The Hisense U7KAU 75 is a middle-of-the-range mini LED and Quantum Dot VA LCD TV. It is a TV that performs well enough to wow the average punter on the street, but can’t pull the wool over the eyes of more hardened videophiles.
What I mean by that is that, when placed in the kind of large, bright living rooms common in Australian households, the Hisense U7KAU will hold up quite well. It’s at its best when viewed directly in front, and its feature set provides a mix of bells and whistles that will appeal to the average punter and gamers alike.
Because this is Kotaku Australia, and I expect that you, like me, would be using this panel almost exclusively for gaming, I plan to assess it purely from that angle. If you’d like a much more wide-ranging take on the capabilities of the U7KAU, I’d recommend friend-of-the-site Chris Button’s excellent review over on Gadget Guy.
Where to buy:
Getting the U7KAU out of the box onto your entertainment unit is fairly straightforward. Our model was the 75″ version, which is a two-person lift as the panel holds quite a bit of weight. There are multiple attach points on the bottom of the panel for its feet. The feet themselves are quite sturdy and hold the panel up very well, but the multiple attach points can create confusion if you’re not paying close attention during setup — I managed to attach the feet to different anchors. Thankfully, the TV’s mass is spread so evenly that this didn’t ultimately hurt us, but it did make the TV look a bit wonky standing on its mismatched feet. I live in fear of a scenario where someone REALLY botches the positioning of the feet and causes the TV to topple right over. Something to be aware of.
The Hisense set-up wizard is quick and efficient, putting those found in other TVs to shame. Compared to something like Samsung’s complicated, seemingly endless setup process, Hisense’s first-time box-ticking feels refreshingly short.
One thing you’ll want to note upon arrival into the OS: the Hisense U7KAU defaults to a more saturated image that favours higher contrast. While the average punter will probably be fine with this, I still recommend tweaking the image immediately to find something that looks and feels a little more naturalistic. Your mileage may vary. Settle on what you feel is right.
One of the features that Hisense was very keen to let me know about was the U7KAU’s gaming toolset. This is a TV panel that features HDMI 2.1 input, and up to 144hz variable refresh rate. Though the PS5 and Series X both max out at 120fps, you can always hook your PC up to take advantage of those extra frames. That’s genuinely great to see on a mid-tier panel, but I also feel it doesn’t go quite far enough. Of the four HDMI ports found on the rear of the panel, only two of them are actually HDMI 2.1 enabled and just one of them is an eARC channel. The remaining two ports are standard HDMI 2.0. This means that if you want the best possible performance out of all your devices, you may need to swap them around to take advantage of the HDMI 2.1 ports. If you only own one console and a soundbar, you’re in very good shape. If you own literally one device more than that, you’re going to have to either hot-swap them for performance or plug them into one of the other HDMI ports and settle for less.
Once again: the normies will not care about this even slightly. The die-hard video heads will wish for more.
Shifting into gamer mode
It didn’t seem to matter what I threw at the U7KAU — every game looked great on it. The 4K HFR modes hum along smoothly with no tearing and the HDR sings when properly tuned. Starfield looked so spectacular that I could overlook the grim fact that I was becoming bored by it. Fortnite looks spectacular, high-fidelity show pony for Unreal’s in-house engine that it is. Super Mario Bros. Wonder looked gorgeous and, despite being stuck with the Switch’s 1080p output, the U7KAU still showed up all Wonder‘s little animated flourishes. FC 24. Dave the Diver. Sea of Thieves. Mario Kart 8. Spider-Man 2. Forza Motorsport and Gran Turismo 7.
This panel can handle it all with ease and with extremely low input lag. Fast motion stays smooth and trackable, and all the post-processing bells and whistles don’t seem to get in the way. There’s something to be said for a TV that just wants to present you with a great image and then get out of your way.
The TV features a dedicated game bar built right into its software that you can use for on-the-fly image tweaking, should you so desire. I quite liked being able to put a frame counter on-screen — a real novelty on a console.
The screen itself, however, is quite reflective and, despite Hisense’s assurances that it has done as much as it can to mitigate glare … this is still a rather glary panel if the light hits it the wrong way. The viewing angle is also quite shallow, which I know will bug some pickier video heads. As mentioned, when viewed from the front and centre, the U7KAU conjures up a gorgeous image. Begin to move to the screen’s far left or right, however, and it becomes noticeably harder to keep the image clear.
The Hisense U7KAU is the definition of Good, Not Great. And if you’re not the sort of person who likes to squeeze every ounce of juice out of every screen they own, that means you’ll like it quite a bit. For the tweakers and the videophiles that absolutely must have the best audio-visual experience every time, you’ll want to step up to the U8KAU in a 65 or 75″, the top-end of what Hisense currently has to offer.
This is a no-fuss TV for no-fuss people, a set-and-forget panel for people who just want to plug it in and play. It excels at this, its default presets all the punter off the street will need. Though it is lacking in a couple of key areas for me — only two HDMI 2.1 ports is a bit rough for over $2,000 — I would have no trouble recommending it to anyone on the hunt for a mid-tier tele.
Where to buy:
Review conducted on a loaned panel provided by the manufacturer.
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