The 50-inch Vizio MQX is the first TV to support 1080p at 240hz through HDMI and while impressive, the panel isn’t great at much else

Vizio MQX Review

Vizio made a splash with the MQX by becoming the first manufacturer to support up to 240hz at 1080p in a television, specifications that are usually reserved for a monitor. While it lives up to that hype and performs well in gaming, it doesn’t quite do enough when it comes to television expectations to make it stand out in that market, while at the same time it doesn’t come with the expected I/O to work as a desktop monitor either.
The result is a television that succeeds in its mission to be the fastest television on the market, at the cost of just about everything else.
Note: This review only applies to the 50-inch Vizio MQX model, which is the only display size that supports 1080p up to 240Hz. The larger versions feature better brightness and more dimming zones and will perform differently versus this gaming-focused model.
Vizio MQX – Photos

Vizio MQX – Design and Build

The Vizio MQX isn’t going to knock your socks off with its looks. The design of this television looks pretty close to a TV I bought for myself in college and is a mostly plastic affair that is surprisingly thick in 2022. If you were to wall mount the MQX, it would stick out about three inches from the wall. For comparison purposes, I have an older LCD television in my spare bedroom that I got in 2015 that is only about an inch and a half thick.
The foot style Vizio chose keeps the display pretty close to the surface you set it on, which at first looks like there isn’t really any room for a soundbar. But Vizio thought of that, and the feet are actually adjustable so they can be raised up if you plan to use a soundbar, which is some great forethought. On that note, the feet are metal and very sturdy.

Vizio has provided no kind of cable management with this design, so bear in mind that you’re probably going to see your cables sticking out of either on the sides or below the screen.
From straight on, the TV is a lot easier to enjoy since the MQX doesn’t have particularly large bezels: it is very thin on the left, right, and top while the bottom is relatively innocuous with a half-inch thick bezel that is pretty common on non-OLED displays.
While the TV is a bit of a chunker, it’s not particularly heavy due to its small size. While the MQX is available in larger sizes, the only model that supports 1080p at 240Hz is the relatively unorthodox 50-inch television.

The Vizio MQX has four HDMI ports located on the right side of the television (if you’re looking at the display) and while that’s a solid number, only one of the ports supports HDMI 2.1. While I appreciate that Vizio separated that port from the eARC port, just one HDMI 2.1 input on a television designed for gaming feels like a big misstep since the entire selling point of the TV requires that specification in order to function to its fullest.
In addition to those four HDMI ports, the MQX also has ethernet and coax inputs as well as a USB, optical, and headphone jack.

Vizio MQX – The Remote

I’ve been a fan of Vizio’s remotes for a few years now and that doesn’t change here. The MQX remote is compact without being too small and provides enough buttons to navigate the television without issues. It takes two AAA batteries and comes with six pre-determined shortcut buttons at the top below the input and power buttons. In my case, that meant Disney+, Netflix, Prime Video, Pluto TV, iHeart Radio, and Tubi.

All in all, it’s an inoffensive remote that gets the job done: no complaints here.

Vizio MQX – Software and Interface

Just as has been the case with Vizio’s remotes, I like the company’s smart TV interface. Called SmartCast, it tends to have pretty much everything you would look for in a smart TV interface and is most closely akin to Google TV. That said, it can’t be customized to hide anything you might not want to see. The only customization option afforded to you is which services appear first in the app row.
The app still has what many will call advertisements, that is to say it recommends television viewing options to you, but they’re not particularly offensive. While SmartCast will start to autoplay some options that appear in the top banner area, that only happens if you navigate over them and it won’t do it by default without you interfacing with it.

