year, prices are really high compared to last year's models. The 2017 X900E costs $1,700 for the 65-inch size, and I'll eat my hat if it's significantly worse than the 2018 X900F. Better yet, you can get a 65-inch LG OLED TV from 2017 for $2,600 -- and I'll eat your hat too if the LG isn't a much higher-performance TV. 

The smart play, as always, is to wait until Black Friday and later for the best price. By then I expect the F to be just as cheap as the E was in 2017: $1,500 for the 65-inch, a savings of $800 compared to the price announced here.

Sony's pricing announcement didn't mention availability, but according to Best Buy the X900F will ship by Feb. 26, and you can order at Amazon now as well. 

The new X900F improves upon its predecessor with Dolby Vision high dynamic range compatibility via a firmware update coming later in the year. There's better video processing as well, courtesy of the same X1 Extreme processor found in higher-end models such as the A1E OLED. And there's a new Precision Clarity mode that boosts motion resolution by applying black frame insertion only where it's needed on the screen, which is said to eliminate the flicker and dimness evinced by similar modes in past sets.

Meanwhile the X850F looks similar to the 2017 X850E, which we didn't review. It lacks the full-array local dimming, Dolby Vision and processing of the X900F, but does include the same Android TV system, complete with Google Assistant. 

At CES Sony showed an 85-inch version of the X900F, but its pricing and availability were not included in the announcement. The same goes for its new OLED TV, the A8F.