November 21, 2011
- QWERTY remote control
- Two lightweight 3D glasses included
- Lots of Internet streaming apps
- Very good 3D image quality
- Boring, chunky design
- No remote control backlighting
- 2D image quality falls short of the rest
The Vizio E3D420VX is a 42-inch HDTV that has some really great features, including 3D support and streaming, for a low cost. It has good color and picture quality, but not the best out there. The 3D image quality, on the other hand, is quite good and Vizio even includes two pairs of 3D glasses.
The Vizio E3D420VX doesn't have the most appealing design, as it has chunky looks, but it gets the job done. It has a glossy black frame with a perforated speaker grill along the bottom. One thing that we noticed was the dent in the middle of the speaker grill, which we originally thought was damage that occurred during shipping, but Vizio told us that it is part of the design, which really didn't make much sense to us. The set measures 40.2 x 3.3 x 25.9-inches (wdh) and weighs about 31-pounds.
Vizio's included remote control lacks any illumination and some of the keys are undersized. There are dedicated keys for Amazon Instant, Netflix and Vudu streaming, which we appreciate. The backside of the remote has a QWERTY keyboard that connects through infrared, so it does require you to use it within line-of-sight. We found this side of the remote control to work well and the keys were very responsive, but there is still no backlighting here either.
The features included in the Vizio E3D420VX are quite extensive for this TV's inexpensive price. Vizio includes a Yahoo-based widget system that makes up a strip at the bottom of the screen that requires excessive scrolling if you have many widgets installed. The streaming services also show across this bottom strip, so again, lots of horizontal scrolling is required. The included Internet streaming apps are Netflix, Amazon Instant, Hulu Plus, Vudu, Pandora, Rhapsody, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and a few others. There is no Web browser or YouTube access, so be aware.
A unique feature regarding the applications is the ability to run two applications simultaneously, so you can watch a Netflix streaming movie while checking your Facebook. While not a huge feature, it still stands out against all the other HDTVs. We also appreciated the built-in Wi-Fi, so there no need for a physical connection or a USB dongle.
Vizio includes two pair of its passive 3D glasses, but rather strangely, they are not identical. One of the pair is more curvy and the other pair is less curvy in design and has lenses that are more flat. The passive 3D technology means the glasses are cheaper and you can also use the 3D glasses from movie theaters with this TV if you happen to have a pair or two around the house. We really liked the included glasses because they were comfortable to wear and lightweight.
The various connectivity included with the Vizio E3D420VX are three HDMI inputs (1 side, 2 back), one composite video input, one component video input, VGA-in, optical audio out, coaxial input, one USB port and an Ethernet port. The composite, component and HDMI ports are labeled Good, Better and Best, respectively, so users unfamiliar with them will know which connections to use.
This TV's 2D performance is not the best of the bunch, but not horrible. It does have mediocre black levels but good color accuracy. The matte display allows for good viewing even in brightly lit rooms as reflections were minimal. The 3D performance was much better and was actually near the top of the pack in our opinion. There was no visible jagged edges and minimal artifacts. Crosstalk was also kept to a virtually unnoticeable level, which is always a struggle for most 3D TVs.