Hisense's foray into mobile devices starts with new Sero 7 tablets

Hisense Sero 7
Hisense has high hopes for its Sero 7 tablets

On a humid, overcast, and rain-filled Thursday in New York City, Hisense looked to brighten the mood by introducing the Hisense Sero 7 tablets.

The company made a big splash at CES earlier this year with its massive 110-inch HDTV and its glasses-free 3D HDTV, but now Hisense is taking the necessary steps to enter the ever-crowding Android tablet marketplace.

Both of the 7-inch tablets are being produced as part of a new partnership between Hisense, Wal-mart and Nvidia, and will burst onto the scene this Friday with consumer-friendly pricing.

"The tablet market is complex and competitive," said Jonathan Frank, vice president of marketing at Hisense U.S.

"To win in this environment, you need something truly unique. Our Sero 7 tablets will win."

Sero-ious business

The Sero 7 LT (pronounced "light") will be available for $99 at more than 3,000 Walmarts across the U.S.

In addition to featuring a 7-inch screen with a 1024 x 600 resolution, the LT will be powered by Android 4.1: Jelly Bean and a 1.6GHz dual-core processor.

The 0.3MP front-facing camera and 4GB memory may not be that impressive, but there will be a microSD slot to boost the storage up to 32GB.

Both tablets will also include miniHDMI and microUSB ports, which will enable you to stream content directly to your television should you so choose.

As enticing as the LT may sound, for $149 Hisense is bringing the Sero 7 Pro to Wal-mart at exactly the same time, but with a host of upgrades.

The Sero 7 Pro will again be 7-inches, but will use a 1280 x 800 screen and Android 4.2: Jelly Bean, all powered a Nvidia 1.3GHz Tegra 3 processor.

The Pro also packs in two cameras (2MP front-facing, 5MP rear), 8GB memory (also expandable to 32GB with microSD), and a 10-hour battery to make sure you're able to get in as much gaming as possible.

The LT model also lacks the NFC and Bluetooth connectivity of the Pro, but for the price, both tablets appear to be poised to strike at the heart of the Android tablet competition.

Beneficial partnerships

Both of the Sero 7 tablets will launch with built-in applications centered around taking advantage of the new partnerships between the three manufacturers.

Each of the tablets will include apps for Wal-mart, Sam's Club, Vudu, Nook, Facebook, and Nvidia's Tegrazone.

That's in addition to the already robust Google Play store, which is home to thousands of apps readily compatible with the Sero 7 devices.

"At the end of the day, it's content that sells products," said John Lonergan, vice president of sales and marketing at Nvidia.

"[The Sero 7] is an end-to-end partnership with three leaders in the industry really bringing the strength of consumer, product, and technology insight into a fantastic product."

Hisense seems sure its first foray into the Android tablet world will be a positive one, and its built-in exclusive agreement with one of the largest retailers in the U.S. will certainly help.

However, we won't see how the Sero 7 series holds up against the Nexus 7 (with a possible new model coming this year) or the Kindle Fire HD until both models are actually available.