If you want to escape the washed-out color of low- and mid-range LED TVs without breaking the bank, Vizio’s SmartCast P-Series displays are the way to do it. That said, Vizio claims of “picture perfection” are overstated—the P-Series are not without flaws; at least not the $1700 65-inch version we tested. Regardless, the color and HDR are impressive.

Vizio SmartCast P-Series design and features

The P65-E1 we tested sports a relatively thin silver bezel, is about 2.5-inches deep, and weighs in at approximately 63 pounds including stands. We aren’t sticklers about looks, at least once the game or movie starts, but the silver bezel is more noticeable than darker-colored bezels that tend to blend in with the display panel itself. A complete and utter preference call. The P65-E1 accepts a VESA-standard 400mm square mount for wall hanging. 

The panel itself measures 64.53-inch diagonally (65-inch class) with a resolution of 3840 by 2160 pixels. It supports 10-bit color and features 128 lighting zones and a 240Hz “effective” refresh rate, meaning an actual hardware refresh rate of 120Hz.

Note that the SmartCast P-Series is a display. TVs have tuners, the P-Series does not. If you’re thinking of cutting the cable, you’ll need an outboard device to pull in over-the-air television broadcasts or stream from a service.

The P65-E1 has a whopping five HDMI ports, four of which support HDMI 2.0a (you need the “a” for HDR signals) with the last one stuck back at 1.4a. All support HDCP 2.2 and one supports ARC (audio return channel) for soundbars and the like. There are also analog and digital audio outputs if your outboard audio gear isn’t that modern.

rs10034 p55 e1 p65 e1 p75 e1.3377 back closeup Vizio

There are plenty of inputs on the P65-E1. Note that the green component output also serves as a composite output.

Also on board are two USB ports, an ethernet port, component inputs (the green doubles as composite), and 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

Vizio goes back to a real remote

The first version of the P-Series relied on an Android tablet for remote control. If you’re phone or tablet-centric, you might think that’s a wonderful idea. The communications lag, however, left many users desiring a dedicated remote; aka, the right tool for the job. Vizio listened to the complaints and the latest version of the P-Series ships with a very nice dedicated remote. Perhaps not quite as slick as Samsung’s latest efforts, but darn close, and easy to learn.

xrt136 remote Vizio

Perhaps not as slick as the new Samsung remotes, this one is easy and a welcome addition. You may still control the TV using Vizio’s SmartCast iOS and Android app.

Our only real complaint about the dedicated remote is that we’d like the Back button located where the Exit button is—to the upper left of the four-way navigation button. We spent more time backing out of menus than exiting altogether, and the size of the four-button rocker switch makes reaching the back button a bit of a stretch.

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