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Tesco Hudl tablet review

Michael Sawh

By Michael Sawh



Our Score:


Tesco Hudl tablet: Software

The Hudl runs on Android 4.2.2 and all the key Jelly Bean features appear to be intact including customary five homescreens, Google Now access, the ability to create folders and re-sizeable widgets.

Tesco is, of course, in the business of selling things, so it’s no surprise to see a strong presence throughout the interface. There’s a dedicated Tesco button in the corner for starters. Here you can access all Tesco services including online shopping and banking. There’s also several widgets advertising Tesco Clubcard and Tesco Groceries services. These can of course all be easily removed.

On the entertainment front, Tesco includes its Blinkbox music and movies apps as well as a new Clubcard TV service.

Blinkbox movies is a paid-for streaming service that also includes TV shows and offers a good selection of recent and archived content. Disappointingly, you currently cannot download content.

Clubcard TV is an additional TV and movie streaming service available for free to Tesco Clubcard holders. Powered by Blinkbox, the movie and TV catalogue is older and features some obscure films.

Blinkbox Music (formerly We7) is a free music streaming service where you can create personalised radio stations. There's a pretty comprehensive and diverse catalogue of music to listen to and you can download stations for offline playback.

Tesco has made a point of talking up the Hudl as a family tablet. A device both adults and children can use without worrying about massive credit card bills due to excessive Candy Crush Saga spending. Tesco also offers additional Hudl accessories including more colourful cases and volume limited headphones.

There isn’t actually anything specific in terms of software or applications Tesco includes to make the Hudl more family-friendly besides the initial setup.

When you first boot up the tablet, you’ll be advised on the precautions you can take including parental control apps to download from Google Play, setting content filters on YouTube and checking maturity rating on film and TV content.

The same information is repeated in the Getting Started application as well with more precise details on how to set up locks and filters.

You can set up multiple user profiles, but as the Hudl is currently an Android 4.2 running tablet there’s no option for restricted profile option to pick and choose the apps users can have access to.

For total tablet newbies, the Tesco Hudl Getting Started application is a good place to head to first. As guides go, this is one of the better ones we’ve seen on a tablet. Covering hardware and software, everything is explained clearly and the addition of interactive pins to find out about precise buttons and features in different apps makes getting to grips with the Hudl really easy.

Tesco Hudl: Performance

The Hudl has some surprisingly good specs in the power department hosting a 1.5GHZ quad-A9 core processor with a Mali 400 graphics processor and 1GB of RAM. It’s more than suitable for browsing, checking emails and going on Facebook, but it does have its slightly sluggish, labouring moments. It’s particularly noticeable when swiping through homescreens and inside applications. It’s enough to handle video streaming, but there's noticeable lad in demanding games like Real Racing 3.

The benchmarks don’t particularly make for good reading. In the 3D Mark Ice Storm test, the Hudl manages a 3,560 average score and is trounced by the Nexus 7 2 (11,672). In Geekbench 3 it manages a 1,360 multi-core score that is again some way off the Nexus 7 2 (2,672). In the Peacekeeper browser test, the Hudl scores a 227, which is significantly lower than the Nexus 7 (489) and just above the Xbox 360 browser (193).

The two 1W speakers around the back of the Hudl actually offer decent, clear sound for music and video playback. There’s a just a hint of bass to help music sound more punchy than other tablet speaker systems. There isn't a great deal of distortion at maximum volume and on the whole we were pleasantly surprised with the performance.

Tesco Hudl tablet - Camera

Love it or hate it, people want to take photos with tablets and Tesco tries to accommodate slate snappers by including a 3-megapixel rear-facing camera and 2-megapixel front-facing camera.

Both are low in quality and performance. Low resolution aside, the main camera lacks a flash and an autofocus, making images blurry and extremely noisy.

The camera menu overlay offers some manual settings to adjust brightness, exposure and a choice between an Auto and Night mode. The latter adjusts settings to improve low light photography but don't expect improved results. You can also shoot panorama, but there’s no Photo Sphere mode for 360 degree images.

The 3-megapixel main camera in Auto mode struggles to focus and delivers blurry images

Another 3-megapixel main camera shot in Auto mode showing the large amount of noise

If you are hoping to take glorious scenic shots, you are out of luck here. If you plan to tag items for a shopping list, it should do the job fine.

It’s a similar story with the 2-megapixel front-facing camera. Clarity and sharpness are pretty disappointing, but you should be able to make decent video chats using it

The Hudl can shoot 720p HD video and has a time-lapse mode to adjust frame rates, however footage is not great and you’d probably be better sticking to the video camera on your smartphone if you really need to film.


September 24, 2013, 7:48 am

Better processing power than the Nexus 7 (#1), better screen resolution, and it has the microSD slot that the Nexus 7 (#1 and #2) scandalously lacks. Plus you get a HDMI slot.

As a Nexus 7 #1 owner, I will never buy another tablet without a microSD slot (using OTG leads is too much hassle), and given that I never found the SIM capability at all useful, the Hudl looks, remarkably, like a very credible option. It doesn't have the full HD resolution of the Nexus 7 #2, but I suspect it just doesn't matter on a screen this size. For £60 worth of Clubcard points, it's virtually a no-brainer. Amazing.

