Hisense Sero 7 Pro Review
It's small, it's cheap, it's... actually really good for the price.
Under the Microscope
So the Sero 7 Pro holds up to some scrutiny, but we're too obsessed with data to leave it at that—we're going to tell you in excruciating detail exactly what it's like to use this thing, so buckle your pants and get ready. You're in for a bumpy ride with this tablet.
This sad tale begins on a sweet note of fair contrast, but ends in wailing and gnashing of teeth at a lackluster performance. Sure, it's a very inexpensive tablet—and it may be a bit unfair—but the screen is among the worst currently on the market.
To start with the good: The contrast is acceptable at 801:1. You won't notice many errors in gradients or shadows (due to good gamma), but the picture is still a bit washed-out if you're used to seeing movies on the big screen or a decent HDTV.
This leads us to the bad: The relatively high black level of 0.46 cd/m2. Usually for a decent TV we look for this number to be under 0.1 cd/m2, but tablets almost always struggle with this. Because of that high black level, the respectable peak brightness of 368.63 cd/m2 doesn't help much, and the contrast is narrowed as a result. Reflecting 27.2% of all light shone on the screen doesn't make matters any better—outside use is frustrating as a result: It's like looking in a mirror.
Now for the ugly. I mentioned before that the color performance wasn't all that great, but at first glance the color gamut is actually really good for a tablet. So what's stuck in my craw? That white point.
It's important for a display of any kind to have an accurate white point, as an inaccurate white point is indicative of an inability to produce accurate color values—it's a good way to figure out if your picture is going to bear an orange or blue hue. Here, we see that indeed colors will bear a bit of a blue tinge.
A 4,000mAh battery in a device so small makes for a long uptime. Don't believe me? Focus your eyeballs on this: It lasted 7 hours, 33 minutes playing one of the worst movies of all time on full brightness, and 7 hours, 7 minutes reading Tolstoy. That's pretty impressive, if a little horrifying from an existential standpoint. You can expect the tablet to tolerate quite a bit of your shenanigans before it offs itself and needs a recharge.
If you're looking for something to handle multiple different uses while you're stuck on a cross-continental flight, this is a pretty good bet. You may need to recharge in the terminal, but it'll survive from Boston to Chicago or Las Vegas—just be sure to keep your wireless radios off.
This section will very quickly be dated by the release of the Tegra 4 and newest Snapdragon chipsets available to tablets now, but for the most part that plucky 1.3GHz Tegra 3 processor seems to hold its own against other bargain tablets in our processor tests. You can expect very few force-closes and only moderately sluggish behavior, but if you don't try to run everything all at once you should be fine.
If you like lots of 3D-rendered games, however, you'll find that the tablet won't be able to keep up most of the time. It's a tradeoff, but one that may not be all that important to you. Expect performance close to that of the original Nexus 7.
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