Over the past few years of staring into screens, I’ve come to realize that most viewers want a middle-class TV. Maybe not a TV that drives a BMW and lives in a huge McMansion in the suburbs, but one that is a step above industry-average performance.
We might not want to shell out an extra thousand dollars for a touch more brightness or a super-thin screen, but we might pay a couple extra hundred for a smoother response time for sports and gaming, or to get local dimming so we can watch Game of Thrones without wondering what the heck is going on.
That’s where Vizio’s M-Series Quantum X has really made its mark. A step below the company’s flagship P and PX series, but above the budget D and V series, this solid 4K TV provides excellent image quality at a price most middle-class people can afford. Add to that an easy-to-use interface and easy casting from mobile, and this is one of my favorite TVs of the year.
First off, let me reiterate that I have a thing about legs. They should be located toward the middle of the TV, so we don’t have to buy the world’s largest TV stands (or wall-mount a 65-incher by ourselves).
I’m happy to say that the biggest aesthetic difference between this and other M-Series models I have tested over the years is that the legs are well off the sides of the screen, making it super easy to place on existing furniture.
Otherwise, this looks like a TV: rectangular, fairly thin, and with thin bezels on each side of the screen. On the side, you’ll notice that there’s a green color-coded HDMI eARC port that is designed explicitly to help you plug in your soundbar more easily. From there, you just need to plug the TV into the wall and turn it on to start the setup.
Vizo uses the Smartcast ecosystem, a house-made interface that I actually prefer to the vast majority of other companies’ efforts. It is designed to integrate particularly well with mobile devices, with easy casting (hence the name) from both Android and iOS via Chromecast and Apple Airplay.
Turn on the screen and you’ll see a list of all the major apps—everything from Netflix to Plex—making it easy to find whatever you’re looking for nearly instantly. I like that when I’m watching F1 TV, a channel that isn’t available in the Vizio app store, I can just use the Chromecast functionality and stream it natively from my phone. Little things like this make the difference between a good TV and a great one, rather than nearly imperceptible differences in image quality.
The M-Series Quantum X isn’t the most tech-packed TV the company makes, but it does offer some of the brand’s higher-end technology. Good local dimming performance—where there are multiple zones of backlighting for deeper black levels—has long been a hallmark of Vizio’s top-end models, and you get a good representation here. I was able to watch contrast-rich shows like Game of Thrones and Andor without any problems at all. It has fewer zones than the TCL 6 Series and Hisense U7H models, which I also like, but Vizio’s software comes extremely close to making up the difference.
You get a 120-Hz refresh rate and support from AMD Freesync, which means that this model is actually a pretty solid gaming option. The 50-inch version of the TV can do 1080p content at 240 frames per second, which is pretty impressive for any TV, let alone one in this price bracket. Xbox Series X and Playstation 5 gamers will like that it supports the full 120 frames per second that those 4K devices are possible of delivering. No more bottlenecks from a mid-tier TVs!
That makes the 50-inch model in particular (my review unit was a 65-incher) very attractive for those who game in smaller spaces. Most of us don’t need anything bigger than that for bedrooms, dorm rooms, or small apartments, which makes the TV a compelling and affordable buy for those spaces.