Gear Patrol loves our Vizio TVs. The only argument we have is in trying to decide what we like better – their excellent HDTV offerings or the smoking prices at which they are offered. That’s why we didn’t hesitate when given the chance to review their Razor LED HDTV line. Forgoing (for now) the bigger-is-always-better mentality, Vizio offers the very contemporary Razor in 19″ and 23″ sizes. We took the 1080p 23″ VM230XVT for a test drive and we were more than pleased with the results. Hit the jump to get our full take.
Though it may seem obvious to most of our readers, Vizio’s Razor line is aiming at consumers interested in particular uses for this HDTV. Buyers interested in a bedroom or kitchen TV, or perhaps a unit to double as a TV and computer monitor, will be most pleased with the VM230XVT. On the other hand, those looking to replace their aging 42″ plasma should look here, instead. Still, in the performance and design departments, the Razor has many attributes to recommend it.
First and foremost, the Razor LED HDTV is a freaking gorgeous piece of design engineering. This predominant feature is edge to edge cover glass that eliminates the traditional plastic bezel that’s seen on most televisions. The result here is striking and contemporary. Hiding in the lower-left hand corner of the glass cover is Vizio’s context-sensitive proximity touch panel, eliminating the clutter of any controls on or about the face and sides of the Razor. Furthermore, the unit’s 1″ profile is just plain skinny, and its minimal footprint allows for a variety of mounting options or use with the included 25 degree tilt stand.
Strong performance and innovative features compliment the Razor’s advanced design, as well; the XVT designation in the model number indicates that this HDTV sports a full suite of Vizio’s most advanced display features including 1080p resolution, 16.7 colors displayed, 20,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, and 5ms response time. There are a wealth of connectivity options for a set of this size, offering dual HDMI ports, RF (cable) connection with internal tuner, one component connection, one S-Video connection, and and RGB port for computer hook up.
Practically, speaking the Razor is certainly capable of producing bright, vibrant on-screen images. It’s glossy screen does wonders for sharp viewing (provided that you’ve avoided any potential sources of glare), and we didn’t detect even a hint of blur or ghosting in either fast-moving scenes or in video game play. Equally pleasing, we found the black levels of the Razor to be quite impressively inky, likely owing to it’s advanced LED backlighting technology. Not expecting much from the sound in a television of this size, we weren’t disappointed. That means you’ll do well to look to a nice 5.1 or 2.1 setup to meet your auditory needs, depending on your intended use of the Razor.
The only potential gripe that we had with this TV was a minor one, as it would have been nice to have a remote that was designed as astutely and sturdily as the TV itself. Though we think they were going for something pleasantly unassuming, we found the remote to be a bit flimsy and crowded, especially when compared to the quality of the TV. Not the end of the world, but it leaves room for improvement.
Finally, it’s worth noting that the Razor is billed as eco-friendly to the Nth degree, and for good reason. Its power consumption bests Energy Star 3.0 Standards by over 55% and its LED backlight is entirely Mercury-free in its construction. Additionally, the Razor’s intelligent lighting sensor automatically adjusts the screen’s brightness based on ambient conditions in order to conserve power and deliver the best possible picture. Despite is glossy black duds, the Razor is a real green machine. Wicked-good performance and smarts to boot, we can’t do anything but lend the Gear Patrol seal of approval to the Vizio Razor.
Buy Now: $307