The 8 Best Dorm and Small Apartment TVs of 2020

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

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The Rundown

Best Overall: Toshiba 32LF221U19 32-Inch 720p LED TV - Fire TV Edition at Amazon

"The Toshiba 32-inch Fire TV delivers plenty of smart functionality in a sleek and slim design."

Runner-Up Best Overall: TCL 32S305 32-Inch 720p Roku Smart LED TV (2017 Model) at Amazon

"This TV features the Roku streaming service built-in, allowing you to access thousands of shows and movies."

Best 24-Inch: Insignia NS-24DF310NA19 24-Inch 720p LED Fire TV Edition at Amazon

"This TV features a screen that is small enough to fit in just about any corner while still delivering great picture quality"

Best 1080p: at Amazon

"This model features full 1080p HD resolution."

Best for Streaming: Sceptre A322BV-SRC 32-Inch LED TV at Amazon

"With the Android TV operating system, you can download just about any streaming app directly to the TV."

Best Bundle: Sony KDL32W600D 32-Inch TV with Sony S200F 2.1 CH Soundbar at Amazon

"The soundbar can be connected to the TV via an HDMI ARC cable or Bluetooth connection."

Best QLED: Samsung QN43Q60RAFXZA 43-Inch QLED 4K UHD TV at Amazon

"It's built around Samsung's 4K UHD processor for faster picture rendering and input responses."

Best Vizio: Vizio D-Series 24-Inch Smart TV at Amazon

"The native 1080p HD resolution means that your picture will have tons of detail."

Best Overall: Toshiba 32LF221U19 32-Inch 720p LED TV - Fire TV Edition

What We Like
  • Amazon Alexa built-in

  • Custom picture settings for each input

  • One year warranty

What We Don't Like
  • Not 1080p HD

  • Reports of failing screens

  • Reports of bad remotes

When choosing a TV for your college dorm or a small apartment, a smaller screen doesn't mean you have to sacrifice cool features. The Toshiba 32-inch Fire TV delivers plenty of smart functionality in a sleek and slim design. This TV comes with a voice control remote with Amazon Alexa built in; this gives you quick and easy access to your favorite streaming apps as well as helps streamline your browsing. It also has quick-access buttons for Netflix, Prime Video, HBO, and Playstation Vue. 

The Fire TV operating system allows you to access all your apps as well as over-the-air live TV signals and cable or satellite signals in one place. It also comes with the Firefox web browser built in for easy internet browsing. The TV uses a quad-core CPU and multi-core GPU to deliver 720p HD resolution for crisp, clear pictures time after time. With three HDMI inputs, you can connect your cable or satellite box, game console, and DVD player. You can also customize picture settings for each input for the best viewing experience. Toshiba backs this TV with a one year warranty

Runner-Up Best Overall: TCL 32S305 32-Inch 720p Roku Smart LED TV (2017 Model)

4.5
What We Like
  • Roku built-in

  • Amazon Alexa/Google Assistant compatible

  • Private Listening Mode with Roku app

What We Don't Like
  • Reports of WiFi connectivity issues

  • Reports of bad screens

  • Reports of DOA units

The TCL 32-inch Roku TV is another excellent choice for anyone looking for a small-format television for their dorm or apartment. This TV features the Roku streaming service built-in, allowing you to access thousands of shows and movies from the all-in-one hub menu. You can also select a cable or satellite box, over-air antenna, or game console from the menu without having to fumble with input menus. 

You can connect your Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant device for hands-free voice controls. With the Roku app, you can turn your tablet or smartphone into a voice controlled remote for easier browsing. You can also enable a "private listening" setting through the app so you can listen to shows and movies with headphones without disturbing others. The TV delivers 720p HD resolution and a refresh rate of 60Hz for smooth, clear images when watching sports or the hottest action flicks.

Best 24-Inch: Insignia NS-24DF310NA19 24-Inch 720p LED Fire TV Edition

What We Like
  • Fire TV operating system

  • Dolby DTS

  • Alexa built in

What We Don't Like
  • WiFi connectivity issues

When space is at an extra premium, the Insignia 24-inch Fire TV is the perfect choice. This TV features a screen that is small enough to fit in just about any corner or other small space while still delivering great picture quality in 720p HD resolution. With the Fire TV operating system, you can access streaming apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video with the Alexa-enabled remote or from the all-in-one hub menu. 

This model has plenty of media inputs including three HDMI ports, allowing you to connect everything from an over-air antenna to your game consoles quickly and easily. You can even customize the name of each input so you never forget what is plugged in where. The dual 2.5 watt speakers feature Dolby DTS audio to provide virtual 5.1 CH surround sound without the need for an external soundbar or speaker system. This creates a more immersive viewing experience for your favorite shows and movies.

Best 1080p:

What We Like
  • Smart functionality

  • Screen sharing

What We Don't Like
  • No voice controls

  • Only two HDMI ports

If you're looking for a TV with great picture quality, but don't want to venture into 4K yet, check out the Samsung N5300 32-inch smart TV. This model features full 1080p HD resolution so you get a clean, clear picture with plenty of color and detail. It also has smart functionality so you can download and access all your favorite streaming apps right from the TV. The included remote features intuitive controls and buttons for easier browsing and searching. 

It's built around a quad-core processor for faster picture rendering and app use so you spend less time waiting for things to load and more time enjoying shows and movies with friends and family. The LED panel has micro dimming zones for enhanced contrast and deeper, truer blacks to really make details and colors come to life. It also has a refresh rate of 60 Hz for smooth, clear motion during action scenes. With the SmartThings app, you can use your smartphone or tablet to share videos, pictures, and music with your TV without any extra equipment.

