Tesco Hudl – a 7-inch tablet that could cost you £60

Tesco_Hudl

Living up to the slogan “Every little helps” Tesco has taken a brave step into the tablet market with the Hudl – a cheap 7-inch Android tablet. But is it a bargain or a false economy? We got our hands on one to find out.

The Hudl is the first tablet to be released by supermarket giant Tesco. Although not traditionally known for its technological prowess, Tesco is trying to alter that perception by putting technology right at the heart of its plan to keep customers happy.

As for the Hudl itself – it’s a seven-inch Android tablet with an HD screen. Due for release Monday 30th September it will go on sale at £119. If you have enough Clubcard points you could even pick up the Hudl for just £60. This is a tantalisingly cheap price tag for a tablet – but is this enough to win over consumers? We took a look to find out.

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Tesco Hudl – first look video

Tesco Hudl – five key features

The Tesco T app – neatly tucked away in the bottom left hand corned of the Hudl’s screen is the Tesco ‘T’ symbol. This takes you to a Tesco hub where you can keep track of your Clubcard points, shop online and browse Blinkbox, the grocery giant’s on demand film streaming service. For any regular Tesco customer this is handy – but not overbearing, relegating the Tesco content to just one app means you’re not bombarded by Tesco advertising.

One for the family – Tesco is keen to emphasis that this is a tablet for all the family. What this “family friendliness” translates to in everyday use is some extra parental controls which the tablet points out to the user at set-up stage. We’ll put these to the test once we get it into our lab.

Battery that goes the distance – other large retailers such as Next got their fingers burnt with poorly designed tablets with measly battery life. Tesco won’t be making that mistake with claims that the Hudl can keep going for nine hours when playing video. We are yet to put this to the test but if true, this is pretty impressive for a cheap little tablet.

Decent screen and processor – Tesco has furnished this tablet with a 1440 x 900 HD screen. It looks bright and detailed but wasn’t quite as reactive as I’d like – it needed a couple of prods to react to my touch at times. This is something I’ll happily forgive though, given the price tag. The 1.5GHz quad-core processor should be powerful enough for streaming video and leafing through websites.

Handy connection ports – with a USB 2 port, mini-HDMI connector and a micro-SD card slot this tablet isn’t lacking in extra features. You might find the micro-SD port comes in handy as there is only a 16GB version available at the moment. The HDMI connector will also come in useful if you want to hook it up to your TV to watch your Blinkbox content on a larger screen.

Which? Expert View – ‘Not bad for a £60 tablet’

jess finalTesco has done something both brave and impressive with the Hudl. It’s taken a leap into a highly competitive and fast moving market, proving that it can do more that offer you groceries. And in so doing it has produced a credible product.

The Hudl stands up well in terms of specs, it has a higher resolution screen than the Amazon Kindle Fire HD and the popular iPad mini. Plus, its processor should be good enough for most tablet tasks (although at times it was a little slow to rotate when I flipped the screen around).

Importantly, it offers all this without corralling you within the Tesco market place -something that competitors like Amazon can’t resist from doing. The Hudl comes with a choice of four bright colours and lives up to the hype –  making tech more accessible to those not able to afford the latest iPad. If you’re in the market for a cheap tablet – this is certainly worth a look.
Jessica Moreton  – Senior Technology Researcher-Writer

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11 replies

  1. Will this finally kick the Beeb into making iplayer storage and play possible on smaller Android devices. Until now, the BBC have remained wholly focussed on Apple products. Surely the days of stupidly overpriced kit are gone so well done Tesco for doing this. How difficult would it be to make a similar phone and especially one with big symbols and letters for older people who are struggling to stay in touch with modern media changes

    1. IPlayer download is now working on smaller android devices. Was released two weeks ago! Works lovely on my nexus 7
      That aside, this is an interesting release from Tesco, especially with the club card deal. This is probably the sort of thing I would use to tempt my mum into the tablet world

  2. Could you clarify the Hudl connections please?

    In the comments above you refer to mini-HDMI (known as Type C) – I think it is the smaller micro-HDMI (known as Type D)

    Also the USB connection, is it the micro-USB which I understand is the standard for mobile phones?

  3. £60 if you spend a certain amount or have sufficient points on your tesco card. Advertised price is £116. Even so I have not actually seen any word on the £60 deal. The pre sale splurge ie, was it twin core or quadrupal ? Unlocked, and dual sim, seems a lot better than your review suggests.

  4. Hi can you use the tesco hudi with Skype and if so what is the performance like, as I have a daughter in Australia, who I would like to Skype, also you can use facebook

  5. This is my first tablet and I love it. It has all what I wanted – great screen resolution, micro HDMI and, most importantly, accepts micro SD cards. The quoted 48GB limit is very misleading – when one SD card gets full, just switch to the second one, third one, etc – with new range of music, videos and so on. No more proprietary connectors, ebook formats, chargers – ALL standard. And the battery lasts for ever (in comparison with my laptop PC).

  6. I believe you can get the BBC iplayer for the Hudl but does anyone know if this is streamed to the tablet or can it be downloaded and stored in memory. This is important as I will be away from an internet connection when I want to use it. Thanks for any help.

  7. I’ve just purchased two Hudl’s as Christmas presents for my two youngest children. They came fully charged and were very easy to connect up to my Wi-Fi.

    However, when I started to load a few games and apps onto them so my kids could play on them straight away, on Christmas morning, I found that one of the Hudl’s was much slower at downloading games than the other. At first I thought it was simply due to the fact that I had started the download sooner of the fast one and the slower Hudl couldn’t catch up, but when I started downloading an app on the slow Hudl and then started loading exactly the same app on the quicker unit about 20 seconds later, it only took a few seconds to catch up and then overtake the slow unit. So I tried this several times and the outcome was the same every time even when I placed the slower tablet right next to the Wi-Fi transmitter and left the faster tablet in the kitchen.

    Does anyone know how can there be so much difference in download speeds between two Hudl’s that are supposedly exactly the same in every way, except for the colour of their casing’s? (It’s got me completely baffled)

  8. it isn’t so easy to set up the safeguard filters. We have tried and it still shows porn sites. maybe will need a google account to make it work which doesn’t make sense.

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