Update: Added news of availability and lowered pricing for Vizio’s new XLED M-series and P-Series TVs
Vizio’s 2016 P-series and M-series TVs offered some of the best price-to-feature ratios available in 2016, making them an easy recommendation for anyone looking to buy a TV that featured 4K Ultra HD resolution and High Dynamic Range without spending a fortune. On Tuesday, Vizio announced that the 2017 models of both series have landed in stores, with new lower price points to boot.
Before we run down the new lineup, there is one thing to keep in mind: While these new models look and act mostly like TVs, Vizio refers to them as “displays.” There is a good reason for this since neither the new P-series or M-series models feature tuners for over-the-air broadcasts. This is not a deal breaker for most people in the era of cable, satellite, and internet streaming — plus, you can always buy an external tuner — but it is worth keeping in mind. However, Vizio’s latest models have returned to traditional remote controls as opposed to relying on the included tablet we saw in last year’s models — and we’re very happy about that.
While customers who bought last year’s P-series had to wait a few months until a firmware update added HDR10 to the Dolby Vision HDR that the TVs shipped with, the 2017 models ship with both technologies supported out of the box. The P-series features Vizio’s newly coined XHDR Pro, as well as XLED Pro, which the company calls its most powerful local dimming, with up to 128 different zones that can be dimmed on demand. This allows for blacks to be blacker, increasing the overall contrast and adding depth to the range of colors available.
As mentioned, the TVs have given up the tablet-style control used in the 2016 models, and this summer a software update is coming that will make SmartCast apps available directly from the display. This includes TV settings, as well as a suite of apps including Crackle, Hulu, iHeartRadio, Vudu, and Xumo. If you would like an extra remote, the SmartCast app for iOS and Android lets you turn your phone or tablet into a full-featured remote. Vizio’s entire line of 2017 SmartCast displays features Chromecast built in, making casting content simple and easy. This also lets you control your TV with the Google Assistant and devices like Google Home.
The new SmartCast P-series comes in three size varieties: 55-inch, 65-inch, and 75-inch. Pricing has even dropped on some models since April, starting at an incredibly low $1,000 for the 55-inch model, while the 65-inch P65 and 75-inch P75 models sell for $1,700 and $3,500 respectively. For more information on this lineup, see the P-series section of the Vizio website.
The P-series already has plenty to offer for the budget-minded consumer looking for a TV upgrade, but the M-series offers an even better value. These displays offer XHDR Plus and XLED Plus instead of the Pro versions found on the P-series models, which primarily means a lot fewer local dimming zones — 32 instead of 128 — and a lower effective refresh rate claimed at 120 Hz instead of the claimed 240 Hz offered on the more expensive line. Like the P-series, both Dolby Vision and HDR10 are supported here.
There’s a fairly dramatic difference in pricing for the largest models — the 75-inch M75 sells for $2,500 instead of $3,500 for the same sized model in the P-series. Meanwhile, the 55-inch M-series model sells for a crazy-low $700. Moving up the ladder, the 65-inch model sells for $1,200, while the 70-inch model can be had for $2,000. For more information, see the M-series page on the Vizio website.
The VIZIO SmartCast M-Series Ultra HD HDR XLED Plus and P-Series Ultra HD HDR XLED Pro displays are now available nationwide in retail stores and online at Best Buy, Costco, Sam’s Club, Target, and Walmart.