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Vizio E280i-B1 (E280) Review

28" 720p 60Hz Full-Array LED Smart TV

by , Senior Reviewer

Vizio E280i-B1 LED TVVizio's entry level lineup of LED TVs has seen a pretty hefty upgrade for 2014, but the price is still one of the standout features. The most interesting feature on the E280i-B1 is the full-array LED backligting system that brigns enhanced contrast and screen uniformity uniformity. The smaller sizes of the E series do not feature Active LED zones for local dimming. Vizio Internet Apps Plus is also included in the E series for the first time. The internet enabled E280i-B1 is priced in the mid $200 range with a diffence in price for the non internet enabled version.

Picture Quality Rating: 84/100

The E280i-B1 has a great picture after calibration, but it doesn't render the picture depth of a plasma display. What's important here is the picture quality and screen size for the price. It's one of the best deals around right now for the size. Dark scenes can look a bit flat and blacks can seem to have a film over them interfering with overall immersion. The colors are not what I would call rich either.

Vizio E280i-A2 LED TV
Another still from the Troy blu-ray reveals a highly detailed picture and excellent picture depth

Picture and Viewing Features

The Vizio E280i-B1 uses a full-array LED backlighting system to create the picture on this display. The full-array LED backlighting achieves much better peak whites and deeper blacks than seen on previous versions of the E series. Colors are also going to benefit from this backlighting scheme, as there will be less washout and uniformity issues. You only get 720p resolution and a 60Hz refresh rate. These are not going to be issues for size of the screen and would needlessly inflate the cost. An ambient light sensor is also included with this TV for adjusting the picture in response to the in-room light.

Picture Modes and Calibration

Choosing the best picture mode for your calibration is extremely important and Vizio provides some nice choices: Standard (energy saving mode), Calibrated, Calibrated Dark, Game, Computer, and Vivid. The calibrated and calibrated dark modes are the best choices with only the backlight strenght being the difference between the two. Calibrated mode will probably be the choice mode for most situations as the dark shadow detail and full backlight give the picture some needed punch. Overall, I am very pleased with the selection of picture modes, especially the two calibrated modes for this price point of TV. From Calibrated Mode use the following settings for calibrated picture settings:

Picture Settings

Advanced Picture

Backlight: 90 Auto Brightness: Off
Brightness: 54 Black Detail: High
Contrast: 91 Smart Dimming: On
Color: 54 Reduce Signal Noise: Low
Tint: -1 Reduce Block Noise: Low
Sharpness: 30 Film Mode: Off

OPC Control Setting

The OPC (Optimum Power Control) control is very hidden in the menu of the E-series Vizio TV, but it can and should be turned off due to the distracting influx and outflow of light/brightness produced by the backlight. Out of the box, it will be set to On position for any of the preset picture settings. When I recently retested the e-series from Vizio I found it added unnecessary picture noise when light flow moved up or down lagging the picture image. The OPC's purpose is to save energy by manipulating the backlight through the 18 backlight zones, or probably more accurately to lower the Energy rating for Vizio's TVs. But at less than $1 a month total, and just a few cents per month for the OPC feature, you probably prefer a better picture. To turn it off: Go to Picture Settings, scroll down to More, Scroll down and click Advanced Picture at he bottom of the menu, this will finally bring up the Backlight Control as the very last setting. Turn Off.

Features Rating: 81/100

Vizio Internet Apps Plus

The Vizio E280i has the Vizio Internet Apps Plus platform included. The built-in wifi allows for instant access and plenty of speed for HD content streaming. The 'Plus' in the name means the interface is much more user friendly and the overall performance is faster than before. Some of the most useful apps included are Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, VUDU, MGO, Hulu Plus, YouTube, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Facebook. There are plenty more too.

Appearance and Design

Vizio E280i-B1 LED TV Design

The E280i-B1 has also recieved some upgrades to the appearance. The bezels are now slimmer than they were last year, at a mere 12mm thin. Not bad for an entry level set. The profile isn't as thin as the larger models in the E series this year. The triangular stand protrudes from the back of the display so it isn't seen from the front. All in all, this is an average looking value LED TV.

Value Rating: 90/100

The Vizio E280i-B1 presents a decent value for the size. It more than likely this TV will be purchase over the similarly price 32-inch due to size constrains. The value rating came down since it is so closely priced to the 32-inch size. Picture quality for the price tag is strong. Strong contrast and picture depth from front and center is the highlight in the picture quality realm. Vizio Internet Apps Plus don't do anything new for the platform, but everything works well and doesn't leave much to be desired. Some downsides are a non-backlit remote, 2-point white balance, and a non-swivel stand. But these are dealbreakers by any means.

Overall Rating: 85/100

Standout Features

  • 720p
  • Diagonal Screen Measurement: 27.51"
  • 60Hz Full Array LED Backlit
  • Speaker output: 5W x 2
  • 802.11n wifi built in
  • 12mm thin bezel
  • 2 HDMI, 1 USB inputs
  • With Stand: 24.78”W x 15.84”H x 8.42”D
  • Without Stand: 24.78”W x 15.60”H x 2.36”D

Jack Burden Jack Burden has been reviewing and writing reviews in the consumer electronics category for 7 years with CEAG. He considers grayscale gradation, film patterned retarders, and focus field drives to be fun topics. Read more about Jack

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