Vizio E320i-B2 Review

The first thing I usually do when I review a TV is disable all the “advanced” features on it. With few exceptions, these features overly-enhance one area of an image while being detrimental to others. So while the Vizio E320i-B2 doesn’t have a lot of those “extra” features that other displays do, you really won’t care. It has the streaming features you want along with good picture quality in an affordable package that sets the bar for value in a 32” TV.


Specs
Manufacturer: Vizio
Model: E320i-B2
Display Type: LED LCD
Resolution: 1355x768
Inputs: 2x HDMI, 1x Component, 1x Composite
Outputs: HDMI ARC, Optical
Streaming Services: Netflix, Hulu Plus, Vudu, Amazon Instant Video, M Go
Wi-Fi Support: Yes
3D Support: No
Display Size: 28.58” x 18.65” x 6.83”
Display Weight: 11.46 lbs.
Review Date: March 1, 2014
Price:
Company Website

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At CES this year Vizio showed off their updated TV lines, including the E320i-B2, and I left very excited about what they had in store because they made smart choices. Instead of making the thinnest TV possible, they used rear array LED lighting systems which provide better picture quality. They also dropped 3D support since it costs money to implement and no one uses it, and updated their Apps selection to use universal formats, including HTML 5, instead of widgets, which allows for a better selection.

Design and Specs

The first new display from Vizio that I have for review this year is the E320i-B2. A 720p, 32” LCD TV with a full suite of SmartTV features, it is well suited for a secondary TV or as a primary TV in a smaller space. It has a 60Hz refresh rate, dual HDMI inputs, and built-in Wi-Fi and Ethernet. It also includes the Calibrated and Calibrated Dark presets that are found on the M-series Vizio TVs.

The B320i-B2 is a bit thick compared to the slimmest LCD TVs, but is still pretty trim at only 2.6” deep. The bezel around the screen is smaller than previous models at 10mm thick and is a glossy black plastic. Despite the plastic, I do not see many fingerprints showing up on the edge to distract me while I watch anything. If you wish to wall mount the E320i-B2, there are VESA mounting holes on the back, or you can use the included stand. The app selection from Vizio includes the major choices with Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Instant Video, but not many beyond those major ones.

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Setting It Up

The E320i-B2 has one of the easiest stands to set up that I’ve seen to date. It has a single captive screw in the base to connect it to the integrated stand that takes two minutes to assemble. Anyone could manage to open the box and get the Vizio on the stand and turned on in 5 minutes or less.

The initial setup takes you through your Internet settings, time zone, and so on. Once you have it configured, you can choose from a variety of picture modes, including two calibrated presets. If you pick Calibrated or Calibrated Dark the only things you need to configure in the main picture menu is the brightness, contrast and sharpness. Set the white balance to be Normal and you have a very accurate, nice image.

Configuring the apps in the SmartTV content is done the same way it is on other TVs; some apps are done through the TV and some are done through a website. I still think this is the one area that vendors get it wrong, as I’d love to see a single website to register all of these services, but that blame likely goes to Netflix and the other service providers.

Good Picture, Great Value

The overall picture quality of the Vizio E320i-B2 is very good for the price– the colors are accurate and the grayscale is neutral. Aside from the sharpness being set too high, most of the default settings are very good for a 32” TV. The full calibration details can be found on Page 2 of this review. The main issue with the picture quality is motion blur from the 60 Hz refresh rate, but any 60 Hz LCD is going to suffer from this (though some use backlight tricks to reduce it). Fast moving content is a bit of a mess, though movies are better than sports.

The selection of Apps includes the major ones but is light when it comes to music. Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, Vudu and M Go are all present but there is no music beyond iHeartRadio or Pandora. The interface for the Apps shows a bit of the transition for Vizio as well. Netflix runs nicely and full screen, but Amazon Instant Video is stuck in a sidebar that makes it harder to navigate. This works for some of the other Apps that you might want to take up the side of the screen, like the Weather one, but not great for browsing movies.

Apps are a bit slow to respond. I often press the Netflix button on the remote 2-3 times to make sure I pressed it as it takes a while for the app to load. Once the app loads I found movie playback to be good and just like on any other streaming device. It isn’t as easy to use as a Roku box, but for an affordable 32” TV it certainly does a good job I think.

