Top 10 Best Dorm Room TVs

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dorm room tv, smart tv, curved monitor

Chances are, when you first move into your dorm, you’ll be shown a common area with a TV. At first, you’ll think that’s great — a community TV means people will be hanging out in there pretty often, agreeing on what to watch. It’ll be an easy way to chill with people that you don’t yet know.

Pretty soon, though, you figure out that the common area TV is beset with one of several downsides. First, someone else is always watching it, and it’s rarely something you care about. Or maybe the remote is long missing. Or, if your college is anything like mine, someone got angry with someone else one night and threw their keys through it. (Yes, this really happened at my school.)

Besides, it’s actually kind of difficult to relax in common areas, so you’ll want a TV in your dorm room. Aside from the obvious function they provide, they’re also great for throwing something on while you’re studying or working. The chatter of a TV provides the right kind of white noise that can make it easier to focus. It doesn’t work for everyone, but if you thrive with that kind of stimulus, having your own dorm TV is a must.

That said, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to fit a very large TV in your dorm room. You’re probably looking at something between 24 and 43 inches. It also doesn’t have to be the best television on the planet — it’ll be moving back and forth with you each year, and dorms aren’t exactly the most orderly places. If you spend a fortune on your dorm room TV and someone knocks it off the wall while they’re goofing off, you’ll probably be pretty unhappy.

You’ll probably also want access to all the various app-based services. While you could opt for any TV with an HDMI port and pair it with an Amazon Fire Stick or a Roku, we think it’s better to just get a smart TV with the apps built in. We’ve included a mix of smart and not, as well as a couple of larger computer monitors that could pull dual duty and save you even more space.

Since dorm life isn’t studying 24 hours a day, here’s our list of the top ten best dorm room TVs.


1. Samsung UN24H4000 24-Inch 720p LED TV (2014 Model)

dorm room tv, smart tv, curved monitor

(Samsung)

If you don’t mind getting a TV model that’s a few years old, you can grab a great deal on this Samsung unit. It’s appropriately sized at 24 inches (28 inches is available for $30 more) and is simply a very functional, semi-modern television. It’s only 720p, so your latest-generation consoles might seem a bit lacking on it. Still, if you just want something to catch a show or the game, the price is certainly right. No smart apps on this one, but for a few dollars more, the 2014 4500 model is a smart TV.

Need more options? Browse more Samsung products here.

Price: $128

Buy the Samsung UN24H4000 24-Inch 720p LED TV (2014 Model) here.


Pros:

  • Small enough to fit in any dorm
  • Inexpensive
  • Two HDMI inputs and one USB input
  • Eco Sensor automatically adjusts brightness of TV to match room light

Cons:

Find more Samsung UN24H4000 24-Inch 720p LED TV (2014 Model) information and reviews here.


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2. NAXA Electronics 23.6-Inch TV

dorm room tv, smart tv, curved monitor

(NAXA Electronics)

This more properly represents the cheap dorm room TV I had in college. It’s a no-frills, to-the-point television in a small package. It will accept just about any input, though you are limited to one of each type. A nice inclusion in this one is a built-in tuner so you can receive over-the-air HD TV stations. It’s also cheap enough that you probably won’t miss it when school is over.

Need more options? Browse more NAXA Electronics products here.

Price: $128.94

Buy the NAXA Electronics 23.6-Inch TV here.


Pros:

  • Small enough to fit in any dorm
  • Inexpensive
  • Built-in ATSC tuner for OTA HD TV
  • HDMI, composite, cable, VGA, and USB inputs

Cons:

Find more NAXA Electronics 23.6-Inch TV information and reviews here.


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3. Sceptre E249BD-SR 24-Inch 720p LED TV

dorm room tv, smart tv, curved monitor

(Sceptre)

Whether or not you view the inclusion of the built-in DVD player a plus for this TV depends on how many DVDs you have kicking around the house. Of course, you can always drop by just about any pharmacy and pick up a combo pack of movies for a couple of bucks if you’re ever in need of cheap entertainment. And don’t forget — this is college, so the chances that a professor could assign you to watch an out-of-print movie at any time are higher than in the outside world. Either way, this is a cheap and cheerful TV with a handy added feature compared to the ones above.

Need more options? Browse more Sceptre products here.

Price: $129.99

Buy the Sceptre E249BD-SR 24-Inch 720p LED TV here.


