Tesco Hudl tablet review: first look


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Supermarkets and budget tablets have historically not been the best of matches, with the vast majority of such devices being made on the cheap by completely unknown brands and offering an appallingly sluggish and clunky experience.

So, it’s perhaps understandable that I approached the Tesco Hudl with some trepidation. I was even more concerned when it showed up in a rather vivid blue hue, not too dissimilar to the colour used for Tesco’s own ‘Value’ product branding.

However, getting to grips with the Tesco Hudl slate immediately waylays such concerns, the build quality is surprisingly robust. The back panel sits nice and flush to the front fascia and is made from a soft-touch plastic with a matte finish which feels virtually identical to what Google uses on its Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 devices.  


It feels very well made in the hand and there’s only a tiny bit of flex in the middle of the rear panel, not enough to be bothersome and everywhere else is solid.

The edges are neatly contoured and offer good grip, although the bezel around the display is a little large. On the rear panel a camera port sits in the top right-hand corner while the “hudl” logo is displayed in silver text in the middle.


The speaker grilles are a nice visual touch with one either side of the back panel towards the bottom, each being a set of three black strips with circular holes punched into them.

As well as the blue variant you can choose from red, black or purple colour options.


Connectivity ports include a microUSB along the bottom edge, a 3.5mm audio jack and micro HDMI along the top. Meanwhile, along the right-hand edge there’s the power button and volume rocker towards the top, with a microSD slot immediately below.


The onboard hardware and software is also a pleasant surprise. The Hudl runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean in a stock configuration – the only tweaking Tesco has done is to add its own set of apps and widgets for accessing various services (Blinkbox, Blinkbox Music) and a small icon in the bottom left of the screen which brings up a kind of Tesco Hub, which includes access to Tesco Clubcard, Tesco Direct and Tesco Groceries.


Aside from this it’s a regular Android tablet with full Google certification and access to Google Play’s 700,000+ apps.


Android Jelly Bean benefits from an expanded drop-down notifications menu, drop-down quick settings menu, the Google Now voice, search and location service and the Butter UI latency optimisations – which means moving between screens and menus is smooth and responsive.


Performance at a glance seems to be none-too-shabby. I’ve noticed the occasional hiccup but nothing too serious and on the whole it’s really quite good. The processor is a quad-core Rockchip RK3188 clocked at 1.5GHz with a Mali-400MP graphics processing unit and 1GB of RAM.


The display is decent enough, though understandably not the best due to the low price point. It’s a 7-inch LCD panel with a 1440×900 pixel resolution. That should mean a pixel density of around 242 pixels-per-inch (ppi) which sounds about right considering the screen is reasonable in terms of sharpness. Colour is quite punchy, contrast is not bad, but brightness feels like it’s lacking a wee bit. It’s quite reflective and smudgy while viewing angles are poor.


For storage you’ve got 16GB onboard and the microSD slot supports cards up to 32GB. Other key features include dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and battery which Tesco says will last nine hours.


Considering the £119 price point this seems like a device which is very good value for money as it offers a decent stock Android experience. When you add to that the fact that Tesco Clubcard vouchers can further reduce the price to lower than £100 and it’s starting to look like an absolute steal.

Tesco Hudl specs

  • Display: 7-inch LCD at 1440×900 pixels (242ppi)
  • Operating system: Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2
  • Storage: 16GB onboard, microSD up to 32GB
  • Processor: quad-core Rockchip RK3188 1.5GHz
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Graphics processing unit (GPU): quad-core Mali-400MP 533MHz
  • Battery life: 9 hours video playback
  • Connectivity: Micro HDMI, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, dual-band Wi-Fi, microUSB
  • Google certified with Google Play access

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