Vizio M-Series Quantum X Review: Bright HDR Picture Made Affordable
With true local dimming, 120Hz input for gaming and an attractive price, the Vizio MQX is one of the best TV values of 2022.
David KatzmaierEditorial Director -- Personal Tech
David reviews TVs and leads the Personal Tech team at CNET, covering mobile, software, computing, streaming and home entertainment. We provide helpful, expert reviews, advice and videos on what gadget or service to buy and how to get the most out of it.
ExpertiseA 20-year CNET veteran, David has been reviewing TVs since the days of CRT, rear-projection and plasma. Prior to CNET he worked at Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com. He is known to two people on Twitter as the Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics.Credentials
Although still awaiting his Oscar for Best Picture Reviewer, David does hold certifications from the Imaging Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology on display calibration and evaluation.
In my side-by-side comparison, the MQX didn't look as good overall as my favorite TV for the money (the TCL 6-Series), but it is cheaper and comes close enough that you might be sorely tempted to save cash and go with the Vizio instead. Then there's Vizio's less-than-impressive smart TV system, which is more cluttered despite fewer apps than Roku and not nearly as capable as Google TV. However, that problem is easily solved by adding a good streaming device to the Vizio.
If you prioritize image quality and gaming capability but want to keep your budget in check, the Vizio MQX could be exactly what you're looking for.
Watch this: Vizio Parks a Literal Busload of New TV Tech on Our Doorstep
Vizio MQX sizes
I performed a hands-on evaluation of the 65-inch MQX, but this review also applies to other screen sizes in the series.
Unlike nearly every other TV series the MQX lacks a 55-inch size, instead going with the slightly smaller 50-inch screen that also has slightly different features and specifications. The 50-inch model has the ability to handle 1080p input at 240 frames per second, which Vizio says is an industry first (the 65- and 75-inch sizes don't have this feature). This extra isn't important for most people, because such signals are only found on high-end computer gaming video cards, but owners of those cards may appreciate it. The 50-inch model is also dimmer than the larger sizes, and all sizes also have different numbers of local dimming zones, but otherwise have similar specs and should provide similar picture quality.
Vizio is also selling a less-expensive version of the M-Series, the MQ6, available in sizes from 43 to 75 inches that I haven't reviewed yet. Unlike the MQX reviewed here, it has a 60Hz refresh rate with lower brightness and no local dimming, so it likely delivers worse image quality. Both the MQ6 and MQX do have quantum dots for improved color.
Design: Not bad, Vizio
Vizio has subtly improved the look of its TVs, and the MQX is nicer than you might be used to from this brand. A gray metallic bottom edge matches the frame and triangular stand supports, and the screen material runs almost to the edge. The stand legs are central rather than splayed out to the side (to more easily fit on a TV stand). I also appreciate having the option of two leg heights, one about 2 inches higher than the other, to accommodate soundbars.
The remote has a simple layout and prominent buttons for various streaming services that skew "free" with Tubi and PlutoTV in addition to Vizio's own WatchFree service. There's also a key to access Vizio's in-house voice system. It worked well enough in my tests, although don't expect the same kind of capabilities you'll get from Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa or Roku's voice system.
When I said "show me comedies" for example, Vizio put up a bunch of thumbnails of movies and TV shows with little context. I preferred Roku's results to that query, which were arranged in rows like "Available in 4K," "New releases," "Free," "Available with your Netflix subscription" and offered more choices.
Vizio's SmartCast smart TV menus haven't changed much aside from adding a new "Inputs" button, a welcome addition... albeit one Roku TVs have offered for years. Although all the major streaming services are accounted for, the interface is worse than Roku and Google TV, and it's about the same level of mediocre as LG and Samsung's 2022 menus. The main issue with Vizio is cluttering the screen with a bunch of TV shows and movies I don't care about. Roku's grid of apps is simple and familiar, and if you want your homepage to show more relevant programming, Google TV does a much better job.
SmartCast plays well with phones -- you can easily cast video and photos from Android or Apple iPhone using Chromecast and AirPlay, respectively -- as well as with smart speakers like Echo and Nest, which you can use to command the TV hands-free.
Features: FALD and 120Hz and DV HDR, oh my!
Full array with local dimming
HDR10 and Dolby Vision
Standard with voice
The MQX is the least-expensive 2022 Vizio TV and one of the cheapest TVs, period, to offer my favorite picture-enhancing extra for LCD-based TVs: full-array local dimming (FALD). That feature improves contrast and black levels and delivers better HDR by dividing the screen into separate dimming zones. The number of zones controls how precise the dimming can be, and while more zones doesn't necessarily mean better picture quality, it usually helps. The MQX has fewer zones than more expensive TVs like the TCL 6-Series and Hisense U7H, with 16 zones on the 50-inch, 30 on the 65-inch and 42 on the 75-inch.
Unlike the M7 last year or the cheaper M6 series this year, the MQX has a true 120Hz refresh rate, which allows compatibility with 4K/120Hz signals from game consoles like Xbox Series X and Playstation 5 and worked well in my tests. Vizio supports both major HDR formats, HDR10 and Dolby Vision (DV), in the M-Series. So does every other major TV maker except Samsung (which lacks Dolby Vision).
The selection of inputs on the MQX is also solid but only one, HDMI 3, can handle the higher-bandwidth HDMI 2.1 signals, namely 4K/120Hz. That's not a big deal unless you own both consoles and maybe a high-end PC gaming card. I was also surprised to see actual red and white RCA-style audio outputs; most TVs have a minijack for analog audio.
