TCL 65S401 Review: A 4K TV with Decent Performance

Are you looking to purchase a TCL smart television for casual viewing? If you answered yes, then you should read this TCL 65S401 review.

TCL 65S401 Review A 4K TV With A Decent Performance
Itechguides' Take on TCL 65S401


The TCL 65S401 is a 4K smart TV with a good operating system that offers a handful of streaming apps. Also, this television has a decent picture quality and supports HDR. However, the television has bad viewing angles and lacks Bluetooth.



  • Good contrast ratio
  • Smooth OS
  • Low input lag
  • Decent port selection
  • Fast response time


  • Lacks Bluetooth
  • Not bright enough
  • Bad viewing angles

In this article, I will walk you through the TCL 65S401’s specifications and features. To achieve this aim, I will be discussing the television’s design, display features, and sound features extensively.

Not just that, I will also talk about the television’s port and connectivity features as well as its smart features. Furthermore, in different sections of this review, I will offer this television a rating based on its performance and my unbiased personal opinion.

Thus, if you read this review to the end, you should have enough information to make a well-informed buying decision.

My Initial Thoughts

TCL 65S401 Review My Initial Thoughts

In recent years, TCL has been gradually advancing in the production of 4K televisions. So, In 2018, the brand launched its S-series, a collection of 4K televisions that offer decent picture quality and features.

As a means of adding to this S-series collection, TCL released the TCL 65S401. As expected, this television features a 4K display and lots of great attributes such as a low input lag.

However, does it have enough features to compete with other televisions in the S-series collection? The answer to that and so much more will be discussed in the remainder of this article.

Therefore, if you want to find out, you have to read on!

TCL 65S401 Design, Dimension, and Weight Review

The TCL 65S401 comes with a decent design and solid build quality. To start with, the display of this television is surrounded by thin bezels that measure just 0.33-inch.

These bezels are made of plastic and have a glossy-black finish. The bottom bezel, however, is slightly thicker than the others due to the white “TCL” logo in the middle.

Asides from this TCL logo, you will also find a “Roku TV” inscription located at the right edge of the bottom bezel.

That said, the TCL 65S401 comes with a pair of silver-colored V-shaped plastic legs. These legs are made of metal and they support the television pretty well.

However, the legs are positioned very close to the edges of the television. Therefore, if you aren’t planning on wall-mounting the TCL 65S401, you will need a fairly large table or desk to place it on.

Moving on, the TCL 65S401 comes with a black plastic panel on its back. Unlike most television’s back panels, this TV’s back panel isn’t plain and boring.

To be more specific, there are three parallel lines that cut across the upper part of the TCL 65S401’s back panel. However, the back panel of this television is somewhat thick and chunky.

Thus, if you decide to wall-mount the television, it will bulge out of the wall and look a bit awkward. To make things even worse, there is no form of cable management system on the back panel of the TCL 65S401.

Consequently, you will need to manually arrange the cables attached to the television to make them look organized. Besides, the cables won’t be as organized as with a cable management system.

When it comes to size and weight, the TCL 65S401 measures 1468.1 x 78.7 x 845.8 mm (W x D x H) and weighs 20320.9 g. Comparatively, the TCL 65S401 is lighter than the majority of 65-inch television out there such as the Samsung UN65NU7100 and Hisense 65H6D.

To be more specific, the Samsung UN65NU7100 and Hisense 65H6D weigh 25000 g each.

In conclusion, the TCL 65S401 offers a decent design as well as slim bezels. However, the back of this television is thick and lacks a cable management system.

Therefore, I will offer the TCL 65S401 a rating of eight out of ten in this design review section.

TCL 65S401 Display Features and Picture Quality Review

TCL 65S401 Display Features Review

When it comes to the display, the TCL 65S401 features a 65-inch LED display. This display offers a 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) resolution which allows it to deliver detailed and realistic picture quality.

Adding on to its 4K resolution, the TCL 65S401’s display comes with an impressive contrast ratio. To be more specific, this television’s 65-inch display has a native contrast ratio of 4171:1.

Wondering what a display’s contrast ratio is? Contrast ratio refers to the difference between a display’s brightest white and deepest black pixels.

In addition to that, a high contrast ratio implies that the display is capable of producing deep blacks. As a result, the TCL 65S401’s display should be capable of producing deep blacks thanks to its high 4171:1 contrast ratio.

Therefore, the TCL 65S401 is ideal for watching movies with a lot of dark and shady backgrounds. Likewise, thanks to its display’s high contrast ratio, this TCL television is suitable for dark room viewing.

