7 Best Dorm Room TVs: Your Buyer’s Guide

Best dorm room TVs

College is about getting an education and having fun. A dorm room TV might not help much with the education, but it’ll definitely help with the fun! We’ve rounded up the best dorm room TVs available today, in a variety of sizes and price ranges.

The 7 Best Dorm Room TVs

TCL 32S327 32-Inch 1080p Roku Smart LED TV best dorm room tvs Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Loaded with features
  • 1080p FHD TV
  • Unbeatable value
Price: $149.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Toshiba 32LF221U19 32-inch 720p HD Smart LED TV best dorm room tvs Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Built-in Amazon Alexa and Fire TV
  • Included voice remote
  • 32-inch screen
Price: $179.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Samsung UN32J4001 32-Inch 720p LED TV best dorm room tvs Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Samsung quality
  • Gorgeous colors
  • Great built-in speakers
Price: $234.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Samsung UN32N5300AFXZA 32" 1080p Smart LED TV best dorm room tvs
  • Samsung quality
  • Stellar 1080p image quality
  • Smart TV
Price: $249.99 Shop now at amzn.to Shop now Read our review
LG 24LM520D-WU 24 Inch HD TV best dorm room tvs Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Great for small dorm rooms
  • Unique white color
  • LG build and picture quality
Price: $139.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
TCL 43S425 43 Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart Roku LED TV best dorm room tvs Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Unbeatable value on a 4K TV
  • Loaded with features
  • Built-in Roku streaming
Price: $229.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Samsung UN43RU7100FXZA FLAT 43'' 4K UHD 7 Series Smart TV best dorm room tvs Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 4K Samsung TV
  • Incredible image quality
  • Worth every penny
Price: $995.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. TCL 32S327 32-Inch 1080p TV | Best Overall Dorm Room TV

    Pros:
    • All the features you want from a modern TV
    • Excellent 1080p FHD picture quality
    • Unbeatable value
    • Built-in Roku streaming platform
    • 120Hz refresh rate
    Cons:
    • Roku setup is a little tedious
    • Pre-configured remote shortcuts
    • Newer brand name

    With a host of modern features and some of the best picture quality for a TV in its price range, the TCL 32S327 32-Inch 1080p TV is our pick for the best overall dorm room TV. It comes with everything you could want from an affordable television in 2019—1080p FHD picture quality, 120Hz refresh rate, 3 HDMI ports, built-in Roku media streaming, and much more—in a TV that is perfectly sized for a dorm room.

    This laundry list of features is the reason why the TCL 3 series was selected by the New York Times’ Wirecutter as the top 32-inch television of 2019. Wirecutter favors the 720p version, which is available for $20 less than the model we’ve chosen here, but we think that the improved resolution is worth the slight increase in price. 1080p comes with more than double the number of pixels as 720p, so you’re getting a lot of bang for your 20 bucks.

    Honestly, it is difficult to come up with any major flaws for this TV. There are a couple of minor annoyances—Roku’s initial setup is a little tedious and you can’t reconfigure the remote’s app shortcuts—but overall, this TV is an incredible value for the money and the clear choice for best dorm room TV.

  2. 2. Toshiba 32LF221U19 32-inch 720p TV | Best Dorm Room TV With Built-in Alexa

    Pros:
    • Built-in Amazon Alexa and Fire TV
    • Included voice remote
    • 32-inch screen
    • Great picture quality for a 720p TV
    Cons:
    • 720p resolution
    • More expensive than TCL 32S327
    • Pre-configured remote shortcuts
    • 60Hz refresh rate

    If you’re an Amazon Alexa user, you might be looking for a dorm room TV with Alexa built-in. One great option is this 32-inch 720p TV from Toshiba. It’s slightly more expensive than the TCL 32S327 listed above and has a much lower image resolution, but it comes with an Alexa voice remote that allows you to control your TV using nothing but your voice. The ability to change the channel or adjust the volume without having to grab the remote is a feature that you and your dorm mates will be using all the time. 

    Another selling point of the Toshiba 32LF221U19 is that it comes with Amazon’s Fire TV service built-in, giving you access to a highly polished media-streaming interface as well as a huge library of apps. Fire TV is one of the best media streaming platforms available today, and it’s especially enjoyable if you are already plugged into the Amazon Fire or Alexa ecosystems. 

    The one major shortcoming of the Toshiba 32LF221U19 is its 720p display, which isn’t bad compared to other 720p TVs but is significantly worse than the 1080p display of the TCL 32S327. The difference in video quality is especially noticeable because the TCL is also $10 cheaper.

    Still, the Toshiba 32LF221U19 is an awesome TV if you’re looking for solid picture quality, convenient media streaming, and comprehensive Amazon Alexa integration. The biggest reason you would get this TV is if you can really see yourself enjoying the Alexa functionality and the Fire TV operating system. 

