Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.
With so many models on the market there's never been a better time to invest in a tablet and even budget buyers have a strong selection to choose from.
The Tesco Hudl 2 and the iPad mini are two of the best affordable options available right now and both are great choices for first-time buyers or anyone who can't justify splashing out hundreds of pounds. As you can see above, there are better iPad minis on offer, but they're a lot more expensive.
Either the Tesco or Apple option would make for a memorable Christmas present, but while they're both good and both relatively affordable we can see that not everyone would take to both equally; so to make deciding between them easier, here's how they compare!
The Tesco Hudl 2 has an 8.3-inch screen while the iPad mini is 7.9 inches. So Tesco's slate is slightly bigger but not enough to make a significant difference in use. They're both on the small side as tablets go, but that makes them more portable than larger slates and they're still big enough to comfortably web browse or get engrossed in a video.
Both screens also use IPS LCD technology, which gives them better viewing angles than a standard LCD display would be capable of and we noted rich and vibrant colours on the Tesco Hudl 2, while the iPad mini has impressive contrast.
There's a big difference in their resolutions though. The Hudl 2 comes in at 1200 x 1920 for a pixel density of 273 pixels per inch, while the iPad mini is 768 x 1024, giving it a far lower pixel density (screen sharpness) of 162 pixels per inch, despite its smaller size.
That makes text and images far less clear than on its supermarket rival and while you might not realise what you're missing if this is your first tablet, anyone who has used a high-end smartphone or slate won't be impressed.
Design and build
The Tesco Hudl 2 isn't the most stylish tablet around but nor is it ugly. It has a colourful plastic shell with a soft-touch feel, making it comfortable to hold and easy to grip, while at 224 x 128 x 9mm it's fairly slim, though it's quite heavy at 410g.
The iPad mini leaves it in the dust though, with a premium aluminium shell, a super-slim 200 x 134.7 x 7.2mm build and it's substantially lighter too at 308g. Looks aren't everything but they're a good start and the iPad mini definitely comes out on top in that area.
Processor and RAM
Neither of these tablets are packing top flight processors, but nor do they feel particularly underpowered. The Tesco Hudl 2 has a 1.83Ghz quad-core Intel Atom Z3735D processor and 2GB of RAM, while the iPad mini has a 1.0GHz dual-core Apple A5 processor and 512MB of RAM.
On paper then the Tesco Hudl 2 should be far more powerful than its fruity foe, but in practice performance is fairly snappy on both. Neither of these slates is quite as fast as a top end tablet like the iPad Air 2, but in general operation both perform well and we even found that the Tesco Hudl 2 could comfortably cope with graphically intensive games.
If there's one black mark against the Hudl 2's performance it's that the 'My Tesco' launcher which it ships with can lag a bit, but as it's an Android tablet you can easily swap it for a different bit of software to speed things up.
The operating system that each of these tablets run is arguably the biggest difference between them, as while the Tesco Hudl 2 is an Android slate the iPad mini runs iOS.
More specifically the Tesco Hudl 2 runs Android 4.4 KitKat while the iPad mini runs iOS 8.1. This makes a big difference: Android is incredibly customisable with widgets and tools that can make the tablet your own, which is good because, as mentioned previously, the overlay Tesco has put on it is a bit laggy, so you may want to replace it.
However while Android is powerful it's still not quite as intuitive as iOS and while both stores have a large number of apps available there are loads more tablet-optimised apps on Apple's store and more games too.
On the other hand it's unlikely that the iPad mini will be updated to iOS 9 as it's getting on a bit, but the relatively new Tesco Hudl 2 may well receive an update to the new Android Lollipop, so is slightly more future-proofed.
It's worth giving a shout-out to the Hudl 2's parental controls as well. These allow you to set up kid's profiles, limiting which apps they can access and even setting time limits for use. The iPad mini has similar controls but doesn't allow for multiple profiles or time limits.
While the iPad mini used to be available in a range of sizes the 16GB version is the only one that's still being sold. The Tesco Hudl 2 also only comes with 16GB of storage, but there's one key difference: the Hudl 2 also supports microSD cards of up to 32GB while the iPad mini has no microSD card slot.
That means the iPad mini only gives you 16GB to play with, which can easily fill up with media and games, while the Hudl 2 can potentially provide up to 48GB if you buy a card and even more if you don't mind swapping microSD cards on the fly.
If you're not planning to store much content locally then 16GB should suffice, but it's nice to know that with the Hudl 2 there's the option to expand.
Tesco hasn't revealed the size of the Hudl 2's battery, instead just saying that it provides up to 8 hours of life, while the iPad mini has a 4490mAh juice pack, which Apple promises will keep it going for up to 10 hours.
In practice the iPad mini definitely has better battery life and should last around a day with heavy use or two to three days with more mixed use, while the Tesco Hudl 2 is unlikely to see you through a transatlantic flight, but could still feasibly stretch to a couple of days with light use.
The upshot is that either device should see you through a daily commute and as use isn't likely to be as heavy as on a phone you'll probably be able to get through more than a day with both slates, but if you do have a whole lot of time to kill and only a tablet for company the iPad mini is a better bet.
Price and verdict
While both these slates are at the more affordable end of the market there is still quite a difference in their prices. The Tesco Hudl 2 is just £99, while the iPad mini is a pricier £199, or £299 if you want mobile data, which isn't an option on the Hudl 2.
So you're paying at least £70 extra, which is quite a chunk of change when the difference between the two isn't huge in day to day use.
Whether the iPad mini is worth the extra is debatable. Sure, it has better battery life and a superior build quality, but it loses out in some ways too, with less storage potential and a lower resolution screen.
It's arguably the more desirable slate, with a high-end build and brand name appeal, but it's not necessarily better and with its colourful design and parental controls the Hudl 2 is probably a better buy for children.
- Sold on Apple? We've also compared the iPad mini 3 with the mini 2.
Current page: Tesco Hudl 2 vs iPad mini (original)Prev Page Competition Next Page Tesco Hudl 2 accessories