I’m by no means a TV person. Samsung, Sony, LG; they all look wonderful and smartly designed to me. I’ve had the same 32-inch Vizio for the last seven or eight years, and it’s served my needs just fine; I have no reason to get a new one, though it does look hideous compared to many of today’s new, nearly bezel-less works of art. But when I had the opportunity to test out Panasonic’s 58-inch Smart Viera, I couldn’t say no.

Panasonic’s plasma TVs have been widely regarded as among the best in the industry over the past few years. Its LCD TVs? Not so much. But through a combination of lovely minimalist styling and a pretty aggressive price point, the company’s latest LCD, E60, is a pretty terrific TV for the value, let alone as an upgrade to something as old as my Vizio. Picture quality is amazing, features are robust, and it makes any living room instantly look that much more modern. It’s also nice that Smart TV options are there, though those features typically take back seat to other gadgets such as Roku and others.

Set up for such an enormous TV was actually super simple, though because of its size, you’ll need a buddy to help out. Mounting it to its stand just required a standard Philips screwdriver, and about ten minutes. Once that was all set, you simply plug in the cord to the back and you’re ready to go; actual software setup was pretty quick and painless as well.

Design-wise, the E60 looks sharp, ultra minimalist, with nothing but the screen staring at you accented by a thin strip of plastic that’s hardly noticeable—that same thing can be said about many of today’s TVs, too. But such simplicity is part of its charm, and it helps that the TV is so light and thin. It doesn’t stick out in any particular way; more like it complements what’s around it. The size isn’t overwhelming, either, which is nice (I tested it in a average-size living room).

I’ve only done a little gaming (GTA V), and watched a few hours worth of movies on the E60 so far, but I already know it’ll be difficult to give up and go back to my lowly Vizio (today’s current Vizio TVs look quite lovely). At a starting price of $1,000, however, for what’s being offered, I just might get myself an early Christmas gift.

Panasonic Smart Viera Class E60 Series LED LCD TV Specs:

  • Screen Size: 57.5
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 120 Hz
  • Dimensions: 51.1 x 30 x 13.2-inches
  • More Features: Viera Connect with built-in Wi-Fi and Web Browser, 3x HDMI, 2x USB 2.0, Component video input shared with composite, ethernet and a rated power consumption of 152 W