Looking for a powerful tablet, but don’t want to break the bank? Hisense, a Chinese electronics company, might have just what you’re looking for. The company entering the budget tablet market announcing a pair of aggressively priced 7-inch tablets with prices starting at just $99.
The $99, 7-inch Sero 7 LT, runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and is powered by a 1.6-GHz dual-core processor. The device will ship with 1GB of RAM, only 4GB of storage, a .3-MP webcam and a low-res 1024 x 600 screen. It will have several ports for a tablet this price including microUSB, mini-HDMI and microSD card slot (up to 32GB).
Priced at $149, the Ser0 7 Pro tablet is for budget hunters looking for a little more oomph. The device sports a 1280 x 800 ISP display with a 1.3-GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 CPU and 1GB of RAM. Running on Android 4.1, the Sero 7 Pro will also have 8GB of storage, NFC and ports for microUSB, mini-HDMI and microSD cards. Shutterbugs will appreciate its 2-MP front-facing camera and 5-MP rear-facing lens. Hisense claims the Pro will get up to 10 hours of battery life thanks to its 4,000 mAh battery.
In a brief hands-on, both the LT and the Pro fit comfortably into our hands. The Pro’s basketweave pattern rear panel made for a surer grip than the LT’s smooth dark gray paneling. Colors were fairly accurate on the LT’s 1024 x 600 display as we watched “The Avengers” high-def trailer. Thor’s bright red cape popped against a clear blue sky, but the Pro’s display had slightly richer color and sharper details, allowing us to clearly see the scars around Nick Fury’s eyepatch. Navigating through homescreens and launching apps on the tablets was smooth and relatively fast. However there was a slight lag on the LT.
Both devices feature apps for Sam’s Club, Vudu, Pandora, and Walmart.com. We couldn’t launch any Tegra Zone games on the Sero 7 Pro during our demo, but we saw an Nvidia rep play “Beach Buggy Blitz” while streaming to a big-screen television during the press conference. Realistic water effects trickled down the screen as the rep showed off the destructible environments and took out some bungalows as he tore down the track.
Hisense’s aggressive pricing and powerful specs put the Sero 7 Pro and the Sero 7 LT in direct competition with heavy-hitters like the Amazon Kindle HD and Google’s Nexus 7 tablet. At $50 and $100 less, these devices could be a compelling option for consumers on a budget.