  3. 3. Samsung UN32J4001 32-Inch 720p TV | Best 32-Inch Samsung TV

    Pros:
    • Samsung build and picture quality
    • Gorgeous colors
    • Great built-in speakers
    • Fantastic picture quality for a 720p TV
    Cons:
    • 720p resolution
    • No smart features
    • No voice features

    If you’re a Samsung loyalist who wants an affordable dorm room TV, the Samsung UN32J4001 32-Inch 720p TV may be the perfect option for you. This TV comes with a handful of advantages over competitors in its price range, the most significant of which is the overall quality of construction that one expects from a Samsung television. This TV also features extraordinarily vibrant colors due to Samsung’s Wide Color Enhancer technology, good built-in speakers, and impressive overall picture quality for a 720p TV. 

    The downside of the Samsung UN32J4001 is simply that it is missing many of the features found in other modern TVs: It cannot connect to WiFi, it doesn’t come with any smart TV features, and it is not compatible with Alexa or any other voice assistants. Of course, you could use this TV in conjunction with a Fire TV Stick or a Roku Streaming Stick, both of which plug right into an HDMI slot and work just as well or better than a built-in smart TV system, but you will have to purchase one of those products (or something similar) if you want the smart TV experience.

    All in all, the Samsung UN32J4001 is high-quality 720p television from a reputable brand. At this price point, the UN32J4001 is undoubtedly light on features compared to other products on this list (see above), but it’s still a very high-quality TV for the money, and it’s worth considering if you’re a fan of Samsung.

  4. 4. Samsung UN32N5300AFXZA 32-Inch 1080p TV | A Higher-end 32-Inch Samsung TV

    Pros:
    • Samsung build quality
    • Stellar 1080p image quality with great image enhancement technology
    • Smart TV features
    • Quad-core processor
    Cons:
    • Expensive for a 32-inch TV
    • Lackluster sound
    • Smart TV platform isn't the most intuitive

    If your heart is set on a Samsung TV but you don’t want to skimp on features, then the Samsung UN32N5300AFXZA is a higher-end option that could be exactly what you’re looking for. This model comes with many of the same advantages as those found in the Samsung UN32J4001, but it also boasts built-in smart TV features (including WiFi), a quad-core processor, and 1080p FHD picture quality—all for less than $100 more. 

    The best part of this TV is the 1080p display, which is significantly more detailed and crisp than the display of the 720p UN32J4001. Image quality is further enhanced using a variety of Samsung technologies, including Micro Dimming Pro, which enhances contrast for deeper blacks and purer whites, and Ultra Clean View, which uses an algorithm to reduce distortion and produce higher-quality images. All of this together leads to an incredible overall viewing experience, rivaling what you would get from an affordable 4K television. 

    The biggest shortcomings of the Samsung UN32N5300AFXZA are the high price tag, the poor built-in speakers, and the fact that the Samsung Smart TV interface is not the most intuitive. Don’t get me wrong, being able to access your favorite streaming services directly from the TV is great, and it’s a valuable addition over the UN32J4001. But simple things like accessing Netflix or Hulu require more button presses than they should, especially compared to Roku and Fire TV.

    Overall, the Samsung UN32N5300AFXZA is a fully fleshed-out modern TV that would become the centerpiece of any college dorm room. It has all of the features you’d want from a 1080p TV in 2019, and it’s got some of the best picture quality currently on the market. It costs about $100 more than the TCL 32S327, which is a good chunk of change, but this is a TV that you will be able to enjoy in your dorm in college and likely for many years afterward. 

  5. 5. LG 24LM520D-WU 24 Inch TV | Best 24-Inch Dorm Room TV

    Pros:
    • Slim, compact design that's great for small dorm rooms
    • LG build and picture quality
    • Unique white color
    • LG's Triple XD Engine for extra-vibrant colors
    Cons:
    • Very small
    • Pricey considering its size
    • 1366x768 image resolution
    • Only 1 HDMI input

    All of the TVs covered thus far have been 32-inch models, which many people find to be the sweet spot for a dorm room TV. If you’re looking for something even smaller, then the LG 24LM520D-WU 24 Inch TV might be the TV you’ve been looking for. With dimensions of just 25.6″ x 5.9″ x 14.5″, this pint-sized TV is perfect for small dorm rooms that don’t have space for a larger TV. 

    The standout features of this TV, aside from the small screen size, are the attractive 1366×768 display (equipped with LG’s Triple XD Engine for extra-vibrant colors), the built-in WiFi capabilities, and the TV’s unique white finish. The most unusual of these features is obviously the finish, which gives this TV a cool, modern look. The 24LM520D-WU would look great sitting on just about any dorm room surface, and it is also equipped with standard VESA mounting holes, giving you the option of mounting the TV on a wall or on a desk mount if you so choose.

    My favorite thing about the LG 24LM520D-WU is that it is compact enough to fit on even the smallest of dorm room desks. This isn’t meant to be a TV that commands the attention of the entire room; it’s something you can put on while you study or use with your laptop when you want to watch videos on a larger screen. It’s conveniently sized and the image quality looks great for the price. 

