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Vizio P Series Quantum First Impressions Review

Check out Vizio's TV blockbuster this summer: the P Series Quantum

Credit: Reviewed / Lee Neikirk
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This week, Vizio announced its 2018 TV lineup, and it's all names you've heard (and probably considered buying) before: the D, E, M, and P series are back!

All of Vizio's 2018 TVs feature full-array local dimming (FALD) again this year, and the company has also brought back built-in tuners (for cable/antenna), a feature that was missing from the last two years' models.

But for real AV enthusiasts, the most exciting announcement is the new P Series Quantum, a high-end 65-inch model with FALD, smart features, 4K resolution, HDR, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos and—as the name implies—quantum dots!

Vizio says the 65-inch-only P Series Quantum will be available this summer for $2,200. I had the chance to check the TV out in action during the company's Spring Showcase in NYC this week. Here are my first impressions.

Vizio's P Series Quantum sounds promising

My main takeaway during eyes-on time with the Quantum, including Vizio's really cool FALD demos and a side-by-side comparison with an LG OLED, is that it looks pretty legit.

The company has claimed about a 20% increase in color compared to the non-Quantum P Series, and a benchmark of 2,000 nits (compared to 1,000 nits on the standard P Series, 600 nits on the M Series, and 400 nits on the E Series). I won't be able to take color or brightness measurements until we get a model into the lab for testing, but the TV certainly looked very bright and colorful in person.

Vizio-PSQ-bright-colors
Credit: Reviewed / Lee Neikirk
Vizio claims the quantum dot-equipped P Series Quantum will hit 2,000 nits of brightness and around 90% of the DCI-P3 color space.

The "deepest blacks" claim during the demo reel is obviously a bit exaggerated: even during the side-by-side demo with the LG OLED, the presenter admitted that, of course, the LED/LCD P Series' blacks likely wouldn't ever be as dark as an OLED's, which can simply shut off the parts of the screen that should be totally black. Those are pretty big shoes to fill.

Vizio has claimed that the P Series Quantum will hit 2,000 nits of brightness. Tweet It

But I can say that traditionally, Vizio's TVs—equipped with both very responsive/well-tuned local dimming algorithms and VA-style LCD panels—have very respectable black levels for LED/LCD TVs. I watched footage of a star field on the P Series Quantum besides an LG OLED in a blacked-out room, and the difference in their black levels wasn't immensely obvious, though I could still definitely see a difference.

(It's worth noting that the P Series Quantum was also almost painfully bright in this setting; both TVs were in their Vivid or Dynamic modes).

Vizio-PSQ-black-level
Credit: Reviewed / Lee Neikirk
The Vizio P Series Quantum (left) compared to an LG OLED (right)

Beyond its 192 local dimming zones, the most exciting thing about the upcoming P Series Quantum? The name is pretty incredible if you're a Fallout fan.

Kidding aside, the P Series Quantum does seem like a very promising 2018 option in terms of picture quality for price. Getting a 65-inch 4K/HDR/Dolby Vision equipped TV that covers a large portion of the HDR-facing DCI-P3 color space and purportedly produces 2,000 nits of brightness is checking off a lot of boxes, especially for $2,200.

Vizio-PSQ-FALD1
Credit: Reviewed / Lee Neikirk
Vizio demo'd the P Series Quantum's 192 local dimming zone functionality compared to the non-quantum P, M, and E Series 2018 models. The difference was very clear.

... And the kitchen sink, too

While most P Series Quantum buyers will be hunting for "close-to-OLED" levels of picture performance at "not $4,000" price tags, the 65-inch P Series Quantum has plenty of other fixin's to help ice the cake.

Vizio's continuing to use the "Smart Cast" platform, which folds in Google Cast abilities, allowing you to control the TV using your smartphone (or any second-screen device that can download the Smart Cast app). You'll also be able to cast any Google Cast-compliant apps directly to the TV.

Vizio-PSQ-smart
Credit: Reviewed / Lee Neikirk
Vizio's 2018 models will still use the Smart Cast (Google Cast) based system, but they also all have TV tuners again.

This is about the same situation as last year's models. What's new here is integrated Amazon Alexa and Google Home functionality. Vizio demo'd asking Alexa to turn the channel up or down, or asking Google Home what the weather in New York was currently. As usual during these types of demos, there were a few flubs, but eventually everything worked.

As I stated in the intro, the 2018 Vizio sets all have built-in tuners again too. From the P Series Quantum down through the E Series, you'll also get support for both types of High Dynamic Range: HDR and Dolby Vision. The Quantum supports Dolby Atmos as well, and still has the HDR-bypassing fifth HDMI input which is designed for super-low input lag (a boon for gamers). The other four HDMI inputs are all HDMI 2.0 compatible.

Should you buy it?

Honestly? Probably

I'm not expecting the P Series Quantum to perform on quite the same level as one of LG's premium OLEDs, the current leader in the TV ecosystem where picture quality is concerned.

But for a little over $2,000, this is a seriously good deal. Or it seems like one. I can't say for certain that you're getting a full 2,000 nits out of this TV until I have one in the lab, and the same thing goes for the color saturation. But Vizio has been mastering its local dimming algorithm for a number of years now, and the P Series has been a huge boon for picture enthusiasts who don't want to spend more than a couple thousand dollars every year since it hit the scene.

While you should check out reviews this summer before the P Series Quantum launches, it's safe to say this TV should definitely ping on the radar for anyone looking to upgrade to a fancy 4K/HDR set.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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