Tesco's Hudl: what the reviews say about the £119 tablet
Asda has tried and failed, and now it's Tesco's turn. How will reviewers react to the cut-price Hudl?
TESCO has entered the tablet market with the £119 Hudl, a 7-inch tablet with a high-definition screen, a quad-core processor and a claimed battery life of nine hours.
The Hudl, which comes in four colours, will cost just £60 if purchased with Tesco's Clubcard loyalty card vouchers.
Tesco is not the first supermarket that has tried to break into the tablet market. ASDA released the £99 Amova in 2011 with little success, but as The Grocer points out, "a £100 tablet now will be of superior quality to a £100 tablet in 2011 - in terms of graphics, processing power and battery life."
The first reviews of the Tesco tablet have been broadly positive.
The Telegraph's head of technology Matt Warman gives the Hudl three and a half stars, saying that although it's no iPad, it isn't meant to be. "It takes a classic supermarket approach," he says, "offering what most people want from a tablet - web browsing and entertainment - and doing it really well, at a price people can afford".
Samuel Gibbs of the Guardian road-tested the tablet at the Hudl launch event and said that "at £119 it pretty much undercut most things on the market." He adds: "If you've ever used any Google devices before... then you'll be immediately familiar with the interface".
His full review, published a few days later, praised Tesco for keeping the Hudl simple. "Unlike other 7in Android tablets such as Amazon's Kindle Fire family, Tesco decided to make only minor additions to the standard Google Android ‘Jelly Bean’ experience," he writes. "That means users have full, unadulterated access to the Google Play Store, including its 850,000 or so apps, plus movies and music services."
Barry Collins of PC Pro was surprised by the quality of the device's 7-inch display. He says, "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".
Some reviews have been critical of the Hudl's weight when enclosed in the protective rubber casing, but as Tech Radar's John McCann notes, it "will be vital when it's undoubtedly palmed off on children in an attempt by parents to shut them up."
Would he recommend the Hudl? Yes, but only if you're on a tight budget and looking for something more basic than an iPad. Although he does say that "if you can stretch to an extra £80... we'd say go for the new Nexus 7 - you won't regret the upgrade".
Stuart Miles of Pocket-lint isn't entirely convinced with the Hudl. "As for the speed and performance, there isn't really much to write home about," he says. "Opening up applications was quick, but not lightning fast, and we suspect that the moment you begin to do anything demanding you'll start to struggle."
Even so, he describes it as "an appealing proposition to many" and says "it will please those who want to do a bit of sofa surfing until they can save up enough to get an iPad mini or a more potent Android tablet."