This is the TV I'm most excited for this year — and it's not from LG or Samsung

(Image credit: Future)

Most of the major TV manufacturers have taken the wraps off their 2023 TV lineups, and we got to check out all of the new sets at CES. While LG and Samsung routinely impressed with their refreshed collections of OLED TVs and QLED TVs, neither unveiled the one TV I think I’m most excited about for this year — but TCL did.

The TCL QM8 Mini LED TV stands out as an ambitious launch for the midrange TV brand. It’s a departure from TCL’s signature budget sets in the best way possible. Promising the powerful brightness and color volume abilities of Mini LED technology, the QM8 could have what it takes to challenge Samsung’s 4K Neo QLED models in terms of both performance and price.

As TCL’s flagship of 2023, the QM8 claims to reach twice the peak nits brightness of TCL’s previous generation of Mini LED. It also touts 5 times the amount of local dimming zones, for a total of around 2,300 zones in the 98-inch model the company had on display.

The 98-inch screen looked absolutely stunning  at CES. Even inside a massive convention center, the QM8 commanded attention. I saw more of these giant TVs materialize in 2022 than ever before, but it seems the trend is continuing into 2023.

A big-screen TV you can actually afford?

Samsung has a behemoth 4K Mini LED set, the Samsung QN100B Neo QLED TV, but it costs $40,000. LG’s 97-inch G2 OLED TV checks out at a similarly steep $25,000. (No word on how much the new 97-inch LG Signature OLED M3 will cost, but it won’t be cheap.)

Compared to Samsung’s and LG’s big TVs, the 98-inch TCL QM8 Mini LED TV could actually be accessible to a greater population of customers. TCL hasn’t announced pricing and availability information yet, but I'd be surprised if the ultimate cost is more than $10,000.

Don’t get me wrong, that’s still not a cheap TV deal. But for people who want a TV-based theater experience at home, TCL could have the most affordable solution in 2023 thanks to the QM8. My biggest argument between big-screen TVs vs. projectors is the cost, after all.

The 98-inch TCL QM8 Mini LED is a showstopper

Positioned as TCL's "one more thing" for this year's TV lineup, the QM8 is truly the most exciting TV launch for the brand that I can remember. Based on the tease I got at CES, I can almost forget about the end of the esteemed TCL 6-Series collection. 

A few other perks about the TCL QM8: It offers Wi-Fi 6 and a built-in soundbar, plus TCL's AIPQ upscaling for making content look crisp on that big screen. This is also when I should mention it's coming in "normal" configurations, too: 65-, 75-, and 85-inches.

The final spec question that remains is which smart TV platform(s) TCL will offer for the QM8. The brand told me it is still working with both Google TV and Roku, but about how Roku coming out with its own TVs will shake out for third-party manufacturers.

And of course, there's really no way to know how the TCL QM8 Mini LED TV will compare to the Samsung QN95C Neo QLED TV until we get both sets in our lab for testing. That's still a few months away, so be sure to stay tuned.

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.