February 11, 2013
- Affordable price
- Nice-looking design
- Strong set of Smart TV apps
- Deep black levels
- No remote backlight
- Local-dimming may reduce quality
- Color vividness is lacking
The Vizio E500I-A1 is a 50-inch LED 1080p HDTV with deep black levels, a good selection of online content and a sleek design. We were a little disappointed with the quality of the image, however, especially in terms of the color vividness and the local-dimming.
The design of the E500I-A1 is very impressive and definitely one of the nicer Vizio TVs that we've seen. The black shiny plastic bezel measures only about a half-inch thick and a offset Vizio logo on the bottom is a unique, but pleasing way to place a logo. The stand is also black and feels sturdy as well as providing adequate support. The TV measures 44.6 x 10.4 x 28.1-inches (wdh) and weighs 37-pounds.
Vizio includes its typical two-sided remote control with this model, which gives you a full QWERTY keyboard on the backside. The front main remote is decent and covers all the necessary features, but it does lack backlighting and some of the keys are quite small.
The menu system on this TV is also the same that Vizio has been using on its recent HDTVs. It also uses a horizontal bottom scroll bar for accessing the built-in applications.
Speaking of applications, the Smart TV features on this TV is definitely one of its strong suits. It includes virtually every major video service out there and other services like Pandora, Rhapsody, Facebook, Twitter, etc. A Skype application is available but it requires a $70 camera/speakerphone combo. This TV is not DLNA-supported, so you cannot use it to stream music, photos and videos from a home network but these files are supported via USB.
Connectivity with the Vizio E500I-A1 includes three HDMI-inputs, one component input (also serves as a composite input), an Ethernet port and one USB port. There is also built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi for wireless networking. Vizio has done away with VGA-input for PC input with this TV.
The image quality of the Vizio E500I-A1 is a mixed bag however, which is disappointing. The local-dimming LED backlit didn't seem to help the picture and with some viewers, they felt the image was better with the local-dimming disabled. The black levels of this TV were good but the color accuracy and vibrancy was lacking as some colors looked washed out and dull. We did like the matte finish on the screen, which helped to reduce glare from reflections.
For more HDTV reviews, visit our HDTV Reviews page.