It’s Only $250? – Review Geek


  • 1 – Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 – Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
  • 3 – Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 – Some Pros, Lots Of Cons
  • 5 – Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 – Good Enough to Buy On Sale
  • 7 – Great, But Not Best-In-Class
  • 8 – Fantastic, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 – Shut Up And Take My Money
  • 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Price: 250

Andrew Heinzman

There’s by no means been a greater time to buy a TV, and Vizio’s newest D-series TVs are proof of that. I’ve spent somewhat over a month with the D40f-J09 TV, a 40-inch mannequin that prices simply $250, and it’s surprising how good this factor appears to be like for the value. But in fact, you must reduce some corners to get to this worth, and a few individuals received’t be proud of what Vizio selected to chop.

Here’s What We Like

  • Clear, vivid image
  • Decent built-in audio system
  • Plenty of inputs, together with composite video
  • Variable refresh price for gaming (not FreeSync or G-Sync, although)
  • Chromecast and AirPlay built-in

And What We Don’t

  • TV has no built-in quantity buttons, simply energy and enter
  • No Bluetooth
  • SmartForged interface is a bit gradual
  • Vizio sells 4K HDR TVs for simply $80 extra

Before we get into issues, I ought to make clear that I’m reviewing Vizio’s D40f-J09 TV. It’s a member of Vizio’s finances D-series and one of many most cost-effective units within the firm’s 2021 catalog. Because Vizio’s large TV lineup is consistently altering, observations that I make in regards to the D40f-J09 could not apply to different units, particularly future fashions.


  • Smart TV OS: Vizio SmartForged (Includes free channels)
  • Display Size and Resolution: 39.5-inches diagonal, 1080p FHD
  • Backlight Type: Full array LED backlight
  • Processor: IQ Picture Processor
  • V-Gaming Engine: Auto Game Mode, variable refresh price, low enter lag
  • Voice Controls: Vizio Voice, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Alexa
  • Casting: Apple AirPlay 2 and Chromecast Built-In
  • Port Selection: HDMI (2), Coaxial, Composite, Digital Audio, USB
  • HDMI Audio Passthrough: Yes, with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X help
  • Power Modes: Power Saver and Quick Start modes
  • Weight: 12.35 lb

Decent Build Quality and Design

The Vizio TV's remote control.
Andrew Heinzman

I didn’t count on a lot from the D40f-J09’s construct high quality, on condition that it’s a $250 TV. But I’m largely impressed by what Vizio put collectively right here. Both the D40f-J09 and its included distant really feel well-made, with none sharp plasticy corners, free components, or different apparent flaws. The audio system additionally sound nice (for TV audio system) and might get very loud with out making any rattling noises.

Like most new TVs, the D40f-J09 is impressively skinny and light-weight (to the purpose that it feels fragile), so make sure to maintain the field in case you transfer round so much. That stated, I screwed on the TV’s legs on a tough flooring, so possibly it’s extra sturdy than what my instincts are telling me.

But in contrast to different inexpensive TVs, the D40f-J09 has an honest number of inputs. Yeah, I might do with greater than two HDMI ports, however there’s additionally optical audio, USB (for information or equipment), a coaxial jack (in fact), and composite video ports with strong upscaling. Unfortunately, Bluetooth is lacking from this TV, which limits your capacity to make use of wi-fi headphones.

The VIzio TV's backside.
Andrew Heinzman

My solely main criticism in regards to the D40f-J09’s design is its lack of built-in quantity buttons. Yeah, you may management the quantity out of your telephone in case you lose your distant (Vizio has an app), however it’s nonetheless an annoyance.

And whereas I just like the distant’s design, I don’t like that its buttons are so flat and easy. Some good bumps and ridges would make these buttons simpler to distinguish at nighttime and drastically enhance this TV’s usability for people who find themselves visually impaired. I’d additionally wish to complain about all of the annoying streaming service buttons on the D40f-J09’s distant, however this sort of promoting is par for the course now and makes TVs cheaper—OH WELL.

Who Knew a $250 TV Could Look So Purdy?

The Vizio TV playing Monsters Inc
No, I haven’t been utilizing this at my desk. It’s simply arduous to take footage of a TV. Andrew Heinzman

Everything in regards to the D40f-J09’s show impresses me. The image is vibrant and clear, colours are correct, and the full-array backlight ensures that the TV is evenly lit. Like most new TVs, the backlight will get good and shiny and will be dimmed by the TV’s settings, which is able to turn out to be useful in case you set up the TV in a bed room.

