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Vizio’s 2018 4K TV lineup includes its brightest, most colorful set ever

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Plus voice support for Alexa and Google Assistant

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Vizio announced new revisions of its entire consumer 4K TV lineup today, with the latest waves of the P-Series, M-Series, D-Series, and E-Series set to arrive in stores over the next several weeks. And if you visit the company’s website today, you’ll notice that Vizio is again referring to these devices as TVs — not just “displays” — because they all once again have TV tuners and coax inputs built-in.

At the top of the 2018 family is an entirely new flagship, the P-Series Quantum. Available only in a 65-inch model, the P-Series Quantum is the company’s brightest TV yet and reaches peak brightness of 2,000 nits. That should make things like fire, explosions, and other HDR goodness really pop to the point where you might need to look away from the screen. For context, the old P-Series topped out above 500 nits in some HDR scenes. If Vizio’s measurement is accurate, this will be one of the brightest consumer TVs produced to date.

The P-Series Quantum also has more full-array local dimming zones (192 versus “up to 120” in the regular 2018 P-Series), so it should put out some of the best contrast and deepest blacks we’ve ever seen from a Vizio-branded TV. And as Samsung has done with its QLED lineup, Vizio is now talking up quantum dot technology as a differentiator and the key reason behind the P-Series Quantum’s lush colors and expanded range. The company isn’t getting very specific on that point just yet.

It’s priced at $2,199.99, which is significantly higher than the $1,299.99 asking price for Vizio’s non-Quantum P-Series in the same size. That’s up near LG OLED territory, so even if it lives up to Vizio’s hype, the picture quality will face stiff competition. The P-Series Quantum will be released sometime this summer, trailing the rest of the lineup by a bit.

Full-array local dimming allows the TV to control very specific areas of its backlight to maximize contrast and brightness on one part of the screen while preserve black levels and shadows on another.

That regular 2018 P-Series is no slouch either. It doesn’t have the quantum dot tech or as many dimming zones, but it does have the “bezel-less design,” albeit with a more noticeable silver chin at the bottom of the display. That’s still a very nice improvement over the obvious silver border that framed the screen on its predecessor.

The number of dimming zones in the new P-Series depends on size: the 55-inch model has 56, 65-inch has 100, and the 75-inch TV has 120. Peak HDR brightness is advertised as 1,000 nits — another nice bump over the older P-Series. As always, it’s got Dolby Vision HDR built in. All sizes are using VA panels this year, including the 55-inch variant which differed from the rest of the line with an IPS panel last time around.

The new 2018 P-Series has much slimmer bezels than its predecessor.

2018 P-Series pricing:

  • 75-inch $2,599.99
  • 65-inch: $1,799.99
  • 55-inch: $1,199.99

Over the last couple years, Vizio’s M-Series has been a great value for those who don’t need every feature and picture spec of the P-Series. And the 2018 revision (pictured below) looks to continue that reputation; you’re getting great 4K HDR image quality with Dolby Vision and local dimming for a lower cost than the upper-tier TVs.

It’s available in 55-, 65-, and 70-inch ($1,700) sizes with 32, 40, and 48 local dimming zones, respectively. And Vizio also highlights its “bezel-less” appearance. To be clear, these TVs all have borders around the screen, but they’re flush with the glass at the top and on the sides. The bottom chin protrudes out a bit. Vizio doesn’t make any flashy claims about brightness on the M-Series, so it’s probably not as blinding as the P-Series at peak moments. But you’ll definitely still see the HDR difference.

2018 M-Series pricing:

  • 70-inch: $1,699.99
  • 65-inch: $1,399.99
  • 55-inch: $999.99

Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa support built in

The 2018 Vizio TVs support voice commands for both Alexa and Google Assistant. With Alexa, you can turn the TV on and off, adjust the volume, play, or pause. Google’s voice assistant is a bit more powerful here, as it can fire up your streaming requests from Netflix, YouTube, and other apps. Alexa can’t do that on Vizio’s sets.

The user experience is similar to last year.

In 2017, Vizio moved away from the Chromecast-only strategy it boldly debuted on the original P-Series, which required users to beam content to the TV from their own devices. You can still cast video and audio apps to these TVs, but for simplicity’s sake they also include bundled apps for the essentials like Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, and YouTube. The interface was a bit laggy last year, so I’m hoping that Vizio made some optimizations and refinements there. This year’s software also adds universal search. All 2016 and 2017 TVs will be upgraded to the latest version of the SmartCast OS beginning today on a rolling basis.