Unfortunately, the TCL 65S401’s display does not support local dimming. Local dimming is a contrast-enhancing technique that LCD/LED displays use by dimming their backlight layers.

Basically, this technique enhances the contrast ratio of a display. Thus, with local dimming, blacks will look deeper than they would be without local dimming.

In addition to its lack of local dimming, the TCL 65S401’s display isn’t bright at all. To be more specific, this television’s display offers a peak brightness of just 180 cd/m².

As a result of its display’s poor peak brightness, viewing the TCL 65S401 in a well-lit or even moderately-lit room isn’t advisable. Thus, you are better off viewing the television in a dark or dimly-lit room.

In addition to its poor peak brightness, the TCL 65S401’s display offers terrible viewing angles. Thus, attempts to view the TCL 65S401 offer-center or at extreme angles would have a disappointing turn of events.

Basically, colors accuracy will drop rapidly when viewing the TCL 65S401 off-center. For example, the color “red” might fade to look more like orange or pink when viewing the television off-center.

On a bright note, the TCL 65S401’s display supports HDR in HDR10 format. HDR (High Dynamic Range) is an imaging technique that enhances the brightness and color accuracy of a display when viewing HDR-compatible content.

Basically, when viewing HDR-compatible content on the TCL 65S401, the picture quality will look more realistic and detailed. For the record, HDR-compatible content can be found on streaming apps such as HULU.

That said, the TCL 65S401 comes with a picture technology called the 4K Creative Pro Upscaling Engine. As the name implies, this 4K Creative Pro Upscaling Engine enhances/upscales standard HD content on the television’s display in 4K standard.

Practically, when watching HD movies on the TCL 65S401, this picture technology will enhance the sharpness and realisticness up to 4K resolution standard. Cool right?

What is cooler is the 14.4 milliseconds response time of the TCL 65S401’s display. With a response time as fast as 14.4 ms, there will be minimal blur trails when viewing fast-motion content on the TCL 65S401.

Thus, making this television suitable for viewing sports or action movies. If you are curious, response time refers to how long it takes for a display to change colors.

In addition to its fast response time, the TCL 65S401’s display offers a low input lag of 14.9 milliseconds. In case you’re wondering, input lag is the amount of time it takes for a display to respond to signal input.

Moreover, thanks to its display’s low input lag of 14.9 milliseconds, the TCL 65S401 is ideal for gaming.

In conclusion, the TCL 65S401 features a 65-inch display that offers a good contrast ratio, low input lag, and a fast response time. Furthermore, this television comes with a picture technology that enhances its picture quality.

However, the television’s display doesn’t support local dimming and offers poor viewing angles. Therefore, in this design review section, I will be rating the TCL 65S401 an eight out of ten.

TCL 65S401 Sound Features Review

For the sound department, the TCL 65S401 comes with a pair of 8-watt speakers. Although not exceptionally loud, these speakers are loud enough to fill a medium-sized room with sound.

Unfortunately, the TCL 65S401 doesn’t have a subwoofer, so it won’t be able to produce enough bass. As a result, I doubt you’ll enjoy viewing movies with a lot of bass on this TV.

Therefore, if you love watching bass-heavy movies, you need to buy a soundbar along with the TV. On the plus side, the TCL 65S401’s speakers are capable of producing clear and crisp dialogue.

Dialogue in this context is the sound emitted when two or more people are conversing in a movie or TV show.

That said, the TCL 65S401 comes with Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus to enhance its sound quality. Dolby Digital is a sound technology that rearranges a speaker’s audio signal and allows it to produce a cinematic sound quality.

Dolby Digital Plus, on the other hand, is an advanced audio enhancement technique that enhances the surround sound production of a speaker. Therefore, with these sound technologies, you sure will get a pleasant sound experience from the TCL 65S401.

Unfortunately, the distortion performance of the TCL 65S401 is very terrible. Basically, this television’s speakers produce a noticeable amount of distortion even at a moderate volume level.

This is evident through the result of the television on the THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) test. THD test is a test that calculates the amount of distortion that an audio device can produce.

Moreover, based on this test, if an audio device delivers a score of 1% or less, it produces minimal to no distortion. However, if an audio device delivers a score of more than 1%, it produces a significant amount of distortion.

Unfortunately, on the THD test, the TCL 65S401 scored a disappointing 4.88%. Thus, even at a moderate volume level, distortion will be a major problem when viewing the TV.