    The biggest downsides of this TV are its small size, its lack of inputs (1x HDMI only), and the fact that it is pretty expensive for what you’re getting. That being said, if you are looking for a 24-inch TV and dig the white finish, this is arguably the best one out there right now. 

  6. 6. TCL 43S425 43-Inch 4K TV | Best Affordable 4K TV for Dorm Rooms

    Pros:
    • Gorgeous 4K UHD picture quality
    • Has all the features you want from a TV in 2019
    • Built-in Roku streaming platform is among the best
    Cons:
    • Tedious Roku setup
    • May be too big for smaller dorm rooms
    • Pricier than other lower-quality options
    • Newer brand name

    If you’ve been assigned to a particularly spacious dorm room or if you have access to a common area between rooms, you might be interested in TVs that are a little larger than 32 inches. One great option is the TCL 43S425—a 43-inch 4K TV with Roku streaming capabilities available for less than $250. It sounds too good to be true, but it’s real, and it might be the best dorm room TV on this list. 

    The biggest selling point about this TV compared to the others is the 43-inch 4K display, which is significantly larger and double the resolution of any product we’ve mentioned thus far. The picture quality of this TV is absolutely out of this world, especially given the affordable price. Contrasts are sharp, with deep blacks and bright pure whites, the 60Hz refresh rate is extraordinarily smooth, and the 4K pixel density allows you to see in incredible detail compared to a 1080p TV. 

    Other strong points of this model include the built-in Roku, which is a fantastic media-streaming interface that allows you to easily access all of your favorite streaming apps, and the many inputs (3 HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2, 1 USB, RF, Composite, Headphone Jack, Optical audio Out, Ethernet), which give you the flexibility to use your TV for anything and everything you could want. 

    The elephant in the room with this TV—literally—is that it may be a little large for your standard dorm room. This will vary from room to room, but you will want to be sure that you’ve got somewhere to put it before you go ahead and buy one.

    That being said, if you can find a way to make it work in your dorm room, there’s a strong case to be made that this should be the number one TV on your wishlist. Yes, you’re purchasing a TV for a small dorm room and you want to be cognizant of that, but this is a 4K TV with all of the features you could ask for, and it costs less than $100 more than the 32-inch 1080p TCL listed above. It’s a value that’s hard to beat.

  7. 7. Samsung UN43RU7100FXZA FLAT 43” 4K TV | Best Dorm Room TV Splurge

    Pros:
    • 4K Samsung TV
    • Incredible image quality
    • Worth every penny
    • Smart TV features
    Cons:
    • Bit of a splurge
    • Not the most intuitive smart TV interface
    • May be too large for smaller dorm rooms
    • Sound is nothing to write home about
    • Poor viewing angle

    Last but not least, the Samsung UN43RU7100FXZA is an incredible dorm room TV for those who aren’t afraid to splurge a little. Honestly, this TV is borderline excessive for the average college student’s needs, but if you’re thinking of a TV as a long-term investment that you hope to enjoy for many years to come, the UN43RU7100FXZA is well worth your consideration.

    The best part of this TV is the 43-inch 4K display, which is absolutely stunning. Powered by a 4K UHD processor and Samsung’s PurColor color-enhancing technology, the UN43RU7100FXZA delivers the best picture quality of any TV on this list. Colors are extraordinarily vibrant and the detail is something you have to see first-hand to appreciate. This TV also comes built-in with Samsung’s Smart TV interface and is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant (though you’ll have to purchase a separate voice remote). 

    As was the case with the TCL 43S425, the primary downside of this TV is that it might be too large for some dorm rooms. That being said, if you’ve got the room for it, this would be an absolutely incredible dorm room TV that is sure to make your room the go-to place for movie nights with your friends.

Choosing a Dorm Room TV

Choosing which dorm room TV is right for you comes down to size, price, brand name, and features.

When it comes to size, 32-inches tends to be the sweet spot for most people. It's significantly larger than most computer monitors, so you feel like you're watching on a TV, but it isn't so big that it will dominate a dorm room. That being said, larger or smaller models are perfectly good options assuming they make sense for your room. 

For the remaining three considerations—price, brand name, and features—you will generally be required to make some tradeoffs. TCL TVs, for example, are incredibly affordable while also being loaded with features. However, they don't have the same brand name and trust as a manufacturer like Samsung or LG does. Brand name might not be important to you, but there is undoubtedly a reason why the big-name manufacturers are as popular as they are. The downside of purchasing a TV from a big-name brand is that they tend to be more expensive and offer fewer features.

How you manage these tradeoffs comes down to your priorities. If you're just looking for an affordable dorm room TV, you should feel confident getting any of the TCL models or even the Toshiba 32LF221U19. They all come highly recommended by many sources and are a great value for the money.

If, on the other hand, you prefer to buy from widely trusted brands like Samsung or LG and are willing to pay slightly more for that peace of mind, there are some great options above for you as well. From there you'll just want to settle on size and price, and you'll have the perfect TV for your dorm!

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