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Review: TCL 65X10 – 65-inch mini LED LCD LED TV

4.5 - 2 reviews

We recently visited the TCL plant in Poland . We also had time to test the new X10 series that day. The X10 is a quantum dot LCD TV with Full Array backlight based on miniLEDs and subdivided into 768 zones. Intense brightness and deep contrast would therefore be guaranteed. We will discuss whether this is the case in this review.

TCL 65X10 – specifications

  • What: Ultra HD 4K LCD TV (miniLED backlight, 768 zones)
  • Screen size: 65 inch (165 cm), flat [19659006] Connections: 3x HDMI (v2.0b, ARC), 1x composite video, 1x stereo cinch, 1x optical digital out, 2x USB, 1x headphones,
  • 2x antenna, Bluetooth (A2DP, HID)
  • Extras: Dolby Vision, HDR10 +, HDR10, HLG, WiFi (802.11b / g / n) built-in, Android TV (9 Pie), USB / DLNA media player, DVB-T2 / C / S2, CI + slot, Onkyo Soundbar
  • Dimensions : 1,446 x 920 x 381 (incl. Base)
  • Weight: 27.4 kg (incl. Base)
  • Consumption: 216 / 0.3 watts (Energy rating B)
  • List price: 2,499 euros

Because our visit in Poland was combined with a tour of the factory, there was approximately three hours to test the 65X10 on site. That is of course very short (too short for a full review), but it gave us enough time to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the television.

TCL 65X10 – Design

This 65-inch TV is jumping especially in the eye through the soundbar at the bottom of the device. The rest of the design is well finished, with a very thin visible black frame at the front and a silver edged edge on the side.

The rear was given a vertical stripe pattern and the device is on a central base that is completely hidden at the front is through the soundbar.

The soundbar itself is partly finished in speaker fabric and, just like the frame, received a small silver piping.

TCL 65X10 – Connections

Somewhat surprising for a top model we find only three HDMI 2.0- connections to this model instead of the four that you get with all competitors. They are all suitable for Ultra HD HDR in the best quality, one of which is equipped with HDMI ARC. HDMI 2.1 features such as VRR or ALLM are missing. In addition, there are two USB connections, a composite video and stereo cinch audio input, two antenna connections and a headphone output. All connections are on the side, so that you can achieve tight wall mounting without any problems.

The TCL 65X10 is also equipped with wired and wireless network, and Bluetooth (mouse / keyboard, or wireless headphones).

TCL 65X10 – Ease of use and smart TV

The X10 uses Android TV as a smart TV system, and runs on Android 9 (Pie). Further upgrades to versions 10 to 12 are guaranteed, as are regular security updates. The chipset uses a quad-core ARM Cortex-A55 and Mali-470 MP GPU, 2GB RAM and 10GB internal storage. It is enough for a reasonably smooth experience. Only the menus for institutions remain somewhat confusing.

TCL provides two remotes with this television. The classic remote is a long, narrow version with pleasant rubber keys and a solid layout. It does not excel in ease of use, but it also has no obvious errors. All in all we would have liked a more premium remote with this model.

The second remote is smaller, more compact and works via Bluetooth so you don't have to aim. It is equipped with the basic keys such as d-pad, home, back, options, inputs, volume and channel. With the button at the bottom left you put a screen with number buttons on the TV, for example to enter channel channels. A pointing function is not provided for in this model. The remote has a microphone for voice commands and a key for Google Assistant.

TCL 65X10 – MiniLEDs

What exactly are miniLEDs and why are they important? We will come back to this extensively in a background article in the coming weeks, but we are already giving you the basics.

TVs with miniLED are still normal LCD TVs (like those of all other brands). In other words: there is still background lighting and an LCD panel. Not to be confused with MicroLED where each pixel is a separate LED.

MiniLEDs are, as the name suggests, smaller LEDs. This means that you can build up the background lighting from very many small LEDs. That way you can create a FALD backlight with many more zones. Other manufacturers do not tell us how many LEDs are in the background lighting, and strictly speaking that is also unimportant. After all, it is the number of zones that can be dimmed separately that is important. But of course you can never have more zones than LEDs. The more LEDs you use, the more zones you can create. The X10 uses 15,360 LEDs, which are subdivided into 768 zones.

TCL 65X10 – Image quality

The 65X10 uses a VA screen that guarantees excellent contrast, but a moderate viewing angle. Without local dimming, the screen still achieves an ANSI contrast of 4,150: 1 and with local dimming, that quickly increases to 40,000: 1 and more, depending on the test.

In the test room we could compare the X10 in addition to a LG C9 and Samsung Q90R . It soon became apparent that the contrast and black of the OLED screen remains unbeaten, certainly in images where contrast is played very hard, such as certain test segments with a lot of black and small light accents, but that the X10 indeed does slightly better than the Q90R. . On the other hand, of course, the X10 can be much brighter than the C9 and can even beat the Q90R in that area. Because the Q90R gives us the best comparisons, we mainly use them as a reference.

Opposite that competitor, the 65X10 does what we expect: more zones (768 vs 480) leads to better control of visible halos. For example, subtitles in dark scenes on the X10 hardly cause any visible effect on other parts of the image. The X10 shows a lot of black detail without watering the image. Also in our scenes from Gravity it appears that the stars look a bit more flashy on the X10, again with no other bad consequences. Color reproduction is excellent on both devices.