For clarity, distortion in this context refers to the alteration of an audio device’s sound frequencies, resulting in less-appealing sound production.

All things considered, I will rate the TCL 65S401 a seven out of ten in this sound features review section.

TCL 65S401 Ports and Connectivity Features Review

TCL 65S401 Ports And Connectivity Features Review

The TCL 65S401 features quite a decent number of ports. Moreover, the television’s ports are in two positions, some are at the back of the television while some are right-facing.

The ports that are right-facing include three HDMI ports, one of which supports ARC (Audio Return Channel). As a result, users can use that particular HDMI-ARC port to connect a soundbar to the television.

Asides from the HDMI ports, there is also a USB 2.0 port, a 3.5 mm headphone jack, and an RF/cable port among the right-facing ports. That’s not all, an optical audio port is also part of the right-facing ports.

However, only an Ethernet port and composite video input are on the back of this TV. When it comes to wireless connectivity, the TCL 65S401 features a built-in 802.11 2×2 WIFI but lacks Bluetooth.

Moving on, the TCL 65S401 comes with a Roku TV RC282 remote control. Design-wise, this remote is quite small and should fit in your palm perfectly.

Also, the remote has a black finish as well as a blue plus-shaped navigation button in the center. In addition to this navigation button, the remote features four dedicated buttons for Prime Video, Sling TV, Netflix, and, HBO NOW.

Interestingly, the volume rocker and mute buttons are on the right side of the remote control. However, due to the small nature of the remote, it lacks a number pad.

Also, this television lacks a built-in mic, which means that it doesn’t support voice input.

In conclusion, the television features an adequate port selection and a sleek remote control. Therefore, I will rate the TCL 65S401 an eight out of ten in this ports and connectivity review section.

TCL 65S401 Smart Features Review

The TCL 65S401 employs the popular Roku TV operating system. To give more detail, this operating system offers an easy-to-use interface.

Moreover, the interface of this OS has a column-based navigation bar that makes selecting and highlighting items easy. To be more specific, the navigation bar features menus such as streaming channels, home, settings, my feed, news, and the search menu.

Furthermore, navigating or selecting apps on this interface shouldn’t be difficult due to the fact that the interface is lag-free. Speaking of apps, the Roku TV operating system offers a great selection of popular streaming apps.

Some of these streaming apps include Netflix, Sling TV, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, HULU, Disney+, and Spotify. Interestingly, if these apps don’t satisfy your needs, you can download more apps via the Roku TV channel store.

Besides that, you should be able to stream content from your smart devices to the TCL 65S401 using the Roku app. In fact, you will be able to control your television using this Roku app.

Impressively, the Roku app is free for download on the Google Play store as well as the App Store.

In conclusion, the TCL 65S401 features a smooth, user-friendly, and lag-free operating system. Moreover, this operating system offers plenty of streaming apps.

Thus, I will offer the TCL 65S401 a rating of nine out of ten in this smart features review section.

Frequently Asked Questions

TCL 65S401 Review Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Year Was The TCL 65S401 Released?

The TCL 65S401 was released in 2018.

2. Who Is The Manufacturer Of TCL Televisions?

TCL televisions are manufactured by a Chinese company called TCL Communication Technology Holdings Ltd (TCT).

3. Does The TCL 65S401 Have Bluetooth?

Sadly, the TCL 65S401 lacks Bluetooth.

4. Does The TCL 65S401 Come With A Voice Remote?

No, it doesn’t. Instead, the TCL 65S401 features a basic Roku TV RC282 remote control.

5. Does The TCL 65S401 Have An HDMI-ARC Port?

Yes, it does. The TCL 65S401 comes with three HDMI ports, one of which is an HDMI-ARC port.

My Final Thoughts

The TCL 65S401 is a 65-inch 4K television with decent picture quality, an amazing contrast ratio, and a good smart OS. Moreover, this television also offers a good number of ports and its operating system have lots of streaming services.

However, the TCL 65S401 comes with some major downsides. To be more specific, this TV offers bad viewing angles and its display isn’t bright enough.

Also, the television lacks Bluetooth. Notwithstanding, I believe the television’s good features supersede its downsides.

Therefore, if you need a television with decent performance, the TCL 65S401 might just be for you!

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For more Television reviews, visit our Television Review page. You may also find our Television Specs page very helpful.

References and Further Reading

  1. – TCL S Series/S405 4k 2018 TV Review
  3. – TCL 65S405 Review
  4. -TCL 65S401 65″ Class 4K (2160P) Roku Smart LED TV Review

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