The 7 Best Dorm and Small Apartment TVs of 2020

Make your dorm or apartment the go-to spot for movie night

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Whether you're going off to college or moving into your first apartment, the best dorm and small apartment TVs can make any space feel a little more like home. Many brands like Sony, Samsung, and Vizio have size classes and extra features that make it easy to choose the right model for you. Some TVs have voice controls via Alexa or Google Assistant, while others are built around the Android TV operating system or Roku TV streaming platform.

Dorms and apartments put limitations on just how big a screen you can fit into the space, but that doesn't mean you have to skip out on awesome features. We've rounded up our top picks in our guide below. If you're working with a budget, check out our guide for the best TVs under $500.

Best Overall: Sony X800H 43-Inch 4K UHD TV

What We Like
  • Voice controls

  • AirPlay2/Chromecast support

  • Closed Captions

What We Don't Like
  • No virtual surround sound

  • No pre-installed web browser

The Sony X800H 43-inch 4K UHD TV brings the best balance between features, size, and price. This TV delivers stunning 4K UHD resolution with HDR10 support and Dolby Vision technology to give you the best possible viewing experience. The X1 processor intelligently upscales standard and full HD media so you get an awesome picture no matter what you're watching. The dual 10 watt speakers utilize Dolby Atmos technology to pump out crystal clear sound that fills the room without distortion. 

With voice commands built into the remote control, you can integrate your Alexa or Google Assistant-enabled devices for hands-free controls. The TV uses the AndroidTV operating system for automatic updates and to keep all your favorite streaming apps in one convenient place. It supports over 5,000 different apps for streaming music, movies, and shows as well as AirPlay 2 and Chromecast connectivity for screen mirroring with your smartphone or tablet. It supports 71 languages and closed captioning so everyone can enjoy movie night or binge watch parties.

Runner-Up Best Overall: LG 43UN7300PUF 43-Inch 4K UHD with Alexa

What We Like
  • Text-to-speech

  • Voice controls

  • Quad-core processor

What We Don't Like
  • Not ENERGY STAR rated

  • No built-in TV tuner

The LG UN7300 is a close second to the Sony X800H. This model also gives you excellend 4K UHD resolution, and the quad-core processor features double step noise reduction when upscaling lower resolution media for a clean, clear picture. With HDR10 and HLG support, you get enhanced contrast and sharpness for even better viewing. LG has integrated their ThinkQ AI programming into this TV that works with your smart speakers as well as Apple Homekit to give you access to your favorite virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri for hands-free control. 

If you're a movie buff, this TV has a filmmaker mode that automatically adjusts the picture and sound settings to let you watch your favorite movies as they were meant to be seen. You also get access to LG Channels: 180 free live and original content channels to stream sports, news, and more. The WebOS operating system lets you download your favorite streaming apps like Netflix and Hulu right to the TV. With text-to-speech capabilities, those who prefer audio cues or who are visually impaired can easily navigate menus.

Best for Streaming: TCL 43S525 43-Inch 5 Series 4K UHD

What We Like
  • Voice controls

  • Roku TV

  • Automatic game mode

What We Don't Like
  • No Bluetooth connectivity

  • No AirPlay2/Chromecast support

If you're looking to cut the cord with your cable or satellite TV provider and turn entirely to streaming for your entertainment, you can't do much better than the TCL 43S525. This TV is built on the Roku TV platform, giving you access to thousands of shows, movies, and apps in one convenient hub menu. This menu also allows you to choose your input if you have a game console or over-air antenna connected to the TV without having to scroll through confusing menus or remember input names. With Dolby Vision HDR support and great 4K UHD resolution, you'll get a great picture time and again. The minimal bezel around the screen gives you a fuller viewing area than other TCL models. 

With the Roku app, you can turn your smartphone or tablet into a remote control for easier browsing and searching. You can also set up voice commands with Alexa and Google Assistant. If you're a gamer, this TV has an automatic game mode that enhances the refresh rate and contrast for smoother motion and greater detailing. The TV also has three HDMI ports, a USB port, and RF and composite video inputs so you can quickly and easily set up your home theater system. It also has a headphone jack for private listening while you watch movies and shows or play video games so you won't disturb roommates or neighbors.

Best QLED: Samsung 43-Inch Q60T

What We Like
  • Updated processor

  • Voice controls

  • Dual LED panel

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

  • No built-in tuner

The Q60T is Samsung's newest 4K UHD smart television. This model features an upgraded processor for faster picture rendering and better upscaling of non-4K content for a better viewing experience. It also has the new Tizen operating system that allows you to download your favorite streaming apps right to the TV for quicker and easier access. The included remote has a built-in microphone that allows you to use virtual assistants like Bixby, Alexa, or Google Assistant.

The screen uses dual LED lighting that produces warm and cool colors simultaneously for better color volume and saturation. With Dolby Vision HDR support, you get enhanced contrast and sharpness. There is also an automatic game mode that takes advantage of the 120Hz refresh rate for smoother action. The minimal bezel around the screen gives you a fuller picture for a more immersive viewing experience. The dual 10 watt speakers use Dolby Audio technology to produce rich, room-filling sound. Like all newer Samsung televisions, the Q60T has an ambient mode that turns your TV into a work of art to blend into your home decor when not in use.

