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Updated , Dimitris Katsaounis

The 6 Best 40-42-43 inch TVs - December 2018
Reviews

Best 40-42-43 Inch TVs
206 Televisions Tested
  • Store-bought TVs; no cherry-picked units
  • Retest after major updates
  • Easily comparable results
  • No ads; unbiased reviews
Learn more about our approach to product reviews here.

The 40-43” size is slowly losing the focus of manufacturers. Manufacturers and buyers are focusing on larger TVs (see our recommendations for the best 55 inch TVs), but even though you will not find the most premium models among these sizes, there are still some good TVs to choose from.

We've tested 24 TVs in 2017 and 2018 that are available in these sizes and below are our recommendations for the best 40-43 inch TVs.

Note: Prices and availability fluctuate a lot at the end of the year and especially after Black Friday.

  1. Best 40-42-43 inch TV: Samsung UN43NU7100

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2015
    • 0.9: Winter 2014
    • 0.8: Winter 2013
    7.4
    Mixed Usage
    What it is: General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
    Score components:
    6.8
    Movies
    What it is: Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
    Score components:
    7.5
    TV Shows
    What it is: TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
    Score components:
    7.2
    Sports
    What it is: Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
    8.3
    Video Games
    What it is: Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
    6.8
    HDR Movies
    What it is: HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
    Score components:
    7.7
    HDR Gaming
    What it is: HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
    7.9
    PC Monitor
    What it is: PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
    Score components:
    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 4k

    The best 43 inch 4k TV is the Samsung UN43NU7100. Although the NU7100 has just a decent picture quality, the dark room performance is great due to the deep and uniform blacks. It is a very responsive TV with a very low input lag which makes it a good choice for those who want to use it for gaming or as a PC monitor. 

    Unfortunately, the pixel response time is not very fast and a slightly longer blur trail is obvious behind fast moving objects.

    Overall, the Samsung UN43NU7100 a decent entry-level 4k TV that will keep most people happy.

    See our review

  2. Better Dark Room Alternative: Vizio E43-F1

    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 4k

    If you want better dark room performance, get the Vizio E43-F1. You will not get the good gray uniformity of the Samsung, but the Vizio E Series 2018 is a good 4k VA TV with deep, uniform blacks, and very good reflection handling. Gamers will appreciate the fast response time and the low input lag, which also means it feels responsive when using it as a computer monitor. Unfortunately, there isn't much advantage to HDR, as it doesn't have a wide color gamut and it can't get very bright in HDR, so small highlights don't stand out as much as they should. Overall, it is a good entry-level 4k TV that should please most people, but it is very hard to find.

    See our review

  3. Alternative with wide viewing angles: Sony KD43X720E

    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    IPS
    Resolution : 4k

    If you often use the TV as a PC monitor and find that the viewing angles of the Samsung NU7100 are inadequate, then get the Sony KD43X720E. You will not have the deep blacks of the Samsung since the Sony TV has an IPS panel which makes the image washed out in darker rooms. On the upside, the Sony X720E is a decent entry level 4k TV with a low input lag that you can safely use as a PC monitor or for gaming. It has wide viewing angles that prevent uniformity issues at the edges of the screen when you view the TV from up-close. Lately, it has become hard to find.

    See our review

  4. Best Smart Features (40-42-43 inch TV): TCL 43S517

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches:

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2015
    • 0.9: Winter 2014
    • 0.8: Winter 2013
    7.4
    Mixed Usage
    What it is: General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
    Score components:
    7.1
    Movies
    What it is: Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
    Score components:
    7.3
    TV Shows
    What it is: TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
    Score components:
    7.0
    Sports
    What it is: Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
    8.1
    Video Games
    What it is: Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
    7.2
    HDR Movies
    What it is: HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
    Score components:
    7.8
    HDR Gaming
    What it is: HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
    7.8
    PC Monitor
    What it is: PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
    Score components:
    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 4k

    If you want a better smart feature platform than the one on our top pick, get the TCL 5 Series 43S517. You might experience more uniformity issues with the TCL 43S517 than with the Samsung NU7100 and dark scenes on the Samsung look more uniform with less clouding.

    On the upside, the TCL S517 has the Roku smart features platform and is great for gaming as it has a very low input lag. HDR content also looks better on the S517 due to the wide color gamut. This TV has a high native contrast ratio that makes blacks look deep in a dark room just like more expensive models such as the TCL R617, which is not available in a 40-43” size.

    Overall, the TCL S517 is one of the best 43 inch smart TVs that offers many of the options found in larger models for a fraction of the price.

    See our review

  5. Cheaper alternative: TCL 43S405

    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 4k

    If you want a cheaper alternative than the TCL 43S517 but are not willing to compromise in picture quality, then get the TCL 43S405/43S425. You will not get the more advanced motion interpolation feature or the same good brightness as the S517. On the upside, the TCL S403/S425 is great for gaming as it has very low input lag, it displays deep blacks in dark rooms due to the great native contrast ratio and has low motion blur that keeps fast content clear. Unfortunately, it has become hard to find.

    See our review

  6. Even cheaper alternative: TCL 40S305

    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 1080p (except 28", 32")

    If you want an even cheaper alternative than the TCL 43S405/S425, then get the TCL 40S305/S325, which is quite similar. It is a basic 1080p TV with minimal settings and no HDR support and it cannot get very bright. On the positive side, blacks are deep and are reproduced well, and the TV uses the Roku interface that has some excellent smart features.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Samsung The Frame 2018. The best TV available in this size, but way more expensive than the rest in this category. See our review
  • Vizio D43-F1Good entry level TV but Vizio E43-F1 is better. See our review
  • LG 43UK6300. Average LED TV with wide viewing angles, but poor value compared to the cheaper TCL S517 and hard to find. See our review
  • TCL 40D100. Good basic LED TV, essentially the same as the S305 but without any smart features. See our review
  • Toshiba Fire TV 43LF621U19. Decent 4k LED TV but doesn't offer much over the TCL S405/S425 for the price. See our review

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best 40-43 inch TVs to buy for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (a cheaper TV wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors and availability (no TVs that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).

If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our reviews of TVs that have a 40-42-43 inch size. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no TV is perfect, most TVs are great enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them. 

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