Let this be a lesson to the big, international, tablet manufacturers out there whose customers are still languishing with an old version of Android: The community is way better than you are.
Budget tablet manufacturer Hisense has made public its Kernel for its Sero 7 LT and Sero 7 Pro tablets. The open source community has already rewarded them and their customers with a modified version of Cyanogenmod 11 running Android 4.4 that can be installed on the budget tablets. The Sero 7 LT and Sero 7 Pro sell for $89 and $149 respectively. While having somewhat modest specs (especially the LT) the fact that they are getting publicly available versions of Android 4.4 just moments after Hisense released the kernel just goes to show the power of community-based development.
While users of other more popular tablets can also certainly root their device to Cyanogenmod 11 and also get access to Android 4.4, the fact is that most users of non Nexus products are still waiting for an official update. Meanwhile, people who follow the developer community are able to get Kit Kat running on even the most modest of devices. Kind of makes you wonder what those big companies do with all their time and money.
The Sero 7 LT has a 7-inch 1024×600 display, a 1.6GHz dual-core CPU, 1GB of RAM and 4GB of expandable on-board storage. It also has a mini HDMI port for mirroring but lacks bluetooth and GPS capability.
The Sero 7 Pro has a bit more power under the hood with a 7-inch 1280×800 screen, a quad-core 1.3GHz Tegra 3 CPU, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of expandable on board storage. It also sports that same mini HDMI port, front and rear cameras, NFC capability, bluetooth, GPS and the normal bells and whistles you would expect.
Does 4.4 access make these budget tablets any more appealing to you?