Tesco Hudl review

The Hudl is a bit of a revelation, but only the price will wow you

Tesco Hudl review
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The Tesco Hudl matches up nicely against its more expensive brethren in a number of ways - we're talking the new Google Nexus 7 and Android Kindle Fire HDX.

All three of these tablets are affordable for many, and all three are running a version of Android - some more heavily skinned than others.

So which should you plump for?


Tesco Hudl review

There's a common theme here: no metal in sight. The Hudl's rubberised rear is impressive given the price as it all feels very well packaged. However, it's the heaviest of the three, coming in at 370g compared to the Nexus' 290g and the Fire's 303g.

The Amazon Kindle Fire HDX is more angular, and more importantly, lighter, meaning a nicer experience in the hand as well as being easier to take around with you.

However, it's the Google Nexus 7 here that takes the accolade, as it brings excellent size into a strong rubber casing. It's light, the most attractive to use and definitely our pick in terms of portability.


Tesco Hudl review

The Tesco Hudl joins the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HDX with a 7-inch screen, although doesn't quite match up in the resolution stakes.

It only comes with a 1440 x 900 resolution, where Google's offering 1920 x 1200 and Amazon has followed suit. This means smartphone levels of crispness on the Nexus and Fire, while Tesco has gone for only 242 PPI, which is around a third less than its rivals.

It also performs poorly in comparison when it comes to colour rendering, as both Google and Amazon have tooled up their tablets to offer iPad-beating levels of hue rendition.

That said, the Hudl isn't bad - just the screen quality on the competitors is noticeably higher..

Power and storage

The Tesco Hudl comes with a quad-core CPU and 1GB of RAM - this is pretty good for a tablet at this price point, although it feels a little redundant. Quad core processing is only really needed for heavier photo editing or skipping merrily through videos, and while it does pack a multi-core heart, the Hudl doesn't really have the necessary grunt to keep up.

Google and Amazon have gone for higher-power offerings, with the Fire catching the eye particularly thanks to its cutting-edge Snapdragon 800 chipset. Both of these tablets have 2GB of RAM and while the Fire is the more potent of the two, we're much happier running higher-power apps on them both.

However, these Amazon and Google options are both limited by their internal storage - you can get them in 16GB variants for the lowest price, but there's no expansion slot should you want more space.

The Hudl comes with a slot for a memory card to supplement the 16GB onboard, so if you want to have all your movies and music on a separate place, allowing you to fill up the tablet with high-res apps, you can do just that.

Price and verdict

The Tesco Hudl is the clear winner on price, coming in at £119 (and possibly cheaper if you're a Clubcard warrior) compared to the £199 entry price of its competition.

That said, there are trade offs being made: the tablet is a fair bit heavier outside of the case, the screen quality is lower and the Android experience is a little tainted by Tesco's apps.

The Kindle Fire HDX has a similar Android issue, in that the parent company has skinned it to within an inch of its life - however, this is so deep that it's designed for ease of use for the new tablet buyer, which Tesco's option isn't as adept at.

The Nexus 7 is our pick though: sure, it's £199, but for the brilliant screen alone it's pretty much worth it. It has the widest access to apps, the sleekest design and you know that it will be first in line for software updates - although that may not matter to some looking to pick up the Hudl.

The Kindle Fire HDX is an excellent choice if you're looking to buy for a more technophobic user, or someone who doesn't care about new software or the latest apps. It will stay chugging along impressively throughout its lifetime, and the great screen makes us go weak at the knees when viewing some pics.

If you're agnostic on tablet, go for the Nexus 7. However, if you're on something of a budget and want to buy a tablet for someone to use idly on the sofa, browsing the web fairly swiftly and watching the odd video or YouTube clip, then the Hudl manages to succeed in so many ways - and at the price point, it's excellent.