While there have been lower-tier Android tablets available on the cheap for some time, Walmart's decision to promote Hisense's Sero 7 version for $99 starting this weekend marks an important next step in the tablet pricing wars.
You might see other 7-inch Android slates at drugstores and the like for similar prices or lower, but they aren't given the Walmart seal of approval through website banners like the one above from Walmart.com. The $99 Sero 7 isn't going to be confused with a high-end model, as it includes specs like a 1.6GHz dual-core processor from an unnamed manufacturer, standard 1,024x600 resolution, Android Jelly Bean 4.1, and a mere 4GB of storage (though it does include a microSD card slot for additional capacity). Then again, it is breaking the $100 price barrier.
If you are looking for a better-equipped model for less, the Sero 7 Pro still will only set you back $149, but you get a quad-core Tegra 3 chip, double the storage, the newer Android Jelly Bean 4.2, and a higher-res screen (1,280x800). That compares well with the Google Nexus 7 if you don't want 16GB of storage for $50 more.
Of course, there may be reluctance on the part of some buyers to purchase a tablet from a vendor like Hisense that's not well-known in the United States. Others may find the deal too good to pass up, however. Enough of such buyers may put more pressure on other Android tablet makers to drop their prices. Could $99 could be the next price point new budget tablets will be sold around?
Are you one of those who thinks the new Sero 7 tablets are a good deal? Are you planning to buy one? Let us know in the Talkback section below.