Best HDTVs On a College Budget

We’re sure parents like to think college kids aren’t watching a lot of TV or playing a ton of video games at college. In their dreams, if HDTVs are in dorm rooms, they’re only used to watch documentaries and recorded lectures.

But, we live in the real world here. There’s going to be a TV in a dorm room, and (in this day and age) it’s going to be an HDTV of some quality. The trick is finding the best HDTVs available on a college student’s budget (or for a parent’s wallet that’s taking a beating with tuition, books, meal plans, etc.).

Related: Gallery – Best Audio Gadgets for Summer

We’ve put together the best overall choices or back to school dorm room HDTVs by considering size options, quality and price. The following is a list of the most appealing makes with a couple recommendations for individuals models per brand.

Sony: Obviously, we’re talking about an entertainment giant here. The sheer size of Sony’s operation means there is a healthy range of screen qualities, sizes and capabilities. And, Sony (while not always the cheapest) consistently seems like a rock solid bet for overall build quality.

The best targeted bargain on Sony’s roster right now would be the 32″ Class (31.5″ diag) R420B Series LED HDTV for just $299.99. That’s a decent size screen for around $300. That’s a good screen for small space without breaking the bank.

Sceptre: This manufacturer is high on the list for two reasons: 1) Overall, Sceptre’s HDTVs are more affordable than more well-known brands like Samsung or Sony. 2) Sceptre offers an extensive line of smaller TVs – some cramming down to 16″. Since dorm rooms often run on the smaller side (especially for underclassmen), shopping Sceptre’s guarantees buyers will find an HDTV that fits any space.

Vizio: Scouring through the affordable Vizio line, we targeted a couple prime options offering a nice blend of size and savings. Take a look at the VIZIO 39” Class LED TV ($329.99) and the VIZIO 42” Class LED TV ($379.99). While a little more costly than the Sony and Samsung options listed here, both of those models are right in the sweet spot, size and feature wise.

Samsung: If you total rosters against each other, Samsung seems to run a little on the pricier side compared to the competition. Still, from Smart TVs to LEDs, Samsung’s inventory is loaded with options stocked with high-end technology. If we stick with the “right size for the right price” theme we’re building on here, take a look at the LED EH4003 Series TV – 32″ Class – marked down from $419.99 to $249.99.

AOC: While this monitor manufacturer isn’t often lumped in with makers of HDTVs, we’re including them because we live in the era of Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime when many college kids will be taking their TV online. AOC offers a full line of HD monitors in a variety of sizes that can fit on a dorm desk or hang on a college apartment wall. They come fully wired for online serve and wifi use if the studious soul in question forgoes cable.


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