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The 8 Best Small TVs - Fall 2018
Reviews

Best Small TVs
205 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.

Even though 55" and 65" have become the most popular TV sizes, smaller TVs are still very important to a lot of people. These sizes are great for a secondary TV, like in a guest room or kitchen, or even for student dorms. Although you usually won't get the most advanced features or the best picture quality, there are still many decent TVs available in smaller sizes.

We've reviewed 24 small TVs, and below you'll find our picks for the best ones available for purchase in 2018. See also our recommendations for the best 32 inch TVs.

  1. Best 32 Inch TV: TCL 32S305

    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
    6.2
    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:
    5.8
    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:
    6.9
    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.
    7.0
    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.
    4.6
    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:
    4.1
    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.
    6.6
    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 : 1080p (except 28", 32")

    If you want an even smaller TV, check out the TCL S305. While it definitely isn't as good as the other TVs on our list, it is a good choice for a small budget TV for a dorm or kitchen. It isn't very bright and the picture quality is not impressive, and the 28" and 32" models are limited to a 720p resolution.

    The 32S305 has excellent smart features, and is powered by the same smart platform as the much more expensive S517 or R617. The Roku interface has an excellent assortment of available apps, and can stream media files from your mobile device.

    See our review

  2. Hard to Find Alternative: Samsung UN32M5300

    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 : 1080p

    If you want a small TV with wide viewing angles, check out the Samsung UN32M5300. The M5300 is a mediocre 1080p TV with decent viewing angles and a fast response time. It has a decent motion interpolation feature to further improve motion performance, but its capabilities are limited by the 60 Hz refresh rate.

    It has very good low input lag, making it a decent choice for a dorm-room gaming TV. It gets decently bright and has great reflection handling. Unfortunately, it is a bit hard to find at the moment.

    See our review

  3. Best Small 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 Samsung UN43NU7100 is the best small TV that we have reviewed so far. It has excellent dark room performance, thanks to the excellent native contrast ratio and outstanding black uniformity. It has decent peak brightness, and good reflection handling, so there shouldn't be any issues watching TV in a well-lit room.

    The NU7100 has excellent low input lag, great for gaming or for use as a PC monitor, and it supports most common resolutions without issue. 

    Unfortunately, it has limited HDR capabilities due to its limited brightness and lack of a wide color gamut. It also has narrow viewing angles, and is best enjoyed from directly in front. Overall, it is a decent entry-level 4k TV that should please most people.

    See our review

  4. Harder to Find 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

    The Vizio E Series 2018 E43-F1 is a bit better than the Samsung NU7100, but it is very difficult to find. It produces decent overall picture quality, and it has great dark room performance thanks to the excellent native contrast ratio and outstanding black uniformity. It has excellent low input lag for gaming, and decent motion handling, but it lacks a motion interpolation feature.

    Unfortunately, the E43-F1 can't get very bright, and the image degrades when viewed at an angle. It also doesn't have very advanced smart features. There are a few built-in apps, but no content store and no way to add new apps. Overall, it is a good 4k UHD TV that should please most people.

    See our review

  5. Best Small Smart 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 small TV with great smart features, check out the TCL 43S517. It is a decent LED UHD TV with a wide color gamut, great dark room performance, and low input lag for gaming, or for use as a PC monitor.

    The S517 has great smart features. There are hundreds of streaming channels (apps) available, so you won't need to worry about having an external streaming box like an Apple TV connected to the TV. It can also stream files directly from your mobile device, similar to a chrome cast.

    Unfortunately, it doesn't have a local dimming feature, and the smaller models don't support motion interpolation. Like the Vizio E Series 2018 E43-F1, it isn't very bright and the image degrades when viewed at an angle. Overall, it is a decent 4k TV that should please most people.

    See our review

  6. 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 like the smart features of the TCL 43S517, but want something cheaper, check out the TCL 43S405. If you can still find it, the S405 is a simpler version of the S517, but with the same great smart features. It is a lot dimmer and doesn't have a wide color gamut, so HDR content doesn't look much different from SDR. It looks great in a dark room, and has very similar motion performance to the 43S517. Overall, it is a decent, cheap 4k TV that works well in a guest room or even as a PC monitor.

    See our review

  7. Best Small TV for Wide Rooms: LG 43UK6300

    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
    7.1
    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:
    5.8
    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:
    7.6
    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:
    7.3
    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.
    7.9
    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.
    5.6
    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:
    7.3
    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.
    :
    IPS
    Resolution : "4k"

    If you want the best small TV for a wide seating area, check out the LG 43UK6300. It is a decent 4k IPS TV with wide viewing angles, it has a very good response time, and outstanding low input lag. It also has the same great smart features as the more expensive LG TVs.

    The UK6300 has excellent reflection handling, good for bright rooms, but unfortunately, it doesn't get very bright. It has a very good response time, so fast moving objects appear clear, and without much motion blur. It uses PWM to dim the backlight, which can cause duplications in motion and can bother some people.

    Unfortunately, the 43UK6300 doesn't look as good in a dark room, the IPS panel doesn't have a very good contrast ratio, so blacks appear gray, and it has bad black uniformity. It also uses a different sub-pixel structure that may bother some people. Overall, it is a great TV for a wide seating area or a bright room that should please most people.

    See our review

  8. Hard to find, Brighter Alternative: 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 like the wide viewing angles of the LG UK6300, but want something brighter, check out the Sony 43X720E. The X720E is quite a bit brighter than the UK6300, and has even better viewing angles. Unfortunately, the smart features aren't as advanced, and the app selection is quite limited. It is also very difficult to find, and quite a bit more expensive than the 43UK6300.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Vizio D Series 4k 2018. Decent 4k TV, but the Samsung NU7100 is a bit better overall. See our review
  • Samsung NU6900. Decent 4k LED LCD TV, but the Samsung NU7100 has better motion handling. See our review
  • Toshiba Fire TV 2018. Decent 4k TV, but the TCL 43S517 and 43S405 are better choices. See our review
  • Samsung The Frame 2018. Good 4k TV, but extremely expensive. See our review

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best small televisions 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 small TVs. 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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