When Google unveiled the Nexus 7 last year it was one of the best tablets on the market for its price point. The screen resolution, CPU power, and general polish couldn't be matched by any other $199 tablet - but that is no longer true.
The Chinese budget tablet maker Hisense has just released a new 7" Android tablet that appears to match the Nexus 7 in almost every way, and it even one-ups last year's wunder-tablet with a microSD card slot and cameras.
The Hisense Sero Pro isn't listed on the Walmart website, but early reports indicate that it is available in select Walmart stores. And as you can see from the specs, this tablet not only matches the Nexus 7, it beats Google's flagship 7" tablet in the camera and storage dept.
The Hisense Sero 7 Pro is running Android 4.2 onan Nvidia 1.3GHz Tegra 3 CPU. It has the same 7" 1280x800 as found on the Nexus 7 as well as 1GB of RAM. In terms of connectivity, the Sero Pro has Wifi, Bluetooth, HDMI out, GPS, and it even has an NFC chip. This tablet is a little short in the storage dept, since it has only 8GB installed, but it also has a microSD card slot. This tablet has not one but 2 cameras (2MP and 5MP) and the rear-facing camera comes with auto-focus and Flash.
This is a pretty impressive tablet in every sense of the word, especially given the price, but as with any budget tablet you'll need to be careful to check to see where Hisense cut corners. My bet is that the camera might come up short, and the stereo speakers might not have as good of a sound as one might want.
But even with that caveat this is a tempting tablet. It offers everything you would have gotten from the Nexus 7, plus 4 or 5 things I had wished the Nexus 7 had like cameras and a card slot.
I looked at getting a Nexus 7 last year but passed. That tablet fell into a product niche that offered too little of what I need in a premium tablet and charged more than I was willing to pay for a budget tablet.
But the Hisense Sero Pro added the hardware I wanted to see in a premium tablet while still keeping the price down. This could be a serious contender for best budget tablet of the year.
Luckily for my pocketbook, I can't find a place to buy one online. If you get one, let me know what you think.
- 7 inch, 1280 x 800 IPS display
- 1.3 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor
- Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
- 1GB of RAM
- 8GB of storage
- MicroSD card slot, mini HDMI output, 3.5mm headset jack
- WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS, NFC
- Stereo speakers
- 5MP rear camera with flash and auto-focus
- 2MP front-facing camera
- 4Ah battery
- 7.9" x 5" x 0.43"