Most of the top streaming options are here and unlike other smart TV interfaces, they all come pre-downloaded with every television. Scrolling through the options, I saw basically everything I needed except for Crunchyroll, which felt particularly odd to be missing since the Funimation app is available.
Scrolling through the interface is relatively snappy, though sometimes I noticed that it would lag a bit before jumping forward to catch up to the inputs I gave it. It’s not egregious right now, but on past Vizio televisions I have used, some of these lag issues never get fixed and only worsen over time even though Vizio tends to release firmware updates relatively frequently.
The MQX supports WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5, and has a really nice integration with Google Chromecast.
Vizio has added a new Gaming Menu into the MQX (which has also been made available to other Vizio TVs via a firmware update) that improves how much information you are able to see about your gaming but doesn’t quite match up with what is offered by LG or Samsung. When connected to a PC or gaming console, the new menu appears on the left side of the display when activated. It provides some options such as toggling variable refresh rate (VRR) or HDR and allows you to tune latency. It also displays the current resolution, framerate, and HDR profile. It doesn’t dynamically display any changes though, which means this feature is basically relegated to just being a way to quickly check to make sure it is displaying what you want it to correctly.

Having this menu is certainly better than not having one at all, such as is the case with Sony televisions, but it doesn’t provide the ability to set multiple profiles to quickly switch between desired options and, perhaps most importantly, its location on the left side of the screen means it’s not something you’re going to want to have displayed while you’re gaming. Both Samsung and LG use more of a “game bar” system that is located at the very bottom of the screen, which keeps it out of the way of the most important game HUDs and it also dynamically updates with what is being displayed.
Vizio’s Gaming Menu is also not very pretty, which is something that both LG and Samsung seem to have prioritized with their game bars – they look good.
One last weird thing that I wanted to note is that over the past couple of weeks, the MQX has turned itself on at least three separate times and I couldn’t figure out what was causing it.

Vizio MQX – Gaming Performance

We usually talk picture quality next, but I want to jump to gaming performance before we get there since the standout feature of the MQX is the 240hz in 1080p. I’m primarily a console gamer, so the peak performance of this display isn’t something I could test with my PlayStation 5.
Plugging in a gaming laptop and firing up Halo Infinite at max settings, however, I could see the benefit. 240hz doubles the framerate I’m used to for competitive gaming and while my eyes can’t really discern the difference, I do understand the benefits even if I can’t see them.

The thing is, the ideal display size for 1080p Full HD is generally agreed to be about 27-inches – 32 inches being the maximum recommended. The MQX is a 50-inch television and at that size, the pixel density starts to suffer. I wouldn’t say the picture is “blocky,” but it’s not crisp and sharp anymore either. The benefits of the 240hz start to wane a bit when compared to the lack of sharpness from a display this large.
Luckily, the MQX is a 4K television and, as such, I was able to enjoy my PlayStation 5 games to their fullest. I tested Destiny 2, Apex Legends, and Returnal and in all three cases I was pretty happy with the results. No, the color and black levels weren’t as good as you’ll see on an OLED like the LG C2 or the Sony A95K or even a brighter QLED like the Samsung QN90B, but they weren’t so bad that I wasn’t having a great time either.

In fact, I argue that the weaker contrast is actually better for games like Apex Legends or Destiny 2, since the dark areas of maps where other players might hide are more easily seen. Sure, Returnal could have looked better, but I actually prefer gaming on a display with “weaker” contrast in competitive first-person shooters because I can see the brights and the darks more easily. Because I wasn’t super impressed with the brightness, I turned off HDR gaming as well and found the MQX to play like a super-sized gaming monitor.

Vizio MQX – Picture Quality

So we know that the MQX can be very fast with its up to 240hz in 1080p, which is something only PC gamers would care about, but because it lacks a DisplayPort and since it’s kind of large, it still leans more towards being a television. As such, we do need to make sure it can live up to the responsibilities of being a television.
Unfortunately, speed is the only thing the panel on the MQX is great at. The television isn’t capable of generating very good contrast, it doesn’t get very bright, the color accuracy is only okay, and the uniformity leaves a lot to be desired. Also, because it only has 16 local dimming zones, you’re going to see some halo around bright objects set against dark backgrounds. With text, such as what you might see in subtitles, it is particularly noticeable.

