Since I began my tenure at Kotaku Australia, I’ve been reluctant to take on TV reviews. I’ve stuck mostly to PC monitors because the sharehouse I live in doesn’t have the space required to swap large panels in and out regularly. It would be a pain to get them into the house, set them up, pull them down and send them back when the review window concludes.
And yet, after seeing Hisense’s new range of ULED TVs on display at an activation in Sydney last week, I confess I’ve had the tape measure out, trying to justify taking on a dumbfoundingly large 75″ panel for review.
The activation itself was lovely. Hisense rented a gorgeous house overlooking the little bay in Malabar and filled it with its own tech. At 39 years old, I was low-key dismayed to find myself intrigued and excited by advancements in refrigeration and washer/dryer technology. However, that’s not what you come to Kotaku to hear about. The TVs were the main draw.
There were three panels on display in the living room of this stately home, with a fourth screen, a gigantic laser TV, tucked away upstairs. They were:
- Hisense U7KAU 75″ ULED Mini-LED Series
- Hisense U8KAU 75″ ULED Mini-LED Pro Series
- Hisense UXAU 85″ ULED X Mini-LED X Series
- Hisense L9H 120″ TriChroma Laser TV Series
Let’s talk about each of these and why they’re interesting.
U7KAU 75″ ULED Mini-LED Series
The Hisense U7KAU 75″ is the flagship model in the company’s new line of TVs. It’s an all-rounder — as solid for movies as it is for gaming. Don’t let the buzzy marketing of ULED confuse you: this is still a Micro-LED panel, though one governed by Hisense’s own proprietary tech and Quantum Dot technology. Where the Hisense U7KAU shines for gaming is in the details. The panel supports 144Hz refresh rates, which will allow your PS5 or Xbox Series X to shine. The attendant Game Mode Pro supports further flourishes – HDMI 2.1, Variable Refresh Rate, Auto Low Latency Mode & FreeSync Premium support are all box features. Dolby Vision IQ and HDR 10+ Adaptive allow the panel to shift its colour gamut and brightness depending on the amount of light already in the room. It’s designed to keep the screen visible, even against significant light pollution. It also comes with all the Smart TV features you’d expect from a tele like this, but realistically you’ll probably just use the entertainment features of your preferred games console instead.
The U7KAU comes in five sizes, from 55″ ($1,499) all the way up to 100″ ($6,999).
U8KAU 75″ ULED Mini LED Pro Series
A step up from the Hisense U7KAU, the U8KAU Pro has all the features of its cheaper cousin and it’s IMAX Enhanced certified. That might seem like a slim box feature for an extra $AU500, but for the hardcore movie buffs, it’ll be a strong selling point. It also comes with a proper anti-glare screen. This makes it even better in bright light than the U7, making it perfect for cinephiles and gamers with floorplans that leave them no choice but to put their TV next to a big, bright window.
This is a pristine gaming TV, one that can be ably pressed into service for your current-gen consoles or as a couch-play monitor for your gaming PC. It’ll tick all the boxes and look bloody good doing it, but you’ll need to pony up a little more for those extra bells and whistles.
The U8KAU comes in two sizes, from 65″ ($2,499) to 75″ ($3,499)
UXAU 85″ ULED X Mini-LED X Series
How to communicate that your TV is a monster? Make the model designation four letters long and include not one but two free-standing X’s in the full product name.
This TV is where Hisense has stuffed most of its marketing blah-blah — Mini LED X, powered by Hi-View Engine X with an AI that thinks like a person (concerning), Dynamic X-Display. There’s a lot of X’es going on here, and I think the average punter could be forgiven for cocking an eyebrow at it. However, the UXAU isn’t a TV for the average punter. It’s a panel for the TV superuser, the dedicated cinephile that doesn’t want a projector or laser TV, but desires the colour reproduction found in those devices crammed behind a screen.
The UXAU is also the one TV in the range with large, side-mounted speakers. Hisense calls the arrangement of speakers in the TV its Cinestage X 4.1.2 Surround package, designed to envelop the viewer by bouncing sound around them.
It’s a stunning TV, a showpiece around which the entire home necessarily revolves. I couldn’t imagine playing a game on it. Apparently, neither can Hisense because games appear nowhere in the pitch for this one.
This is the kind of TV you go into your local JB Hi-Fi to stare at longingly. You watch the gorgeous images on its screen, trying to resolve the financial Tetris in your mind in a way that allows you to leave with one. In the end, you commit to the far-more-sensible Hisense U7KAU, as you always knew you would.
The UXAU comes in two sizes, from 75″ ($4,999) to 85″ ($9,999).
L9H 120″ TriChroma Laser TV Series
Finally, we get to the Laser TV. The biggest, baddest new toy in Hisense’s upcoming line. The L9H is a laser TV, which is the modern and very fancy way of saying it uses a kind of projector on a supplied ALR (or Ambient Light Rejecting) screen to create its stunning image. This is the package for people who want to construct a proper home cinema experience. The 120″ model takes up an entire wall of an even modestly sized room and dominates the space. If you find yourself in the enviable position of having a spare room you can convert into the theatre, god be with you. If you’re even luckier and are able to build your own floorplan around the notion of a home theatre, then this is a TV that should be on your list of candidates.
Indeed, so gigantic was the L9H that Hisense had to find a room upstairs in the home it had rented where it could hide this TV away until it was time to make the grand reveal.
Most of us can only dream of having something like this in our homes. Would it rock for gaming? Yes, absolutely. Is it a silly thing to want to play video games on? Also yes.
The L9H comes in two sizes, from 100″ ($6,499) to 120″ ($7,499).
So, in the end, another impressive year ahead from Hisense. The company is quickly becoming known for its budget-conscious TVs that don’t skimp on features or build quality, and it’s easy to see why its popularity is growing locally.
As for me, I’m still trying to work out how I’d fit anything above a 55″ in my pokey little sharehouse.
The author attended the Hisense Home event as a guest of Hisense.
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