Vizio M-Series Quantum (2021) Review: Affordable and Mantle-Worthy

Even though suppliers are struggling to keep up with the demand, it is a great time for TV buyers. The mid-tier market has never been more competitive. It's possible to get a lot for less than $1,000 these days, and the prices continue to fall while our eyes reap all the benefits.
Vizio M-Series ranks among the top of a closely-matched group. It features quantum dots for brighter colors and local dimming for darker blacks. The current price is less than $700. It is rare to find a TV that ticks all these boxes at such a low price. This is good news for your wallet if you are looking for a flatscreen TV.

The Black Box

It can be difficult to choose between mid-range TVs when shopping in person. They all look almost the same. The M-Series is no exception. It's approximately an inch and a quarter thick and has thin bezels, just like other mid-priced models by TCL, Samsung and LG. The remote is a generic looking plastic device that comes with a few hot keys to stream services.

Photograph: Vizio

This TV will need to be wall-mounted unless it has a large stand. The legs are located near the ends of the TV, not at the center. This means that you will need a stand that is about the same length as the TV. This is not going to work for every living space.

Vizio's business model is to bring top-tier technology down to a price that is affordable. This means that there are no compromises on aesthetics. Vizio's exceptional backlighting technology, and the iQ processing engine are not going to give you razor-thin appearances.

Based on what content is being played, the company's dimming backlighting technology can adjust to turn on or off. Some of the 32 zones can be adjusted to achieve different brightness levels in dark scenes. This allows you to get more gray and less black.

Although local dimming may not be as effective as OLED technology or organic LEDs, it does improve contrast quality. With the new M-Series, Vizio's tech expertise is on full display. As I watched darker shows such as Stranger Things and The Mandolorian (which have dark backgrounds), I noticed that everything looked crisp and clean with just a hint of light bloom (where bright objects are haloed).

This model features HDMI 2.1 ports. An earlier model of the 2021 M-Series had HDMI 2.0 ports. The upgraded port supports the eArc standards for soundbar setup and integrates immediately with the TV remote. You should also use soundbars or speakers as the TV's sound quality is a bit sluggish. However, it sounds better than smaller TVs.