Tesco has made a bold intervention in the affordable tablet market with their brightly coloured Hudl tablet. Its compact 7-inch shape and Android 4.2.2 operating system is nothing out of the ordinary, but where this tablet really distinguishes itself is on value for money. Retailing at £119, the Hudl is around £80 cheaper than a Nexus 7, but promises all the performance and functionality you’d expect from a much more expensive product. The question is, does it deliver?
Looking at the specification, the Hudl gives pretty much everything you need in a compact tablet. With a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, a 7-inch HD display and an Android Jelly Bean operating system, the Hudl is definitely a strong competitor. Its 16 GB built-in memory is probably all that you need for everyday surfing, listening to music and downloading from the internet, but you can easily double the memory with a smart card if you need extra for gaming or graphics.
Battery life comes in around 9 hours from fully charged – this compares well with other tablets, but of course the amount of battery life varies with your settings and activities. It’s enough to keep you going when you’re out and about, but you’ll probably want to bring your charger for longer trips.
The Hudl’s integrated camera is no weakling either – with a reasonable 3MP at the front and 2MP at the back, it won’t replace your digital camera, but is handy for capturing images on the go.
Screen resolution is another winner for the Tesco Hudl. A high screen resolution (1440×900) and pixel density make this great for gaming and watching videos and TV. Blinkbox is integrated so you can download and stream the latest TV and videos, and if you want to watch with friends, the Hudl is easy to connect to a big screen using a Micro HDMI to HDMI cable.
With its colourful covers and rounded edges, the Hudl is a solid handheld device that looks more expensive than it is. The chunky plastic front and rubberised back design feels pretty robust, and it’s heavier than you might expect for a small tablet. Tesco has designed the Hudl to be primarily used in landscape view – no surprise when you consider that web browsing, watching TV and playing games are predominantly landscape activities. It might make it a little tricky to navigate the built-in e-reader, though, which comes automatically ready to download from Google Play.
Overall, the Tesco Hudl is a surprisingly strong contender in the tablet market. You might expect a ‘value’ tablet to feel like a cheap option, but the Hudl is proving to be a solid choice on performance, functionality and price.