Pros:

  • Built-in DVD player
  • Small enough to fit in any dorm
  • Inexpensive
  • HDMI, USB, composite, and VGA inputs

Cons:

Find more Sceptre E249BD-SR 24-Inch 720p LED TV information and reviews here.


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

dorm room tv, smart tv, curved monitor

(TCL)

TCL makes a full range of decent, feature-filled televisions. This smart TV fits in comfortably under $200, packed with the familiar Roku functionality. This gives you access to 4,000 streaming channels all built into one device. It’s clearly aimed at using the apps because the remote has no number buttons and is therefore a bit annoying to use with regular cable channels. Still, if you’re mostly going to use it for Netflix and Hulu, this is probably the one for you. We’ve chosen the 32-inch, but 28, 40, 43, and 49 inch versions are available, all under $400.

Need more options? Browse more TCL products here.

Price: $169.99 (15 percent off MSRP)

Buy the TCL 32S305 32-Inch 720p Roku Smart LED TV (2017 Model) here.


Pros:

  • Smart TV with Roku software preloaded
  • Available in a range of sizes from 28 to 49 inches
  • Three HDMI inputs, 1 USB input, RF, composite, and optical audio out
  • Mobile app turns smartphone into remote

Cons:

  • Not full HD
  • Volume and mute are on the side of the remote and easily bumped
  • Remote has no number buttons
  • May not pair with DISH Network remotes

Find more TCL 32S305 32-Inch 720p Roku Smart LED TV (2017 Model) information and reviews here.


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5. Pyle 32 Inch LED TV HD Television

dorm room tv, smart tv, curved monitor

(Pyle)

When I bought my first 1080p television, it cost me about $479. Admittedly, it was a fairly nice Panasonic model, but nevertheless. For your dorm room needs, you can take advantage of this dirt-cheap, full HD unit. It’s not a smart TV by any stretch, but with the normal array of inputs, this will certainly render your sources in full resolution.

Need more options? Browse more Pyle products here.

Price: $189.41 (18 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Pyle 32 Inch LED TV HD Television here.


Pros:

  • Full HD
  • Three HDMI, component, RCA, and VGA inputs
  • Usable as a monitor

Cons:

Find more Pyle 32 Inch LED TV HD Television information and reviews here.


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6. VIZIO D32-D1 D-Series 32 Inch Class Full Array LED Smart TV

dorm room tv, smart tv, curved monitor

(Vizio)

Like TCL, VIZIO is another solid name in cheap televisions. A friend of mine has had her VIZIO set for going on ten years now, and I have personally watched many, many hours of entertainment on it without issue. This is the first of the full-HD smart TVs on our list, and the price reflects that. Still, it’s a great deal that will give you access to the major-name apps including Hulu, Netflix, Spotify, Amazon, and more.

Need more options? Browse more VIZIO products here.

Price: $234

Buy the VIZIO D32-D1 D-Series 32 Inch Class Full Array LED Smart TV here.


Pros:

  • Smart TV with VIZIO Internet Apps Plus
  • Full HD
  • Full-array LED backlighting
  • 120 Hz refresh rate

Cons:

  • Stand assembly could be difficult for some
  • Software bug breaks HDMI ports if renamed by the user
  • TV set has no power or channel buttons — must use remote
  • Not the sharpest picture

Find more VIZIO D32-D1 D-Series 32 Inch Class Full Array LED Smart TV information and reviews here.


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7. Samsung Electronics UN40MU6300 40-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV

dorm room tv, smart tv, curved monitor

(Samsung)

If you happen to have more room and a little more money to splash out on the television that will accompany your studies for the next few years, you might want something bigger than 32 inches. The next couple of items on our list range from 40 inches to 75 inches, including this smart offering from Samsung. This is the latest version, 4K set that offers one of the best pictures going. I recently bought the 32 inch 1080p version and I absolutely love it. The color is excellent and I love the convenience of the apps. I would urge some patience with the software, however. It’s a bit slow to navigate and when first powered up, it will display an error if you try to access one of the apps within the first several minutes. This is because the TV is connecting to the internet. Some have had success with changing the DNS server numbers to 8.8.8.8 or 8.8.4.4, though I haven’t needed to do this myself. Give it a few minutes and it’ll be ready to go. Otherwise, a great TV that would be right at home in a dorm, especially at this price.

Need more options? Browse more Samsung products here.

Price: $457.30

Buy the LG Electronics 43LJ5500 43-Inch 1080p Smart LED TV here.