[Edit: Correction, CPU is dual-core, so not quite as nippy as the Nexus, although faster clock rate.]

Tim Sutton

September 24, 2013, 2:16 pm

This looks fine, but anyone buying a cheap 7" tablet who doesn't pick up an Asus Memopad HD for £130 is crazy.

Actually. Anyone buying ANY 7" tablet who doesn't pick one up is crazy.

Elizabeth Adam

September 24, 2013, 5:21 pm

Has this in built security like the ipad?

Nigel Webber

September 25, 2013, 11:14 am

Shame there is only 1GB of RAM. The likes of google chrome really struggles. I have owned two samsung devices with basically the same CPU, one with 1GB and the other with 2GB. The 2GB model is very noticeably faster.

Tim Sutton

September 25, 2013, 11:50 am

The main reason I'd steer clear of the Hudl is that its built by Archos.

In the hands on articles I've seen on the Hudl, its been slow and stuttering even in normal everyday use. The screen is LCD as opposed to the Asus's IPS, the Hudl's speakers are weaker, it's heavier, bulkier, it feels cheap and its cameras are weak to the point of irrelevance.

If you want a tablet that you'll actually enjoy using, I don't think the Hudl is it.

If you're happier to have clubcard vouchers and £10 than something you'll enjoy, that's up to you.

EDIT: And processor speed is only relevant if the processors being compared are the same. If the chipset in the Hudl is poor, which seems likely given its performance issues, its higher rated clock speed isn't worth much.


September 25, 2013, 6:10 pm

cpu is quad core


September 25, 2013, 7:56 pm

Ainol Novo 7 Fire rules the 7" Market.
get one!!!!!!?

Tim Sutton

September 26, 2013, 11:07 am

No, because the screen is awful, it feels like its made from Lidl own brand lego, and when anyone asks what it is you have to tell them you've paid money for Anal.


September 26, 2013, 11:11 am

Great comment. My brother gave me and Ainol tablet for Christmas a few years ago. He must really hate me.


September 26, 2013, 3:22 pm

just stop all apps and re launch the one you want 1GB will work fine


September 26, 2013, 4:47 pm

versus 7", CnM 7" and @tab 7" are the best selling tablet in the UK next to samsung kindle and ipad but fraction of the price....stick with the best!!


September 26, 2013, 4:48 pm

good shout....just a cheap chinese import anyway!! so you've had ainol from asia

henry hudle

September 26, 2013, 10:43 pm

Try one yourself before damning it. I've been using one today and have been very surprised with both the speed and the quality of picture, sound and build. Photos from the camera aren't amazing but that doesn't bother me anyway.


September 27, 2013, 1:41 pm


Tim Sutton

September 27, 2013, 7:39 pm

Yes it is.


October 1, 2013, 10:42 am

No Instructions Manual, CD or online. Tried to phone Tesco Support yesterday but unobtainable according to message. Thumbs down.. Also needs Wi Fi to even start it. I have ADSL. I am most unimpressed.


October 2, 2013, 12:11 pm

Had a Hisense Sero 7 Pro 32GB for a few weeks, I've found it to be faster and a lot more reliable than my old Nexus 7. Brilliant gadget that I'd consider before buying a Hudl...unless you get it free with club points.



October 2, 2013, 2:30 pm

Wifi to start it the first time or every time? I was about to buy one to use and take on camping trips etc...I'd hate it not to start!


October 2, 2013, 3:28 pm

No just the first time, or if requires a hard reset if it goes wrong.


October 2, 2013, 9:34 pm

The Hudl's screen is IPS. It's manufactured by Wistron.

Do some research before posting, please.


October 2, 2013, 10:22 pm

Just recently bought the Acer Iconia A1-810 8gb version on sale for 96 GBP. At the same time Acer had this Cashback campaign knocking another 24 GBP off the price. Making it a total of 72 GBP. Now that's a bargain.

The tablet works great.


October 3, 2013, 12:05 pm

Bought one yesterday for £79 + vouchers and case, but returned it today. Apps like Skype are almost unusable due to random noise which is picked up in mic path. Otherwise it is fine tablet at the price. So need to go back to iPad


October 3, 2013, 2:01 pm

Actually, almost any newer Ainol will be better than this. Ainol have just about everything tight, including their prices.

Old Gadgee

October 3, 2013, 2:13 pm

My First Tablet bought with vouchers + £2.ordered 2pm 1/10 delivered local store 11am 2/10.(excellent delivery)
Start up difficult to connect WiFi until help from Tesco Helpline No.
Lack of detailed Instructions on a Website, but finally located in Hudl App.(poor alternative)
Seems mandatory to sign in to Google Account to get best use of Apps., ditto Google Chrome seems mandatory web browser ( one token alternative offered to meet EU competiition regs?.)
All in all it seems churlish to criticise at the price but O.K. is best I could give it, given that the price is probably subsidised by the amount of Tesco and Google advertising.


October 3, 2013, 6:25 pm

We have a Hudl and Nexus 7.2 and the Hudl compares very well.

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