There is something really interesting about the 2014 VIZIO E-Series and that is the pleasant fact that all of their models are priced below $1000. The massive 70-inch VIZIO E701i-A3 TV that was introduced back in 2013 has yet to receive an update and remains priced above $1,500 but the new flagship product should be enough to attract many people that are looking for a larger-than-average TV. The VIZIO E600i-B3 is VIZIO’s latest attempt at packing a rather impressive set of features in a large panel and pricing it well below most of the competition.
The E600i-B3 adapts the same design from the other current VIZIO E-Series TVs as well the 2013 models but those that haven’t been acquainted with VIZIO TVs in the past will definitely show appreciation to the unique way these TVs were designed. The large 60-inch display can’t be ignored as it is outlined with a stylish frame with the bezel measuring just 0.4 inches. The thickness of the TV has been reduced 30% too so this large budget TV looks a lot more premium than it should. The bottom part of the frame is a bit thicker and the VIZIO logo is located on the bottom right just to give the TV its own personality. The flat stand is a nice touch as well. Of course, you can buy a standard VESA wall mount separately if you wish to mount this to the wall.
The connection ports highlight one of the flaws of the VIZIO E600i-B3 and that is the limited amount of HDMI ports. There are 2 HDMI ports facing downward on the back of the TV and another on the side. The strange thing is that the smaller and less expensive E550i-B2 55-inch model has 4 HDMI ports and has the same features. The rest of the ports are pretty ordinary keeping the connectivity simple with just one USB port.
TV manufacturers these days put their Internet-enabled features on the forefront to differentiate themselves from the rest of the competition. VIZIO may be the budget runner here but it concentrated a lot on the Internet features. These features helped add value to the 2013 series and it is once again present in the E600i-B3. Armed with a built in wireless LAN, the VIZIO E600i-B3 can easily connect to a wireless router that is connected to the Internet. This is necessary to enjoy most of the apps that show up the moment you press that “V” button on the remote control. Picking an app is easy because the tiles representing these apps appear horizontally on the bottom part of the screen. Whatever TV source is playing will continue to play until you decide to pick an app or press the “V” button again. This simple selection doesn’t represent all the apps that are installed in the TV and that’s the best part of the interface as it is completely customizable. You get to put all of your favorite apps there so you can easily launch them without going through the traditional full screen interface.
VIZIO didn’t drop the full screen approach though as you go directly there if you press the “V” button from the dock. The good news is that this full screen interface is pretty simple to navigate too. Rather than being cluttered with widgets, what you get is a simple tabbed interface that revolves around apps. You have access to all apps installed in the E600i-B3 and they once again take the form of tiles that resemble the Windows 8 look. When connected to the Internet, you can browse other apps that you wish to install and even preview them before you keep them on the TV. The app selection is pretty vast with dozens of popular services including Netflix and Hulu as well as news sites and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. With the 2014 series, VIZIO decided to make the navigation a bit simpler by getting rid of the keyboard on the back of the remote. While this makes entering text a bit more difficult, the remote feels more comfortable. Overall, the VIZIO E600i-B3 is very easy to use and there is an onscreen user manual in case you need help operating the TV.
The E600i-B3 isn’t really the best large TV to get if you are looking for extremely tight mobile integration but Android and iOS users do get treated with the basic ability to transfer multimedia content to the screen. When using YouTube or Netflix on the display, you can also use the smartphone or tablet as a mini remote to control playback and get some info on what is currently playing at the moment.
If you can’t put too many videos and other files on your device for TV playback, you can transfer them to a thumb drive instead and plug it in the TV’s only USB port. Only flash drives (not external hard disks) work and they must be formatted in FAT32. Several video, audio and image file types are supported.
Those that know their TV stuff can already predict that the VIZIO E600i-B3 won’t hold a candle to plasma displays and other LED TVs that have more sophisticated technologies. This is true as the E600i-B3 showed average black level performance when dark scenes hit. Fortunately, a little bit of tweaking to the Black Detail option slightly improved the contrast without messing up the rest of the picture. That same setting can improve the side angle viewing as well. One thing that can’t really be fixed is the aspect ratio when viewing standard definition content. Compared to the 2013 models, the VIZIO E600i-B3 can be seen as a huge improvement thanks to the Active LED Local Dimming.
With a simple Smart TV usability, plenty of apps, decent picture quality and a $900 price tag, the E600i-B3 ends on a high note. A nice looking TV that is large and affordably priced is enough to recommend this TV despite its small flaws in the performance department.
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