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The best 40-inch TVs you can buy

The best 40-inch TVs from Samsung, Sony, LG, and more are perfect for smaller rooms. ZDNET will help you find the right one for you.
Written by Taylor Clemons, Staff Writer

While a 40-inch TV may not be the most popular size, both big and small brands offer excellent options with features you've come to expect as standard for home entertainment. These include 4K resolution, enhanced audio and picture processing, higher refresh rates, and Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. If you have the extra space, 42 and 43-inch TVs are also great options. 

My choice for the best 40-inch TV is the Samsung Q60C for its object tracking sound, solar-powered remote control, and dual-LED panel QLED screen. You can keep reading below to learn more about the Samsung Q60C as well as our other top picks for the best 40-inch TVs.

The best 40-inch TVs of 2023

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Object tracking sound
  • Dual LED panel
  • Solar remote
  • Great price
Cons
  • No Dolby Vision or Dolby Atmos support
  • No VRR support
More Details

Samsung Q60C tech specs: Screen size: 43 inches | Panel type: QLED | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Resolution: 4K | HDR: Quantum HDR | Audio: Object Tracking Sound Lite | Voice controls: Alexa, Bixby, Hey Google

The Samsung Q60C is a solid and reliable 40-inch class TV for everything from streaming movies and watching the local news to console gaming and streaming music. The updated QLED screen uses dual LED panels to simultaneously create warm and cool colors for more lifelike images and bold contrast. The integrated speakers use Samsung's Object Tracking Lite technology for audio that follows the on-screen action and gives a more immersive viewing experience.

The Samsung Q60C also features an ultra-slim design, perfect for flush wall mounting or saving space on a dedicated stand. The included remote is also solar-powered to help make your home a bit more eco-friendly.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • OLED
  • Optimized for use with PlayStation 5
  • Acoustic Surface Audio+
Cons
  • No G-Sync or FreeSync support
  • Pricey
More Details

Sony A90K tech specs: Screen size: 42 inches | Panel type: OLED | Refresh rate: 120Hz | Resolution: 4K | HDR: Dolby Vision | Audio: Acoustic Surface Audio+, Dolby Atmos | Voice controls: Alexa, Hey Google

Console gamers looking for a smaller screen should check out the Sony A90K. Not only is it one of the smallest Sony TVs, but it is also one of the smallest OLED models on the market. Along with signature OLED picture quality, you'll also get virtual surround sound with Sony's Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology, which turns the whole screen into a speaker for near-perfect video and audio syncing, as well as audio that follows the on-screen action.

The A90K also features exclusive optimizations for use with the PlayStation 5, like improved input latency and proprietary VRR support to prevent delayed reactions and screen tearing and stuttering. Non-PS5 gamers will be able to take advantage of the 120Hz refresh rate as well as Dolby Atmos support.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Dolby Atmos
  • Preloaded streaming apps
  • 4K resolution
Cons
  • No Dolby Vision support
  • Only 60Hz refresh rate
More Details

Sony X77L tech specs: Screen size: 43 inches | Panel type: LED | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Resolution: 4K | HDR: HDR10 | Audio: Dolby Atmos | Voice controls: Alexa, Hey Google

Whether you've recently cut the cord or are a streaming media native, the Sony X77L is an excellent option for all-digital entertainment. With support for Dolby Atmos, you'll get virtual surround sound for a more immersive viewing experience. And the LED panel supports HDR10 for sharper detailing and better contrast. 

The Sony X77L uses the Google TV platform to give you a suite of preloaded apps, including Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video, so you can start streaming your favorite shows and movies right out of the box. It supports Alexa and Hey Google voice controls for hands-free browsing and app launching.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • OLED
  • Excellent picture and audio quality
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • Voice controls
Cons
  • Pricey
More Details

LG C3 tech specs: Screen size: 42 inches | Panel type: OLED | Refresh rate: 120Hz | Resolution: 4K | HDR: Dolby Vision | Audio: Dolby Atmos | Voice controls: Alexa, Hey Google

The LG C3 OLED is one of the best TVs you can buy and one of the smallest OLED models available. You'll get excellent picture quality from the updated OLED pan and a brighter picture for better visibility in bright rooms or harsh lighting. The 120Hz refresh rate helps reduce motion blurs, so you don't miss any crucial details in fast-paced movies and shows, video games, or sports broadcasts.

It also supports both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos for enhanced audio, contrast, and details. You'll even get access to both Alexa and Hey Google voice controls for hands-free use of your TV and favorite apps.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Under $200
  • Dolby Atmos
  • Voice controls
Cons
  • Not 4K
  • Only 60Hz refresh rate
  • No Hey Google support
More Details

TCL S3 tech specs: Screen size: 40 inches | Panel type: LED | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Resolution: 1080p HD | HDR: N/A | Audio: Dolby Atmos | Voice controls: Alexa, Apple HomeKit

While 40-inch TVs are fairly inexpensive, the TCL S3 manages to retail well under $200 while still providing great features. It supports both Alexa and Apple HomeKit voice controls for hands-free operation of your TV and favorite apps. It also works with Dolby Atmos for virtual surround sound while watching movies and shows.

The biggest drawback of the TCL S3 is that it only provides 1080p HD resolution rather than 4K UHD. And while this means you'll miss out on finer details, it still makes a great option for a second screen in your bedroom, kitchen, or child's playroom.

What is the best 40-inch TV?

