Hisense, a company known for making low-cost HDTVs, has teamed up with Nvidia to unveil a pair of Android tablets. The Sero 7 LT and Sero 7 Pro will be the company's first tablets to feature Google certification and are equipped to compete with tablets like the Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire, but priced to undercut both.
The Hisense Sero 7 Pro is the more compelling of the two devices, featuring specs that belie its budget-friendly $149 (£99) price tag. This 7in tablet comes equipped with a 1,280 x 800 IPS LCD, a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, 1GB RAM, and 8GB of internal storage. The Sero 7 Pro will also run Android 4.2 "Jelly Bean." Sound familiar? It should, since that's essentially identical to Google's own Nexus 7 tablet.
On top of that, the Sero 7 Pro offers microSD card expansion and mini HDMI out for mirroring the device's display onto bigger HDTVs—both of which are missing on the Nexus 7. There's a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, which one-up the Nexus 7's single 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera. Also onboard are 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS, and even NFC.
The lower-end Hisense Sero 7 LT is less intriguing on paper, but its $99 (£66) price tag is sure to garner some attention. Instead of aping the Nexus 7, the Sero 7 LT sets its sights on the Amazon Kindle Fire. The Sero 7 LT features a 7in, 1,024 x 600 display, a 1.6GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, and 4GB of internal storage. Like the Pro, the Sero 7 LT will also offer microSD card expansion and mini HDMI out.
There's no rear-facing camera, but the Sero 7 LT will have an 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera. Unfortunately, the Sero 7 LT will be running the slightly older Android 4.1, as opposed to 4.2.
Both tablets offer solid specs at attractive price points, making them compelling alternatives to established tablets. It's not all about specs, though, as prospective buyers should also keep in mind that the Nexus 7 will always get more timely OS updates, while Kindle Fire owners enjoy Amazon's robust selection of media content and a user-friendly, Amazon-optimised Android interface.
The Hisense Sero 7 LT and Sero 7 Pro will hit retail shelves across the US starting on Friday and it is currently not known if they will roll out to the UK or not. Stay tuned for further release news.