- Good value for money
- Micro SD card support
- Really useful startup guide
- Slightly sluggish performance
- Poor cameras
- Some screen quality issues
Review Price £119.00
Originally reviewed 2/10/2013
What is the Tesco Hudl tablet?
Tesco's not exactly known for its tech innovation, but it has changed that with the release of the extremely competitively priced Tesco Hudl tablet. Essentially a Wi-Fi only 7-inch Android tablet, the Tesco Hudl looks to take on the might of Google, with its Nexus 7, and Amazon with its Kindle Fire HDX. At just £119, the Tesco tablet is £80 cheaper than the Nexus 7 16GB model (£199) and can be bought for less than £100 if you play around with your Tesco Clubcard points. We’ve seen plenty of budget Android tablets before and they almost alway been a bit rubbish. The Tesco Hudl, though, has a decent specs list to convince customers to drop it into the shopping trolley next to the tin of beans. And now they've released the Hudl 2, which boasts improved specs across the board and still retails at an affordable price. See the Hudl 2 review
Watch the Tesco Hudl tablet review
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Tesco Hudl tablet: Design
The Tesco Hudl doesn't look too different to most 7-inch Android tablets. It has none of the cool metal and slick design elements of the iPad mini Retina, but then it costs a fraction of Apple's tablet. Instead the curved corners and chunky bezels around the screen give it a very similar look to the Kindle Fire HD. Our review Hudl comes in blue, but you can alos get it in black, purple and red.
Tesco has clearly taken inspiration from Google and Amazon on the back and opted for a matte, rubber rear with an embossed Hudl logo. The rubber feels harder compared to the softer, textured back on the Nexus tablet. It doesn’t add anything substantially in terms of comfort, but it’s nice enough to grip. The back wraps around the sides of the screen and is just slightly raised from the screen to add protection when the Tesco tablet is laid screen-down on a table.
When you pick the Tesco tablet up you’ll instantly notice how heavy it feels for a 7-inch tablet. It actually weighs 370g. To put that into perspective, the Nexus 7 weighs 290g, the Kindle Fire HD 7 is 395g and the 7.9-inch iPad Mini is 308g. You’d think that wouldn’t make a lot of difference, but simply picking up the Nexus 7 and Hudl together you can get an idea of which one is less of strain to hold for long periods of time. It’s not a major issue, but you’ll probably find it more suitable to use the Hudl lying down on the sofa.
The Hudl is 9.85mm thick making it chunkier than the iPad Mini (7.2mm) but surprisingly thinner than the Nexus 7 (10.45mm) and the Kindle Fire HD (13mm). It definitely lacks the sleekness of the Nexus 7 2, but as a tablet for all the family, the extra thickness should make it easier for smaller hands to get to grips with and easier to survive drops.
Once you see where buttons and ports are laid out it’s clear that the Tesco tablet is geared towards being used in landscape mode. The microUSB charging port sits on the bottom and up top is the micro HDMI port to connect the Tesco tablet to a TV (cable supplied separately). The 2-megapixel front-facing camera sits on the bezel below and to the right you’ll find the microphone and 3.5mm headphone jack.
On the right side of the tablet (or bottom if holding in portrait mode) is the microSD card slot, single volume rocker and on/off button. On the back there’s a pair of speakers and the 3-megapixel rear-facing camera.
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Tesco Hudl tablet: Screen
On paper, the Tesco Hudl display makes very good reading. It features a 1,400 x 900 HD resolution screen offering 242 ppi (pixels per inch). That's really rather good for such a cheap tablet, it's better than the 1,280 x 800 of the Kindle Fire HD 7 and only marginally less than the 1,920 x 1,200 of the Nexus 7 2. It also has a small edge over the similarly priced Asus MeMO Pad HD 7, which has a 1,280 x 800 resolution screen. Indeed, the Asus is its most direct rivial in terms of price and features.
In reality it’s good but not fantastic. The screen looks a little murky and washed out particularly on the homescreen. The depth and range of colours is lacking compared to the Nexus 7 2 and Kindle Fire HD. Image sharpness is good for HD content but the Hudl tablet doesn't do much to help enhance non-HD content.
Running the same video on the Hudl and the Nexus 7 2 on maximum brightness, there’s clear issues with colour accuracy. While images appear generally warmer, whites look more yellow in the identical footage we compared to the Nexus 7 2. That's acceptable at this price, though the Asus MeMO Pad HD 7 edges it a little for actual fidelity despite its slightly lower resolution.
The Hudl screen supports 10-point multi-touch and we can't really have any complaints about response to swipes on the home screen or opening up apps. Pinching and zooming works fine for web pages and the standard Android keyboard offers an accurate typing experience.