My choice for the best 40-inch TV is the Samsung Q60C. It uses a dual-LED panel to produce warm and cool colors simultaneously for better detailing as well as bold images. It also works with object-tracking sound for audio that follows the on-screen action. You'll get access to Alexa, Bixby, and Hey Google voice controls, as well as a solar-powered remote to help make your home a bit more eco-friendly.

Best 40-inch TV

Price

Resolution

HDR/Audio

Samsung Q60C

$498

4K

Quantum HDR, Object Tracking Sound Lite

Sony A90K

$1298

4K

Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos/Acoustic Surface Audio+

Sony X77L

$418

4K

HDR10, Dolby Atmos

LG C3

$997

4K

Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos

TCL S3

$160

1080p

N/A, Dolby Digital Plus

Which is the right 40-inch TV for you?

While shopping for a new TV, no matter the size, it's essential to keep in mind exactly how you'll be using it. If you're cutting the cord with your cable or satellite provider, you'll want a model that offers a preloaded suite of popular apps like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+, as well as the ability to download thousands more. If you're looking for a budget-friendly secondary screen for your bedroom or kids' playroom, you'll have to decide if you want 4K or 1080p HD resolution. And while console gamers won't exactly be spoiled for choice, it is possible to find 40-inch class TVs that offer some sort of VRR support as well as a 120Hz native refresh rate.

Buy this best 40-inch TV...

If you need...

Samsung Q60C

A well-rounded, 40-inch TV. The Samsung Q60C offers object tracking sound, a dual-LED panel, and an ultra-thin design to help save space.

Sony A90K

A 40-inch TV for gaming. It features exclusive optimizations for the PlayStation 5 as well as support for HDMI 2.1 for up to 120Hz @4K.

Sony X77L

A 40-inch TV for streaming shows, movies, and music. It uses the Google TV platform to give you access to thousands of streaming apps.

LG C3

A 40-inch OLED TV. The updated OLED panel gives you a brighter picture over previous models.

TCL S3

An ultra budget-friendly 40-inch TV. The 40-inch TCL S3 retails under $200.

How did I choose these 40-inch TVs?

While testing and researching each 40-inch TV featured on this list, I and other ZDNET experts kept these criteria in mind:

  • Price: While a 40-inch TV is going to be much more affordable than its 65-inch, or larger, counterparts, there is still a somewhat wide range of price points to choose from. Each offers different sets of features, so every 40-inch model has been chosen for how much value it offers compared to its cost.
  • Resolution: While TVs with native 4K resolution are commonplace, it's still possible to find 40-inch models with only 1080p resolution. It's important to double-check that the 40-inch model you've chosen is going to produce the resolution you want; you don't want to have to go through the hassle of a return because of a simple mistake. The majority of my choices on this list are capable of 4K, though I did include a few alternative picks that were 1080p.
  • Features: Just because you'll get a smaller screen with a super-budget price tag doesn't mean you'll have to sacrifice features you've come to expect as standard for home entertainment. Whether you get a 4K or 1080p model, each 40-inch TV featured on this list has been ensured to support popular streaming apps, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and support for virtual assistants like Alexa.

Can I use a 40-inch TV as a monitor?

A 40-inch TV can be used as a monitor without many issues. Though I would only recommend doing this if you use your computer for casual web surfing, streaming, or typical office work. Since a TV usually doesn't have the same refresh rate and latency as a monitor, it might not be the best choice for video editors or PC gamers.

Will a 40-inch TV fit in my dorm room?

Yes. With caveats. 

If you're able to see your dorm room before you move in, either on a general campus tour or during student orientation, I highly recommend taking a tape measure with you to scout out potential spots for a TV. Because nothing is more frustrating than hauling your TV, and everything else you need for college, all the way to campus only to have to send it back home with your parents because it won't fit where you planned.

A 40-inch model should fit most spaces, especially if you're able to set it on top of a dresser or armoire. Make sure you confirm campus/dorm policy about wall mounting so you don't incur repair charges or the wrath of your RAs. It may also be beneficial to leave your 40-inch TV at home (or the store if you haven't purchased it yet) until you can rearrange your dorm furniture to optimize the space; you can always bring it back with you after a weekend home visit.

Is it worth getting a 4K 40-inch TV instead of 1080p?

If you're worried about fine details getting lost on a smaller screen, you shouldn't be. Screen panel technology for televisions has advanced a lot since the first flat-panel and 4K models hit the market, and plenty of smaller screens are capable of producing clean, clear 4K resolution for streaming, gaming, and supported broadcast media. 

However, if you're looking to save a bit of cash, a 1080p model will be a bit cheaper than one with 4K. And a 40-inch, 1080p TV is still a great option as a second screen in your bedroom, kitchen, or kids' playroom.

Are there alternative 40-inch TVs worth considering?

While 40-inch TVs aren't as abundant as they used to be, you can still find great options. You can also find excellent 42 and 43-inch models if you have the space. Here's a short list of alternative choices that I thought were great:

An Amazon Fire TV 2-Series on a grey background

Best for streaming entertainment

Amazon Fire TV 2-Series

While not quite as robust as its QLED Omni Series counterpart, the Fire TV 2-Series is still a great choice for anyone who has moved to exclusively streaming their entertainment. It uses the Fire TV platform to give you access to the entire Prime Video catalogue as well as thousands of other streaming apps.

View at Amazon
A Samsung M70B smart monitor and its remote on a grey background

Best computer and TV screen combo

Samsung M70B

The Samsung M70B is actually a computer monitor with streaming capabilities. This makes it a perfect choice for anyone who doesn't have the space for separate TV and computer screens.

View at Amazon
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