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Review: 60″ Vizio M-Series Razor LED Smart TV with Theater 3D

With my 47″ flat panel starting to show its age (it’s 5+ years old, and having just moved into a bigger place, I set out to find an attractive, moderately priced 60+” LCD HDTV during the 2013 holiday shopping season.

VIZIO M601D

VIZIO M601D

After a quick trip to Costco (my preferred retailer for expensive electronics due to their flexible 90-day return policy and 2-year manufacturer warranty) I narrowed my search to two options: 60″ Samsung Class LED 7050 Series TV and 60″ Vizio M-Series Razor LED Smart TV with Theater 3D. Both TVs offer a 1080p LED LCD panel, have a plethora of inputs, built-in media apps and WiFi connectivity, and are incredibly thin.

Given the ~$600 difference in cost, I decided to do some more research before making a decision. While the Samsung arguably has more sophisticated technologies, I found overwhelmingly positive reviews for the Vizio (Google, Amazon, Best Buy), which ultimately convinced me to buy the less expensive Vizio for $1299, on sale; Costco later dropped another $100 off the price on Black Friday, bringing the total (before taxes) to a *reasonable* $1199 — $750 cheaper than the Samsung.

(I’d actually decided to splurge on the 65″ only to learn that its panel was glossier than the 60″, making it difficult to view in a sunny room, which is the case in our living room; so I stuck with the 60″.)

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side view

It’s been just about a month since I setup the M601D and with limited exceptions (below), I’m very pleased with the overall picture quality, wireless connectivity, and aesthetics (it’s so damn thin!). Like most sophisticated gadgets, it took some time and experimentation to get all of the various display and audio settings dialed in for my room conditions and viewing tastes, but now, the TV produces a very sharp, bright, vivid picture and reasonably pleasant sound; when paired with my surround sound receiver, the digital audio output sounds great.

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built-in apps

I’ve also really enjoyed the TV’s built-in apps, making regular use of Netflix (which works well and provides a great picture with a strong WiFi connection), Pandora, and YouTube. The 3D, while completely unnecessary, is actual rather novel and works well with movies like Pixar’s UP. And as noted above, I really like the minimalistic style, with its ultra-thin black bezel and metal strap running around the edge of the screen. The TV also has all the necessary inputs and outputs, including 4 HDMI ports, which come in handy; I’ve got my DVR, WD TV, Blu-ray, and Chromecast plugged in.

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LED edge-lit display

xrt510-remote_20As for the downsides, I’ve run into random issues with the audio being out of sync (it happens very rarely), which may have been caused by some of the display settings such as Smooth Motion (which I’ve since turned off). There are also some classic uniformity issues faced by nearly all LCD displays. Finally, as many reviews (see the links above) note, the included IR remote needs to be pointed directly at the TV, as opposed to RF remotes, which aren’t as finicky.

Overall, the Vizio M-Series looks great and performs very admirably considering its price point.

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