Four HDMI inputs, one with HDMI 2.1
USB 2.0 port
Optical digital audio output
Analog audio output (stereo RCA)
RF (antenna) input
Ethernet (LAN) port
Many TVs also have a headphone output, which the Vizio lacks, but you can pair a set of Bluetooth headphones -- or another Bluetooth device, like a speaker -- with the MQX.
Picture quality comparisons
For my comparisons I set the Vizio MQX up next to three other 65-inch TVs with local dimming. In ascending order of price: the TCL 6-Series, the Hisense U8H and the Samsung QN90B. All three have mini-LED backlights and are more expensive than the Vizio, but the MQX nicely held its own.
TV and movies: The MQX produced an excellent picture overall, with bright highlights, dark black levels, punchy contrast and accurate color. Watching the nature scenes from Spears and Munsil HDR Benchmark, the mountains, clouds and Yellowstone geysers appeared a bit dimmer on the Vizio. They were still nice and bright, and the same went for objects against black backgrounds, like the pen nib and honey dripper. Those backgrounds also looked lighter than on the Hisense and Samsung, if similar to the TCL, although the difference was very slight. Blooming or stray illumination around objects was minimal on the Vizio, especially considering its relatively few dimming zones.
Watching theatrical content, in this case the new 4K HDR version of Game of Thrones on HBO Max, the TVs separated a bit more. The TCL and especially the Samsung pulled ahead, with superior contrast and pop in mixed scenes like a firelit encounter between Daenerys and Jon, or the council in the map room at Dragonstone. Both the Hisense and the Vizio looked good but lacked that extra HDR oomph in highlights.
Gaming: While it doesn't have the array of options found on new LG and Samsung TVs like specific picture modes for gaming, or fancy overlays confirming resolution and frame rate status, the MQX is a capable gaming TV. My Xbox Series X connected to the HDMI 3 input confirmed that 4K/120Hz was supported. Playing Assassin's Creed Valhalla, the TV confirmed via pop-up that both HDR and AMD FreeSync VRR were active, and the action looked buttery smooth. I also discovered that Vizio's System Information screen (Menu > Admin & Privacy > System Information) lists real-time frame rate and other gaming info, if you're curious.
Video quality in Game mode was solid, but I'd recommend switching to the Warm color temperature(Settings > Picture > Color Temperature). After I did so colors looked more natural then on the Samsung or Hisense, and the image overall was more vibrant than the TCL's Game mode, which looked slightly flat. I preferred the extra pop and brightness of the Samsung and Hisense overall for games, but the Vizio was nonetheless good. Input lag measured a respectable 15ms in both 1080p and 4K HDR.
Bright lighting: The 65-inch MQX is very bright for the money. It measured significantly brighter than the more-expensive Samsung Q60B, for example, albeit dimmer than the mini-LED-equipped sets in my comparison. Measured against other Vizios the MQX was brighter than last year's M7 series and similar to the P-series in the most accurate modes.
Light output in nits
Brightest mode (SDR)
Accurate mode (SDR)
Brightest mode (HDR)
Accurate mode (HDR)
Vizio P65Q9-J01 (2021)
Vizio M65Q7-J01 (2021)
Note that Vizio says the 50-inch model is dimmer than the 65- and 75-inch sizes, but it didn't specify a peak brightness number, only a "sustained" number of 400 nits. Based on Vizio's specifications for the larger models, which are half those of the 50-incher, the 50-inch model's peak brightness should be about 500 nits.
Vizio's Calibrated picture mode delivered the most-accurate bright-room picture, which is well worth the loss of nits compared to the exceedingly inaccurate Vivid mode (the brightest) in my opinion. Vizio's semi-matte was the worst in my lineup at reducing reflections and preserving black-level fidelity.
Uniformity and viewing angle: My review unit's screen showed no major uniformity issues or bright/dark spots, and while the edges appeared slightly darker than the middle in test patterns, that difference was invisible with normal video. From off-angle the Hisense did a better job maintaining brightness and color, while the TCL and Vizio were each similarly mediocre.
Picture setting and measurement notes
Calibrated Dark was the best picture mode overall for both HDR and standard dynamic range (SDR) material. In HDR, the MQX's EOTF was more accurate than Calibrated, and it measured as bright. Color temperature in the best modes, Calibrated and Calibrated Dark, was less accurate than on most TVs in this class, with an overly-blue cast. Game mode in particular was quite inaccurate, but switching its color temperature to Warm as described above helped quite a bit. Adjusting the Judder reduction (Settings > Picture > Advanced Picture > Motion Control) introduces progressively higher smoothing, aka Soap Opera Effect, so I recommend leaving it turned off. Happily, it's disabled in the two Calibrated modes.
Black luminance (0%)
Peak white luminance (SDR)
Avg. gamma (10-100%)
Avg. grayscale error (10-100%)
Dark gray error (30%)
Bright gray error (80%)
Avg. color checker error
Avg. saturation sweeps error
Avg. color error
1080p/24 Cadence (IAL)
Input lag (Game mode)
Black luminance (0%)
Peak white luminance (10% win)
Gamut % UHDA/P3 (CIE 1976)
ColorMatch HDR error
Avg. color checker error
Input lag (Game mode, 4K HDR)
See How We Test TVs for more details and explanations of the Geek Box results.