Bixby Voice allows the creation of verbal shortcuts (quick commands) for complex tasks. For example, instead of saying something like "Hi Bixby - Open YouTube and play cat videos" you can create a quick command, such as "cats" and Bixby will do the rest. Robert Silva, Product Expert

Best Vizio: Vizio M-Series Quantum 43-Inch Smart TV

The Vizio M-Series Quantum smart TV is the best the brand has to offer for small spaces like dorms and apartments. This model delivers awesome 4K UHD resolutions, smart functionality, and plenty of connectivity options in a smaller package. The screen features a full backlighting array with 12 local dimming zones that produces over one billion colors and exceptional, deep blacks for better contrast. With a 120Hz refresh rate, you'll always get silky smooth motion without annoying screen jittering or tearing, even while watching sports or intense action movies. 

You can use this TV with your favorite virtual assistants for hands-free voice controls. You can use the built-in AirPlay2 and Chromecast capabilities to mirror your smartphone or tablet screen for more sharing options. The TV has four HDMI ports as well as a USB port for playing media from a flash drive and a built-in tuner to let you watch over-air channels. It also has Vizio's WatchFree app, powered by PlutoTV, that gives you access to hundreds of live news, sports, and original content channels.

Rather than using a wired connection, you can use the Chromecast device to stream digital music, video, and images over Wi-Fi. If, for example, you have a movie on your phone but want to watch it on your TV, you can use Chromecast rather than a cable to connect it to your TV — and do so without wires. - Mark Harris, Product Expert

Best Budget: Hisense 40H5500F 40-Inch Android Smart TV

What We Like
  • Parental controls

  • Voice controls

  • DTS Studio Sound

What We Don't Like
  • Not 4K UHD

  • No AirPlay2/Siri support

If you're in the market for a new TV for your apartment or dorm, but are working with a lower budget, check out the Hisense 40H5500F. This model has a price point that will fit just about any budget while still delivering plenty of great features. The LED panel produces full 1080p HD resolution for a better viewing experience. The dual 7 watt speakers utilize DTS Studio Sound technology for virtual surround sound. With a voice-enabled remote and Google Assistant built in, you get hands-free controls right out of the box; it also works with Amazon Alexa. The TV is built around the AndroidTV operating system that allows you to download your favorite streaming apps like Hulu and Netflix right to the unit. 

With Bluetooth connectivity, two HDMI inputs, two USB ports, an RF input, and composite video, setting up your home theater is quick and easy. It also has a headphone jack for private listening so you don't bother roommates or neighbors. This TV features parental controls so you can be sure little ones aren't watching shows and movies that aren't age appropriate. There are closed captioning options for those who are hard of hearing or just prefer to have captions.

Best for Amazon Alexa Users: Insignia 43-Inch Fire TV

What We Like
  • Alexa built-in

  • Plenty of inputs

  • Automatic updates

What We Don't Like
  • Not 4K UHD

  • No Bluetooth connectivity

  • No Google Assistant support

If you can't live without your Amazon Alexa devices, the Insignia Fire TV will fit right into your smart home network. This TV is built on the Fire TV platform and features Alexa voice controls built-in. With pre-loaded apps like Netflix, HBO, YouTube, and Prime Video, you get instant access to thousands of shows and movies. You can pair it with an Echo device for hands-free controls. The direct-lit LED panel gives you great 720p HD resolution, and the quad-core processor gives you faster app loading and better picture rendering. The dual speakers used DTS TruSurround technology to give you a more immersive listening experience when streaming movies or music. 

This TV has built-in Wi-Fi connectivity to give you automatic updates so your television always has the latest versions of apps and the Fire TV platform. It comes in both 24 and 32-inch sizes, so it can fit just about anywhere. This TV has three HDMI inputs, including one ARC input for connecting soundbars and other audio equipment, a USB port, a composite video input, and RF inputs for cable and satellite connections or an over-air antenna.

Final Verdict

The Sony X800H is the best 4K UHD television built with dorms and small apartments in mind. With great resolution and upscaling, you'll get a crystal clear picture no matter what you're watching. For more budget-conscious shoppers, the Hisense 40H5500F delivers quality features like voice controls and the AndroidTV operating system for a lower price.

About Our Trusted Experts

Taylor Clemons has worked in a variety of fields including: manufacturing, marketing, and e-commerce. She has written for TechRadar, GameSkinny, and her own website, Steam Shovelers.

Mark Harris is a former digital music writer for Lifewire. He has experience covering digital music formats, players, and streaming services. 

Robert Silva
has been reporting on consumer electronics since 1998. He has written for and made appearances on the YouTube series Home Theater Geeks.

What to Look for in a Dorm or Apartment TV

Resolution - If you’re on a budget, then you’ll do fine with a 720p TV. The trouble is that since you’re sitting so close in a tighter space, it’s easier to notice the difference. If you have a desktop computer, or a laptop with an HDMI output, you can get a 1080p monitor for a very affordable price tag.

Built-in apps - If you don’t already have a streaming device, you can save some money by choosing a TV with built-in apps like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, and Vudu. Streaming devices are pretty affordable too, but they also take up extra space.

Inputs - Make sure the TV you choose has enough HDMI inputs to accommodate whatever DVD or Blu-ray players, game consoles, and any other devices you want to hook up. This will save you the cost of buying an HDMI switcher down the line.