Let's start with brightness and contrast. Vizio rates the MQX to peak at 479 nits and sustains at 400 nits, which is enough to qualify for HDR 400, but in my opinion that is not “real” HDR. To get the HDR experience, I argue that at least 600 nits is necessary. That’s probably why the movie experience, even with Dolby Vision support, isn’t particularly impressive on this television. Colors feel muted, blacks look more like dark grays, and the overall picture feels lackluster compared to other televisions on the market, even in this relatively affordable price bracket.
Regarding color accuracy, Vizio promises 95.51% of the DCI-P3 color space, but it didn’t quite get there in my testing. It reached 93.7% of the DCI P3 color space, 98.3% of sRGB, and 83.7% of Adobe RGB. It also logged an average Delta E of 2.47. I like to see a Delta E of less than two, preferably less than one, but anything around three is still considered generally acceptable.
Vizio MQX – Picture Quality TestsDCI-P3 GamutsRGB GamutAdobe RGB Gamut
These are okay numbers for what amounts to a gaming display, but I am less forgiving when it comes to panel uniformity. In short, the MQX didn’t perform great in that regard.
In my standard nine-by-five panel uniformity test, the MQX only managed to pass nominal tolerance in 15 out of the 45 squares.

Compared to other gaming monitors, these results actually aren’t that bad. Around 400 to 500 nits of peak brightness and middling contrast isn’t unheard of for a monitor that costs less than $700 – in fact, a 50-inch monitor with these specifications would be somewhat compelling. Gaming monitors sacrifice color accuracy for speed, and that’s certainly the case here.
To put this in perspective, I bought a 27-inch gaming monitor about a year ago for $900 and its picture quality isn’t any better than the MQX.
But Vizio chose to ride the television line with the MQX instead of going all-in on it being a monitor. The most impressive feature is the speed, and that is monitor-centric since it’s only something that can be reached on a PC right now. But even if you wanted to use this exclusively as a PC display, it lacks the ability to really work in that capacity due to the limited I/O. As a result, the MQX feels like it’s caught in the middle: it’s neither a great monitor nor a great television.

Vizio MQX – Audio Quality

I was hopeful that because the MQX is so much thicker than many of the other televisions on the market, and because Vizio makes some really nice soundbars, that would mean there was more room and expertise for better quality speakers.
Unfortunately, the best I can describe the audio experience on the MQX is “okay.” Out of the box, the audio quality is passable but the speakers really don’t do justice to great sound effects or scores. Watching Dune was a particularly telling experience, as I was not nearly as profoundly affected by the audio as I was when I used a real sound system.

As is the case with all televisions these days, I’m going to recommend you get a soundbar or some kind of sound system to go along with the MQX. The neat thing is that if you choose to pick up a Vizio soundbar, which as mentioned are great, it integrates really well with the TV’s software.
When connected to a Vizio soundbar through eARC HDMI, its settings can be controlled directly through the TV’s menu which pretty much eliminates the need for a separate soundbar remote.

Vizio MQX – The Competition

Vizio has put itself in a rather unique competitive position with the MQX. Not only is it an unconventional size at 50-inches, but no other television on the market also boasts the ability to run games at 1080p 240hz (while also offering 4K at 120Hz). In that sense, if those specifications are what you’re looking for, Vizio is the only option.
Vizio has also priced the MQX remarkably well: $629. If you don’t care about the 240Hz mode, the 65-inch option is also competitively priced at $850. In both cases, you’re going to be looking at options from either TCL or Hisense. Hisense makes a great gaming television in the U7G or the U8H but both are few hundred dollars more expensive in exchange for significantly better color and brightness. TCL’s 6-series is also a solid option in this price bracket, but is also more expensive, if only by a bit.

This story originally appeared on: IGN - Author:Jaron Schneider

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