While the E320i-B2 has a rear array LED lighting system, it does not support local dimming. The feature you can enable to provide better black levels is called Backlight Control. With this implemented, the entire backlight dims on dark scenes and gets brighter on light scenes. When you quickly transition from a bright outdoor scene to a dark indoor scene you can see the dimming in action which isn’t great, but I rarely noticed this so I left this feature enabled. Stepping up to the 40” E400i-B2 would give you a local dimming array that should work much better if the Backlight Control on the E320i-B2 is not sufficient.

Conclusions

The 2013 32” E-series Vizio was the best value in small TVs, and the 2014 model looks to be taking over that distinction. The picture is very good out of the box and needs no adjustments beyond the basics. The selection of apps is not huge but it includes the main ones that most people use. Combining both of these at this price point provides a 32” SmartTV that will serve many people well.

Review Summary
Product: Vizio E320i-B2
Reviewer:
Pros: Accurate image out of the box, good selection of apps
Cons: Motion blur is evident, slow interface
Summary: The Vizio E320i-B2 is a well performing, high value 32" SmartTV
Value: 5/5
Performance: 3.5/5
Overall: 4/5

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  • Geickel

    Nice to see a review of this set. Really interested in the 32″ M. Will you be reviewing it? I think there are enough differences to warrant a review, and it might have more picture controls. Thanks. Dan

  • Frank

    Check out Amazon reviews… It seems that the units are plagued by clicking, humming noise. Why can’t formal, professional reviews catch such things? And, report on them!

    • Amazon groups reviews together for a model, regardless of screen size. Almost all the reviews that mention humming or clicking are the 40″ model, with a 48″ and 50″ mixed in as well. None of them mention the 32″ model.

      If I hear or see issues during a review, I do report on it. Even if the company fixes it, I mention that it had to be fixed. However, not every set will have an issue, and it might not even be apparent in the review period which is why a review might not mention it. We just don’t have a set that has it, but it appears the 32″ model is free of this issue.

  • Bryce

    Do you have any opinion on the latest version of this tv that comes with a 1080p display? New model number I see is E320FI-B2. Only spec difference on vizios site was the 1080 display. Also will I notice much of a difference between the 5w and the 10w speakers, b0, b1 use 5w the latest b2 has the 10w? Thanks!

    • I really don’t know about the speakers because I haven’t heard them all, but I imagine not. None of them will really sound great. As far as the 1080p one, I have not tested it, but if the only difference is resolution (and it’s still a VA-screen and not an IPS-screen as the M-series model is) I would stick to the 720p one. Past 3-4 feet you won’t see the difference and you can save the $20 or so. Unless you want it as a PC monitor, where you will be less than 2′ from it possibly, then you should probably spend the extra. I’ll ask and see if I can get more details.

  • derm318

    Is this TV bluetooth ready?

    • No. The only TV I’ve reviewed that supports Bluetooth headphones or sound bars is the $2,000 Samsung H8000. Cheaper ones might, but I haven’t used one.

  • Ana Loggana

    I’m looking at the Vizio 24″ which is 1080p. Might you have recommendations for settings? I’m getting it for the smallest size in a wi-fi TV for my teeny tiny kitchen.

    • I haven’t used the 24″ so I don’t know anything about it beyond the specs. Settings can vary from TV to TV and just copying them usually leads to a worse image instead of a better one. The best bet is a calibration disc with a Blu-ray player.

  • Mike R

    This post was drafted over one year ago. I’m wondering whether Vizio has updated the Netflix App to the more modern version with profiles support.

    Do you know?

    • Sorry. This review sample is long gone.

      • Mike R

        My thanks for the prompt response.

        The answer to this question remains elusive :/

  • Frank Kamai

    hi, chris. actually, this is a comment on your recommended tcl smart
    roku tv. when using fast forward for a video on the usb drive, the
    picture review disappears, so you’re basically guessing at where to
    stop. did this sort of thing occur to you to check? thanks.
    taigue@hotmail.com

    • I didn’t test video off a USB drive, since that’s a semi niche use case for most people. I would imagine it likely depends on the content format, the speed of the flash drive, and so on. With Netflix I noticed this would happen, but it stopped happening when I switched from cable internet to gigabit fiber, so it seems the source bandwidth was the limitation there.