Tesco Hudl review
Tesco gets all the basics right with its low-budget break into compact tablets, but the Hudl lacks gaming grunt
The Tesco Hudl enters a compact-tablets market where even the famously cutthroat supermarket would find it hard to drive down prices. Despite capable devices such as the Barnes & Noble Nook HD already selling for less than £100, Tesco doesn't get its ticket price below three figures. However, an offer to buy the tablet for only £60 worth of Tesco Clubcard vouchers will pique the interest of the supermarket's regular shoppers.
British high-street retailers don't have a great track record when it comes to launching bespoke tablet hardware. The Next tablet was one of the most shameful pieces of landfill we've ever encountered, while Asda's range of tablets had no effect on our pulse rates.
The Hudl, however, makes an excellent first impression. It arrives in an elegant box that Apple wouldn't be ashamed to pop an iPad in, and the device itself continues to belie the budget price.
The rubberised back panel and symmetrical rear-speaker grilles add a dash of style, and although the glossy black strip running around the perimeter and the thick bezel around the screen are less enticing, it's by no means a device you'd be embarrassed to be seen with in public – despite the discreet Tesco logo etched into the back.
It isn't the lightest compact tablet we've ever handled. At 376g, the Hudl is almost a third heavier than the new Nexus 7, and it's chunkier, too, but feels substantial and well put together.
Tesco has thought sensibly about accessories, too, providing a range of rubberised cases (£15 inc VAT) that double as a stand, and headphones. The case pushes the weight to more than 500g, though, which is just about bearable for a compact tablet.
Tablets live or die by their screens, and here Tesco has done a remarkably good job. The 1,440 x 900 resolution is a tier below the Nexus 7's 1,920 x 1,200 display, but it certainly doesn't want for sharpness, nor brightness or contrast: our colorimeter recorded perfectly healthy scores of 349cd/m2 for brightness and a contrast ratio of 873:1. Colour accuracy is spot on, too, with skin tones and shadows well preserved in both photos and videos.
|Price ex VAT||£99|
|Price inc VAT||£119|
|Warranty||1 yr return to base|
|Features & Design||4|
|Value for Money||5|
|Dimensions||193 x 10.3 x 129mm (WDH)|
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,440|
|Resolution screen vertical||900|
|CPU frequency, MHz||1.5GHz|
|Camera megapixel rating||3.0mp|
|Upstream USB ports||0|