Hisense surprised everyone when they launched the Sero 7 Pro in May 2013. This tablet quickly took the crown as the best budget tablet, but if the 2 tablets I saw in the Hiense booth this week are any sign I don’t think Hisense is planning to defend their title.
Mixed in with the many smartphone, phablets, and TVs that filled the Hisense both were a couple 7″ tablets. Neither model is as good as the Sero 7 Pro, but they do offer an option that older tablet lacks: optional 3g. The E2070 and E5070 are running Android 4.2 on Mediatek CPUs, which is a step down from the Tegra 3 chip in the Sero 7 Pro.
Update: I’ve just been told by Brad Linder of Lilputing that these tablets are destined for the Chinese market, not the US market.
The F5070 has a 7″ screen with a resolution of 1280 x 800 (the same as on the Sero 7 Pro). It’s built around a quad-core 1.2GHZ Mediatek chip with 1GB RAM, 8GB Flash storage, microSD card slot, GPS, Wifi, Bluetooth, and optional 3g. It still has the 5MP and 2MP cameras found on the Sero 7 Pro, but it lacks the LED Flash which made that older tablet stand out.
The E2070, on the other hand, has a 7″ screen with a resolution of 1024 x 600. This tablet is clearly intended to be the lighter weight companion to the F5070, and it has a dual-core 1.2GHz Mediatek chip with 1GB RAM, only 4GB Flash storage, microSD card slot, GPS, Wifi, and Bluetooth. It still has the optional 3g, and it even has a pair of cameras (VGA and 2MP).
The specs for these tablets might not grab your attention, but the build quality might. Both tablets were built almost as nice as the Sero 7 Pro I carry around. The have a similar pebbled back and an integrated cover for the card slots. The software could have used some work, though; it was listed as an experimental build and lacked any refinement. This unfortunately keeps me from commenting on their performance.
I couldn’t get any details on the price or release date (TBH I got distracted by a debate on the merits of Hisense’s old models vs new), but I was told that the tablets would be priced competitively. I would expect to see the Wifi version of the E2070 priced at around $99.
As for the 3g models, I am not sure how to guestimate the retail price. But I will note that the F5070 has specs about the same as the Verizon Ellipsis tablet (same CPU, t00) so I wouldn’t be surprised if the F5070 arrived on the US market with a $250 price tag.
These tablets are in almost every way a step down from the current Hisense, and I think that tells us something about how they see the budget tablet market. Price, and not specs, is the dominant factor.