The Hisense Q5 was one of the most interesting tablets we have ever reviewed. Instead of using an E INK or LCD tablet, it employed an RLCD Monochrome display. It does not have any backlight, and totally needs environmental light in order to be used. The refresh rate for ebooks, manga, comics and other digital content was utterly amazing. This device was discontinued a couple of weeks when it was released and was not available for purchase. Due to overwhelming demand, Hisense did a new production run. You can now buy it from the Good e-Reader Store for $412.99.
The Q5 features a 10.5 inch monochrome RLCD display with a 16:9 aspect ratio and a resolution of 1280×800 pixels and 150 PPI. It has a gyroscope, so you can quickly flip the orientation from landscape mode to portrait. There is a layer of glass and matte screen protector. Since this does not have a frontlight or a backlight, you will need an ambient light source in order to see what is on the screen.
The RLCD display primarily generates content on the screen, which is dependant on the brightness and degrees of kelvan that the light source is emitting. If you use it outdoors, the screen takes on a orange hue, if you use an LED based lamp, the screen will have a blue hue. You will still get glare on the screen, because of the layer of glass. This is evident if you are using the Q5 when there is a light on the ceiling or in direct sunlight. This tablet is still usable in direct light, but you need to tilt it just right. This will help you bypass the glare on the screen. I found that the matte screen protector that is installed by Hisense, helps with the glare, but not by much.
Traditional LCD displays have a backlight that shines light directly in your eyes at a specific frequency. This is why if you take videos of a screen, it appears to be flickering, but is normally imperceptible to the naked eye. Tablets using LCD are the most popular, but many people find themselves under eye strain during daily use, the same goes with phones. When people are using bright screens at night, it prevents melatonin from being generated, which is why it is harder to fall asleep. So there is an obvious benefit to the Q5, which doesn’t emit light of any kind.
Underneath the hood is an Octa-core UNISOC Tiger T610 processor, 4GB RAM and there is 64GB of storage, you can expand the storage via the MicroSD slot to 128GB. The SD slot is on the SIM card tray, and there are two slots, one for the SIM and the other for the SD. The maximum data transfer on cellular connection is 4G. The supported frequencies 2G/GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz (B5/B8/B3/B2), 3G/WCDMA 850/900/2100MHz (B5/B8/B1), 3G/TD-SCDMA 1900/2000MHz (B39/B34), 4G FDD-LTE, 4G TD-LTE. It works on Rogers, Telus and Bell in Canada. T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon, but not Sprint. If you just want to use the Q5 on your WIFI network, the supported connections are 802.11 A/B/G/N 2.4G/5G. You can keep your device locked via Face ID – Facial Recognition software. You can listen to music or audiobooks via the 3.5mm audio jack or Bluetooth 5.1. It has an HDMI port to connect it to your television or into your computer for a secondary monitor.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.