Books written by Ray Sullivan

Saturday, 28 December 2013

The Best Value 7" Android Tablet Yet?

I've moaned plenty about the Nexus 7 and the incredibly expensive repair costs, which given a lot of other people on the net seem to have experienced spontaneously cracking screens that are apparently not covered by warranty is a real issue.

Now apart from the screen issue, the Nexus is a great machine, if a little on the pricey side. Chinese manufacturer Hisense seem to think so too. They've modelled their Sero 7 tablet on the Nexus. Perhaps they were involved in the manufacture on behalf of Asus, or maybe they are unashamed of engaging in the sincerest form of flattery. Anyway their tablet is being sold in the UK by ebuyer, a web based retailer that specialises in electronic goods and often sells grey imports at a cracking price. I've personally bought three Olympus cameras for myself and members of my family through ebuyer and I'm fairly certain all three were intended by Olympus to be sold in the US. Certainly researching Hisense Sero 7 accessories appears to centre on the States, suggesting that is the primary sales area.

Is it is good as the Nexus 7 it so closely appears to resemble? No, it appears to be better from the short exposure I've had. As an Android tablet it comes with all the normal functionality you would expect and within minutes of inputting my Google Mail details I had all of the apps I had paid for on my Nexus up and running. Not a hitch.

But it has more features. You can add additional memory in the form of a micro SD card, for example. The instructions are a bit vague about the maximum capacity of the card and some net correspondence suggested it would take up to 32gb of memory, however I only had one card and that was the 64gb I had in my Surface RT. I swiftly popped the card in the Sero, downloaded a free file manager from the Google store and was browsing last years holiday snaps in minutes.

It has a front and rear facing camera. In the way of these things the front facing camera doesn't appear to be particularly high-definition but perfectly adequate for selfies for use on the net and for Skype calls, while the rear facing camera seems to take good quality photos.

The crowning glory has to be the mini-HDMI output, though. Thanks to the Christmas broadcast schedule a trip to Netflix had everyone watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail on the large TV in an instant, then a recent blockbuster courtesy of a digital download via ultraviolet technology.  Both films ran without a hitch.

It's early days though and I'm probably going to be cautious about carrying the tablet in my trouser side pockets when out walking, even though I believe such clearly portable devices should be robust enough to be carried around in this anner, however this little tablet has shown itself to be a great little device very quickly. At less than £120 for the 32gb version it is certainly worth a look for anyone looking for a new Android tablet.

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