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Friday, May 24, 2024


It’s back: The 55-inch TCL S405 4K TV is in stock at Amazon, selling for just $399. (Hat tip to Kinja for spotting.)

The question is this: Should you buy it, or should you wait for a (possibly) better Black Friday or Cyber Monday deal?

First, you can read David Katzmaier’s full review of the TCL S405.

But in light of this lower price (compared to when we first reviewed it), here’s what you should know before clicking the buy button.

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TCL S405 Roku TV: Great streaming in a cheap 4K TV


The case against buying

  • This is the TCL S-seriesnot the TCL P-series. The P series delivered some of the best image quality for the money we’ve seen so far in 2017, thanks to its use of full-array local dimming — that’s effectively the secret to great picture quality on LED TVs. The only problem: that superior model costs $250 more in the same 55-inch size (the only one in which it’s offered) than the S (no local dimming) that’s on sale now.
  • Put another way: Even among “bargain” TVs, the 4K and HDR image quality on the TCL S series isn’t the best we’ve seen. Vizio TVs with full-array local dimming generally deliver better picture quality.
  • To that end: With many of the Black Friday TV deals now divulged, we’re noting a compelling offer at dell.com: The 60-inch Vizio E series model will be available at its normal price of $700, but Dell is throwing in a $200 gift card. So — if you want to spend more money at Dell — you get a larger TV with better 4K HDR picture quality (again, thanks to full-array local dimming) for a “net price” of just $100 more. 

Best Cyber Monday 2017 cheap TV deals (plus our favorite picks)




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The case for buying

  • Roku is the best-in-class smart TV platform, with every major streaming app — from Netflix to YouTube TV — available or coming soon.
  • Thanks to the Movies Anywhere app, you can now even enjoy many (though not all) movies you purchased in iTunes on the Roku platform at no extra cost.
  • The 49-inch version of this same TV is a Black Friday special at several retailers for $350. In that light, spending an extra $50 for a larger 55-inch screen is a no-brainer.
  • As long as it stays in stock at Amazon, this is a no-fuss/no-muss buy: No worrying about gift cards, no inducement to buy more stuff. And there’s no need to wait: You may well have the TV in your living room by Thanksgiving.
  • If you’re not a stickler for picture quality, the image on this TV will be “good enough.”
  • 81 percent of Amazon reviewers (out of almost 900) rated it 4 or 5 stars.

The final decision, of course, is up to you. But I can tell you that at least one CNET editor scooped up this TV when it was available at this same price a few days ago. And — so far, at least — he doesn’t have any regrets.

See the TCL 55S405 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Roku TV at Amazon

Black Friday deals: See every Black Friday 2017 deal we’ve found so far

Holiday Gift GuideCNET’s full gift guide, including dozens of products priced under $25, $50 and $100

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