Best for Streaming: Sceptre A322BV-SRC 32-Inch LED TV

What We Like
  • Android TV operating system

  • Talk Back accessibility feature

  • Chromecast built in

What We Don't Like
  • No 1080p

For anyone looking to cut cords and start streaming all of their media, the Scepter A322BV-SRC is worth checking out. With the Android TV operating system, you can download just about any streaming app directly to the TV for quick and easy access. Google Assistant voice controls are built into the remote to help set up your TV, access features, and browse media. You can also stream directly from your smartphone or tablet with the TV's native Chromecast connectivity. 

Sceptre has integrated accessibility options into this model with their Talk Back feature; this uses audio feedback to help blind, visually impaired, or those who prefer sound to reading when navigating menus or choosing a show or movie to enjoy. This TV has plenty of input connections including HDMI, USB, and component to make connecting everything from DVD and Blu-Ray players to game consoles quick and easy.

Best Bundle: Sony KDL32W600D 32-Inch TV with Sony S200F 2.1 CH Soundbar

What We Like
  • TV and soundbar included

  • 2.1 CH virtual surround sound

  • Chromecast/AirPlay 2 compatible

What We Don't Like
  • Not many HDMI inputs

If you want to set up a small home theater, the Sony 32-inch TV and 2.1 CH soundbar bundle is the perfect choice. The TV itself features 1080p standard HD resolution paired with Sony's X-Reality PRO and Motion Flow technology for super-smooth action and detailed picture no matter what you're watching. It also has built-in Wi-Fi connectivity to let you access apps like Netflix and YouTube to watch thousands of shows, movies, and videos. With Chromecast and AirPlay 2 compatibility, you can stream directly from your smartphone or tablet. 

The soundbar has mid and high range speakers as well as a built-in subwoofer, eliminating the need for multiple external speaker units. The 2.1 channel audio capabilities create virtual surround sound for a more immersive and cinematic listening experience. The soundbar can be connected to the TV via an HDMI ARC cable or Bluetooth connection for quick and easy setup.

Best QLED: Samsung QN43Q60RAFXZA 43-Inch QLED 4K UHD TV

What We Like
  • 4K UHD

  • Voice controls

  • Bluetooth connectivity

What We Don't Like
  • No component/composite video input

If you're thinking of getting a QLED TV for your dorm or apartment, check out the Samsung QN43Q60RAFXZA 43-Inch TV. This model delivers great 4K UHD resolution with HDR support in a size class that will fit all but the smallest of spaces. It's built around Samsung's 4K UHD processor for faster picture rendering and input responses. With native smart functionality, you can access thousands of streaming apps right from the TV. 

Bixby voice controls are built into the unit for hands-free commands; you can also connect your Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant devices for expanded voice controls. If you're a serious gamer, this TV uses AMD FreeSync technology to prevent image tearing and stuttering as well as enhancing contrast to give you the best picture possible. With Bluetooth connectivity, you can set up external audio equipment like sound bars and subwoofers for the ultimate home theater. The TV has four HDMI inputs, three USB ports, and an RF connection so you can hook up all your devices and game consoles without a fuss.

Best Vizio: Vizio D-Series 24-Inch Smart TV

What We Like
  • Built-in Chromecast

  • Amazon Alexa/Google Assistant compatible

  • Apple Homekit/AirPlay 2 compatible

What We Don't Like
  • Some firmware issues

If brand loyalty is something that interests you, the Vizio 24-inch TV is the best small format model they have to offer. This unit delivers plenty of streaming options with the SmartCast operating system that gives you access to all your favorite apps in one place. This TV also has Chromecast built in to give you access to streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube as well as thousands of other media apps. Vizio's WatchFree app is included as well to give you over 150 live TV and original content channels at no cost. 

The native 1080p HD resolution means that your picture will have tons of detail so you catch every play during the big game or your favorite movies and shows. You can connect your Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant unit to the TV for hands-free voice controls. With the SmartCast app, you can turn your smartphone into a remote control for easier menu browsing and searching. It's also compatible with Apple AirPlay 2 and Homekit to allow streaming from your Mac and iOS devices or to use Siri for voice controls.

How We Tested

We bought two top-rated TVs for dorms and small apartments that our reviewers tested daily for weeks on end. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using these TVs, from their resolution to their built-in apps. We’ve outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.

What to Look for in a Dorm and Small 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.

Why Trust Us

Taylor Clemons has been reviewing and writing about consumer electronics for over three years. She has also worked in e-commerce product management, so she has the knowledge of what makes a solid TV for home entertainment.

Test Results: TCL 32S305 32-Inch 720p Roku Smart LED TV (2017 Model) (Best Smart Features)

5
What We Like
  • Easy navigation

  • Clear display

  • Convenient accompanying app

What We Don't Like
  • Short power cord

TCL 32S305 32-Inch 720p Roku Smart LED TV (2017 Model)
TCL 32S305 32-Inch 720p Roku Smart LED TV
TCL 32S305 720p Roku Smart LED TV (2017 Model)
TCL 32S305 32-Inch 720p LED TV (2017 Model)

This TV came highly recommended by our testers for its ease of use. “The setup was extremely quick and painless and I like that the remote has buttons for Netflix and Hulu, so I can turn the TV on and automatically connect to my favorite streaming services,” one of our reviewers revealed. One of our testers described the display as “crisp” and the audio as “surprisingly good.” In fact, our testers mentioned very few negatives. One of our reviewers simply said, “I wish the cord was a little longer so I wouldn't have to use an extension cord to reach my outlet.” Bottom line: “The interface is easy to use, it's speedy, and you can connect to all of your streaming services via one platform,” raved one of our testers.