Pros:

  • 4K resolution
  • HDR imaging
  • Smart remote controls all your devices
  • All popular streaming services available

Cons:

  • Smart TV software is on the slow side
  • Right after turning on, TV will present an error when trying to access apps until it connects to wifi (usually under five minutes)
  • With some setups, you may not be able to control the volume of external speakers connected via optical out
  • Wifi strength could be better

Find more Samsung Electronics UN40MU6300 40-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV information and reviews here.


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8. Element 43-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV – Amazon Fire TV Edition

dorm room tv, smart tv, curved monitor

(Element Electronics)

If you already use one of the Amazon Fire devices at home and you’re happy with the service, Amazon developed a Fire-specific television. Like the Samsung above, it’s a 4K ultra HD set that has Amazon’s operating system baked in. Alexa is built into the voice remote for even easier navigation of the 15,000 apps and channels. If you should need something beyond the wireless capabilities, there are four HDMI inputs, including one ARC, one each USB 2.0 and 3.0 inputs, and an Ethernet port. The 43 inch is probably the most likely to fit in the average dorm, but if you get creative, maybe you can figure out how to make the larger ones work, too. This TV is brand new and hasn’t even been released yet, but will be there in plenty of time for you to move into the dorm.

Need more options? Browse more Element Electronics here.

Price: $449.99

Buy the Element 43-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV – Amazon Fire TV Edition here.


Pros:

  • Amazon Fire technology pre-loaded
  • 4K resolution
  • Alexa voice control
  • Four HDMI inputs

Cons:

  • New product could have unforeseen bugs
  • Will almost certainly be better with Prime membership, which adds to the cost
  • HBO, Showtime, Stars, and others incur additional monthly costs

Find more Element 43-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV – Amazon Fire TV Edition information and reviews here.


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9. LG Electronics 32MA68HY-P 32-Inch IPS Monitor

dorm room tv, smart tv, curved monitor

(LG Electronics)

Being that you’re going to be using this TV in a dorm room, you will almost certainly have a computer and a desk where you may not have a separate spot to put a dedicated TV. We thought it best to include a pair of monitors large enough to function as TVs. Even in my house where I have the aforementioned Samsung TV, we occasionally just use one of our computers out of convenience. If you’re working on a laptop, you could always use these monitors externally and throw something on these while you’re working to provide that background noise that can be so helpful.

This LG option is 32 inches, which is plenty large enough to function as an entertainment screen, since most of the TVs on this list are the same size. I work on a 27 inch monitor and often use it to watch TV, so this will definitely do the job. Use any of your favorite web-based streaming on here, although there isn’t a coaxial hook up if you want actual cable. If you want to hook up a console, here’s a guide for making that happen.

Need more options? Browse more LG Electronics products here.

Price: $199.99

Buy the Sony XBR43X800E 43-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV here.


Pros:

  • Full HD
  • IPS for wide viewing angle
  • HDMI, d-sub, and USB inputs
  • Can be wall mounted

Cons:

  • No smart functionality
  • No dedicated remote — whatever you hook up to it will be used for controls
  • May need an additional mounting bracket for most TV wall mounts
  • Gloss finish is reflective

Find more LG Electronics 32MA68HY-P 32-Inch IPS Monitor information and reviews here.


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10. Dell UltraSharp U3415W PXF79 34-Inch Curved LED-Lit Monitor

dorm room tv, smart tv, curved monitor

(Dell)

If you happen to be a gamer trying to fit in a little bit of schooling and television on the side, you might consider dropping the extra coin to get a curved display. The curvature allows for ultra-wide display area while ensconcing you in a more immersive experience. Granted, this is a 34 inch display that is more expensive than every single other item above, but if you have a need for it otherwise, why not use it for movies every now and then? The picture-in-picture function allows you to display images from two sources at once, including two computers. Curiously, they’ve included only one HDMI port, so that’s a bit strange, given that. The comparable Samsung CF791 has more inputs, but is also $150 more.

Need more options? Browse more Dell products here.

Price: $649.95 (46 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Dell UltraSharp U3415W PXF79 34-Inch Curved LED-Lit Monitor here.


Pros:

  • Curved screen for large panoramic view
  • Picture-in-picture feature can show content from two sources at once
  • Built-in 9 watt speakers
  • HDMI, USB 3.0 inputs

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Only one HDMI input
  • Some corner light bleed
  • Certainly overkill for most college computer needs and still no smart TV-style options on its own

Find more Dell UltraSharp U3415W PXF79 34-Inch Curved LED-Lit Monitor information and reviews here.


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