And whereas I wouldn’t name the D40f-J09 a “gaming TV,” it’s higher fitted to gaming than most units at this worth. The so-called “V-Gaming Engine” allows a low refresh price to maintain motion video games from feeling laggy, whereas a variable refresh price prevents display tearing and different artifacts. Vizio TVs with AMD FreeSync are a greater choice for hardcore players who’re on a decent finances, however common people will probably be proud of the D40f-J09’s efficiency.

Another factor I actually like in regards to the D40f-J09 is that your show choices, comparable to backlight depth or distinction, are saved to every enter. So, if I activate the “Cinema” image mode for HDMI 1, it received’t have an effect on HDMI 2 or every other enter channel. Very good.

I believe that most individuals will probably be impressed by the D40f-J09’s show high quality, however I ought to level out that Vizio’s V-series TVs supply 4K HDR for simply $80-ish greater than the D40f-J09. While the distinction between 1080p and 4K isn’t at all times apparent on a 40-inch show, HDR makes colours and distinction look noticeably higher on any TV. If that’s your bag, I recommend wanting into Vizio’s V-series fashions.

A Smart TV OS That Doesn’t Suck?

A close-up look at SmartCast
Here’s a close-up have a look at SmartForged. I want the apps have been on prime!

This is my first time making an attempt Vizio’s SmartForged working system in years, and it’s not as unhealthy as I remembered. In truth, it’s fairly dang good—it’s only a bit gradual on this specific mannequin. Navigating the SmartForged system takes longer than it ought to as a result of the D40f-J09’s processor simply isn’t as much as snuff. Yes, it’s usable, however it’s annoying and can solely get slower with time—fortunately the built-in Chromecast and AirPlay protocols allow you to solid video out of your telephone, which can remove the necessity for a streaming stick.

Ignoring the gradual processor, I recognize that the SmartForged homescreen is straightforward and simple to make use of, in contrast to the complicated Tizen system on Samsung TVs. It additionally comes preloaded with all of the apps you could possibly ever want, and it doesn’t throw too many silly, ineffective, annoying pop-up advertisements your manner, which is a serious plus. The Watch Free+ app can be good, because it brings in stay TV channels from different providers (I’ve been utilizing it to observe a Three’s Company channel).

Vizio might undoubtedly enhance the SmartForged OS by stripping away the highest banner and making the app icons greater, however in fact, the banner advertisements exist to generate income and make the TV cheaper. They will most likely by no means go away. So, there’s that.

If you don’t just like the SmartForged system, I recommend shopping for a Roku or Chromecast with Google TV streaming stick. They’re a lot quicker than this TV’s built-in OS and, for my part, have a greater interface. But you may undoubtedly get by with SmartForged, even in case you aren’t tremendous tech-savvy. Bear in thoughts {that a} streaming stick will take up considered one of this TV’s two HDMI ports, which is type of a disgrace.

The Gist: It’s a Great TV for $250

The Vizio TV's logo.
Andrew Heinzman

If you desire a $250 TV with an honest interface, strong port choice, and spectacular show, then the D40f-J09 is among the finest choices out there at this time. It’s a great finances TV for an grownup, an outrageous starter TV for a child, and an easy choice for older people who find themselves nonetheless adjusting to the world of streaming.

But I can’t assist eager about Vizio’s V-series TVs. For simply $80-ish greater than the D40f-J09, they pack 4K HDR shows with Dolby Vision help, AMD FreeSync for gaming, and Bluetooth. These options might prolong the TV’s usability over the approaching years, particularly in case you’re a bit choosy otherwise you’re purchasing for a gamer.

Here’s What We Like

  • Clear, vivid image
  • Decent built-in audio system
  • Plenty of inputs, together with composite video
  • Variable refresh price for gaming (not FreeSync or G-Sync, although)
  • Chromecast and AirPlay built-in

And What We Don’t

  • TV has no built-in quantity buttons, simply energy and enter
  • No Bluetooth
  • SmartForged interface is a bit gradual
  • Vizio sells 4K HDR TVs for simply $80 extra

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