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
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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’
Tesco 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