The calibration of the 'Movie' image mode was very good, but during the tests we notice that this image mode is very clearly calibrated (almost 400 nits, that is considerable) more than most other devices that are around 250 nits in SDR). That in itself is not a problem, were it not for the fact that local dimming of the background lighting or the choice of the test pattern has an enormous impact. When we activate local dimming, the maximum brightness increases to almost 1,000 nits and the average gamma value even to 2.8. That leads to an almost pseudo-HDR image but that is not what we want in film mode. In concrete terms, this means that the content you view has a very strong influence on how it is displayed. That is something that we would rather avoid, especially in the film image mode. It should control both the maximum brightness and impact on the gamma curve.

TCL 65X10 – HDR

With support for Dolby Vision and HDR10 +, in addition to HDR10 and HLG, this TV is ready for all HDR content. If the 65X10 can turn out something, it is its extreme peak luminance. In the Film HDR image mode, we reached a peak of 1,965 nits on a 10% window, a value that also keeps the device very long, after about 30 seconds the meter still showed 1950 nits. On a completely white field, the X10 also sets a record with 701 nits. The quantum dot screen provides a color range of 71% Rec. 2020 and 97% DCI-P3. So you can count on very intense light accents. That is also clearly visible when we compare the X10 with the Samsung Q90R. The differences are small, but the X10 presents slightly better white detail and contrast. That is visible, for example, in the photo below where the flower has a little more detail.

The advantages of the high number of segments are also clear in dark scenes. The photo below is highly overexposed, but it shows that the Samsung (on the left in the image) has more difficulty providing dark scenes in HDR with small points of light. The segment boundaries are more clearly visible than on the TCL 65X10.

The Cinema preset is very well calibrated, but still has a number of problems. He currently clips the darkest shades (5% and lower). On a test pattern we could also see that those darkest shades seriously discolour. In dark images, the television can sometimes decide to dim less aggressively, so that there are suddenly visible halos.

The television correctly takes into account the metadata and shows all the necessary white details. However, if the metadata indicates 1,000 nits or lower, the TV can sometimes decide to perform tonemapping to the maximum brightness of the screen (~ 2000 nits). Finally, we saw in the color reproduction that the brightest yellow tones tend to orange slightly.

We also received confirmation from TCL for all these comments that they are known and will be addressed in a subsequent firmware patch.

[19659026] In short, the potential of the miniLED backlight is clear, but TCL still needs to update its control.

TCL 65X10 – Gaming, Reflections, Viewing Angle

The VA screen comes with the usual weak viewing angle. Anyone who is too far from the center will notice that contrast drops and colors shift slightly. He must clearly let the Samsung Q90R go for it. Thanks to the large number of zones, the effect in dark scenes is less dramatic, but it remains visible. The screen is also sensitive to reflections so avoid light sources that are visible in the screen.

In the standard image modes the input was 89.6 ms. In gaming mode it drops to 22.3 ms, a great result for gamers. The TV unfortunately does not support ALLM or VRR. However, the game mode automatically activates ' Black Frame Insertion ', without giving us the option to turn it off, this too is a bug that still needs to be corrected.

TCL 65X10 – Sound quality [19659016] The soundbar immediately reminds us of the Philips OLED934 in terms of looks. It is a striking piece, it sticks out well in front of the device, and the finish is beautiful. And that's not all. The Onkyo label sets our expectations fairly high, but the soundbar succeeds in delivering them well. Sound quality and volume are excellent. Without too much trouble, the soundbar with a capacity of 2 × 15 and 2 × 10 Watt fills the fairly large test room with a pleasant sound. There is a lot of bass in it, a lot of spatial feeling, and full, clear voices.

The film preset can really convince us. The soundbar creates a very pleasant and almost tangible surround that you can also use to experience classical music as a church concert. The television also supports Dolby Atmos. If we push our usual portion of Metallica through the loudspeaker, it turns out to be quite resistant to the violence, only when we drive the volume above 80 do we hear the TV limit the sound somewhat to prevent excessive distortion.

TCL 65X10 – Conclusion [19659016] With the 65X10, TCL shows that there is still a lot of potential in LCD technology, especially if you combine it with a background lighting with many segments. That the device uses miniLEDs should be seen as a technology that makes many segments possible. MiniLED itself does not make a better TV, but more segments in the background lighting do. But also the management of all those segments is responsible for an important part of the image quality. And we occasionally saw problems with the X10. Although TCL has confirmed these bugs and provides a patch, it still has a negative impact on the score at this time. If TCL can effectively eliminate those problems, we may see a score increase by one point.

Nevertheless, we are quite impressed by the performance. The X10 puts excellent contrast and black on the screen, and can combine that with a very high brightness, which even surpasses the Samsung Q90R. Quantum dots provide a huge color palette, even with high brightness. And support for Dolby Vision and HDR10 + guarantees the best HDR support. The audio performance may also be heard. The Onkyo soundbar delivers very pleasant sounds, with a lot of volume and an excellent surround feeling. The price also seems to us to be correct, which is close to competitors, and even slightly below it. HFR, VRR or ALLM

Advantages

  • Excellent black value and contrast
  • Backlight with 768 segments
  • Very high peak luminance
  • Excellent sound, with Dolby Atmos
  • Dolby Vision and HDR10 +
  • Very good color reproduction

Homecinema Magazine
Rating
8.5 10 Eric Beeckmans product

1 Comment

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  • Sound quite interesting ! but when can we se 75 inch in the shop ? Here in Norway so far the 65 is for sale at approx 25 k. nok. In the meantime am might have to get an god OLED ? So far it looks like the PHILIPS 874 is an cheap and good tv whose give most picture for the money ? 17 k. nok. for 65 inch .