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The best 40-inch TVs you can buy: Expert recommended

We found the best 40-inch TVs from Samsung, LG, and more to help you find the right fit for your space.
Written by Taylor Clemons, Staff Writer
Reviewed by Kayla Solino
Samsung QN90D | Best 40-inch TV overall
A Samsung QN90D on a grey background
Samsung QN90D
Best 40-inch TV overall
View now View at Samsung
Sony A90K | Best 40-inch TV for gaming
A Sony A90K on a grey background
Sony A90K
Best 40-inch TV for gaming
View now View at Walmart
Sony X77L | Best 40-inch TV for streaming
A Sony X77L TV on a grey background
Sony X77L
Best 40-inch TV for streaming
View now View at Best Buy
LG C4 | Best 40-inch OLED TV
An LG C4 OLED TV on a grey background
Best 40-inch OLED TV
View now View at LG
TCL S3 | Best budget 40-inch TV
A TCL S3 on a grey background. The screen shows a Miami Dolphins player
Best budget 40-inch TV
View now View at Amazon

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 features include 4K resolution, enhanced audio and picture processing, higher refresh rates, and Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. If you have the extra space, 42-inch and 43-inch TVs are also great options. 

Also: The best picks for 32-inch TVs: Top small TVs compared

What is the best 40-inch TV right now?

My choice for the best 40-inch TV is the Samsung QN90D for its updated QLED panel, which provides a brighter picture along with deeper contrast and bolder colors. It also features support for both Dolby Atmos and object tracking sound to create virtual surround sound for a more immersive experience while streaming movies, shows, and music. Keep reading below to find out more about the Samsung QN90D and the rest of our picks for the best 40-inch TVs. 

The best 40-inch TVs of 2024

Pros & Cons
  • Brighter picture than previous model
  • Dolby Atmos and Object Tracking Sound+
  • Dedicated gaming dashboard
  • Up to 144Hz refresh rate
  • Expensive
  • No Dolby Vision support
More Details

The Samsung QN90D is the brand's latest iteration of its flagship 4K model, and it's available in a 43-inch screen size. You'll still get the updated Neo QLED panel, which ZDNET's editor-in-chief, Jason Hiner, got to see in person and praised for its brighter picture as well as better contrast and color accuracy. You'll also get Dolby Atmos and Samsung's object-tracking sound for audio that follows the on-screen action of shows, movies, and games for a more immersive experience. 

If you're a console gamer or watch lots of sports, the QN90D supports a 144Hz refresh rate for smoother motion. Console gamers will also love the dedicated gaming dashboard, which gives them access to cloud gaming services like Xbox GamePass, real-time framerate monitoring, specialized picture settings, and automatic HDR adjustments. Verified customer reviews from both Amazon and Best Buy agree it's an excellent choice for console gaming, even as a backup monitor for PC gamers with the 144Hz refresh rate. They also highlight the brighter picture and enhanced picture quality over previous models. 

Samsung QN90D tech specs - Screen size: 43 inches | Panel type: Neo QLED | Refresh rate: Up to 144Hz | Resolution: 4K | HDR: Neo Quantum HDR | Audio: Dolby Atmos, Object Tracking Sound+ | Voice controls: Alexa, Bixby, Hey Google 

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

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 most petite 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. This technology turns the whole screen into a speaker for near-perfect video and audio syncing and 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, screen tearing, and stuttering. Non-PS5 gamers will be able to take advantage of the 120Hz refresh rate and Dolby Atmos support.

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

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

Whether you've recently cut the cord or are a streaming media native, the Sony X77L is an excellent option for all-digital entertainment. It supports Dolby Atmos for virtual surround sound for a more immersive viewing experience. 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.

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

Pros & Cons
  • Excellent picture and sound quality
  • Alexa and Hey Google support
  • Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • Expensive
More Details

The LG C4 is one of the smallest OLED TVs you can buy at 42 inches, but it still gives you signature OLED picture quality and plenty of other features hidden in its tiny frame. It supports Dolby Atmos for virtual surround sound and a more immersive experience when watching shows and movies or even streaming music. With the 120Hz refresh rate, you'll get smoother motion for fast-paced scenes in movies, shows, sports, and console gaming.  

It supports Alexa and Hey Google virtual assistants, giving you hands-free voice controls over your TV for launching apps and searching for a new show to binge. The OLED panel gives you signature picture quality with deep contrast, bolder colors, and fine details further enhanced by Dolby Vision HDR support. Verified reviews from Amazon and LG highlight how easy it is to calibrate and fine-tune picture modes to get the best-looking images in your space. They also love how bright the picture can get, making it easier to watch in brighter environments. 

LG C4 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 

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

While 40-inch TVs are relatively inexpensive, the TCL S3 retails well under $200 while 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 to provide 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 an excellent option for a second screen in your bedroom, kitchen, or child's playroom.

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

What is the best 40-inch TV?

My choice for the best 40-inch TV is the Samsung QN90D. It supports Dolby Atmos as well as Samsung's Object Tracking Sound+ technology to create virtual surround sound and a more immersive experience for streaming movies, music, and shows. It also has a dedicated gaming dashboard with access to cloud gaming services, dedicated picture modes, and real-time frame rate monitoring. 

Best 40-inch TV




Samsung QN90D



Neo Quantum HDR, Dolby Atmos/Object Tracking Sound+

Sony A90K



Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos/Acoustic Surface Audio+

Sony X77L



HDR10, Dolby Atmos




Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos




N/A, Dolby Digital Plus

*MSRP at time of writing. Please note that actual retail price may vary depending on seller and available deals or promotions.

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 QN90D

A well-rounded 40-inch TV. The Samsung QN90D has a dedicated gaming dashboard with cloud gaming support, up to a 144Hz refresh rate, and object tracking sound.

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.


A 40-inch OLED TV. With signature OLED picture quality supported by Dolby Atmos virtual surround sound, you'll get an excellent movie or show viewing experience even with the smaller screen.


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

Factors to consider when choosing a 40-inch TV:

While shopping for a 40-inch TV, there are a few factors you need to keep in mind in order to stay on-budget and get the best value for your money:

  • 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.

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:

  • Brand integrity: Each TV we chose for this list is from a reputable brand with verified customer service options for returns, exchanges, and troubleshooting.
  • Smart features: As consumers come to expect certain smart features as-standard, we included TV models on this best list that offer Wi-Fi connectivity, pre-installed streaming apps, and virtual assistant support.
  • Reasons to upgrade: Each TV on this list offers some sort of reason to upgrade over its predecessor. Whether that be a brighter screen, better HDR and audio support, or enhanced online privacy with dedicated security chips.

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.

More 40-inch TVs to consider

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