TCL has been teasing us for months, making us wait to hear how much the company will charge for its 8K resolution 6-Series mini-LED QLED TVs. Now we know, and boy, was it worth the wait. The 75-inch model is just $3,000, while the smaller, 65-inch version rings in at $2,200. They both go on sale today with limited availability at major retailers.
To put those prices in perspective, LG and Samsung — the only other companies that have mini-LED-based 8K TVs in 2021 — charge $3,500 for their most affordable 65-inch models and $4,800 for their 75-inch models.
Yes, you may be able to find older 8K models selling for less than TCL’s 6-Series, but keep in mind, those 8K TVs do not use mini-LED backlights, which can make a significant difference in terms of contrast and black levels. For more on the benefits of mini-LED technology check out our mini-LED explainer, but here’s the summary: Mini-LEDs are far smaller than regular LEDs, which means you can pack more of them into a TV’s backlight system. The more you have (think thousands instead of hundreds), the greater the control you can exert on the brightness at a granular level. TCL’s 8K 6-Series possess up to 240 zones that can be locally dimmed.
Other than possessing a massive boost in resolution, TCL’s new 8K 6-Series looks much like its 4K 6-Series models. They’re powered by Roku’s excellent smart TV software, they support both Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision technologies for top-notch immersive sound and high dynamic range (HDR) video, and they pack useful extras like Apple’s AirPlay 2 and HomeKit, and compatibility with Google Assitant, Amazon Alexa, and Siri for voice control.
TCL also points out that its 8K 6-Series will be the world’s first 8K TV to sport THX Certified Game Mode. This coordinates several TV settings like picture processing, input lag, variable refresh rate (VRR), and auto low-latency mode (ALLM) to give gamers the best possible experience when playing fast-action titles like Call of Duty.
TCL was the first company to use mini-LEDs in its backlights when it introduced its 8-Series in 2019. That TV impressed us with its black level performance, as did 2020’s follow-up, the mini-LED-equipped 6-Series. But both of those models had 4K resolution. The new 8K models will be the first time we get to see what TCL can do with a 33 million-pixel panel, and it will be an excellent test of its AiPQ Engine — the processor that is responsible for (among other things) upscaling Full HD and 4K content to 8K resolution.
We have a review sample in-house right now and we’ve begun to put it through our rigorous torture tests. We’ll let you know how it performed in the coming weeks.