hudl2 review – the new tablet from Tesco
We have a brand new gadget review for you today: it’s the hudl2, the latest tablet offering from Tesco. This goes on sale online from the 8th of October (9th Oct in-store) and we’ve been lucky enough to get our eager little mitts on it ahead of the release. So, two big questions… A) is it any good, and B) is it value for money? ***DECEMBER UPDATE: scroll down to the bottom of this page for for two juicy hudl2 discount codes***
There was an original hudl in the house last week (aka hudl1), brought along by a visitor, so that’s helped greatly with being able to compare the new version with its predecessor. The original hudl worked fairly well generally, but it had a smaller screen and rather chunky styling – in summary, it was just ahead of the pack in terms of performance its price bracket but it did feel like a budget option.
The hudl2 is a significant upgrade. Understatement of the year. It’s streets ahead, and will be the same price at launch as the original version was a year ago, clocking in at £129. And here’s the kicker: Tesco customers can use Clubcard Boost to purchase the new tablet, potentially bringing the price down as low as £65. As a brief reference, the iPad mini’s most basic version has an RRP of £249.
So far, so good, but of course I’m a jaded old hack and as such I felt very much obliged to test the poor wee thing to the edge of destruction. Here goes.
- 8.3 inch full HD screen (big, bright and true 1920 x 1200 HD)
- Stereo speakers with Dolby optimised audio (passed the film, rock and quiet music tests with flying colours, plus the new speaker shape under the tablet is attractive as well as functional)
- Intel Atom quad-core 1.83GHz processor (quick, responsive, didn’t struggle or show lag during testing)
- Front and back cameras (rear-facing camera is 5 megapixels and takes pretty good images, plus there’s good photo editing software, and the front camera’s only 1.4MP but it would probably only be used for Google hangouts / Skype etc anyway and doesn’t need to be amazing quality)
- Dual band Wi-Fi (worked perfectly on the home system here)
- Android Kitkat 4.4.2 operating system (you can access over 1 million Google apps)
- 16GB internal storage (could be filled up fairly quickly, but can be expanded to 48GB with external card – something iPad doesn’t offer – or used alongside cloud storage etc)
- 8-hour battery life (claim is accurate)
Other features you might be interested in: micro-HDMI port to connect the hudl2 to an HDTV, micro-USB port, aeroplane mode, Bluetooth, 12 month warranty, and a pre-loaded parental control app for child safety that limits access to other features plus limits screen time.
The hudl2 also comes with a ‘Book of treats’, which is £60-worth of vouchers and discounts, including £25 free blinkbox credit to spend on movies, music and books.
Ease of use
It’s mainly intuitive, and works right out of the box after a 3-hour charge. The hudl2 takes you through the setup process once you switch it on, so long as it can connect to Wi-Fi .
It’s easy to work out and use all the main functions, and there was no real learning curve when we set out to do any of the following:
- Listen to music
- Watch catch-up TV, videos and films
- Take and edit photos
- Shoot videos
- Send YouTube videos via Bluetooth to a Smart TV
- Browse internet using Google Chrome
- Check email
- Play simple games
- Download apps
- Use social media
- Carry out online shopping
- Read text files and ebooks
In a similar vein to the Kindle Fire and its built-in promotion of Amazon, the hudl2 promotes Tesco. The new tablet has prominent access to Tesco.com, Tesco Direct, Tesco Bank, F&F, Clubcard, Real Food, Tesco Photo and Blinkbox Movies, Music and Books. Swipe from left to right on the home screen and most of these Tesco features come up in a tile formation.
Many people will find this highly Tesco-optimised page handy, but it’s also perfectly easy to move any Tesco-related apps off the home screen and onto a secondary page if you’d prefer.
This is a nice-looking, slim and sleek tablet, and it’s a significant improvement on the hudl1. The rubberised back of the case is easy to grip, and it feels comfortable to use in portrait or landscape orientation, plus it’s a minimal and unfussy design where it’s difficult to press the wrong buttons by accident. The bezel around the screen is smaller too, which makes for a better screen size. It feels a bit heavier than the original but it isn’t too unwieldy.
Much has been made about the eight different colours: blue, orange, black, red, turquoise, white, purple, and pink. The brights are certainly attention-grabbing. There are also some nicely-designed, fun and colourful accessories that you can use to complement or clash with the tablet. Some of the soft-touch cases double as adjustable stands as well as protecting the device.
The screen does tend to get quite smudgy with fingerprints, but it’s easy enough to fix with a lint-free cloth and a screen protector could also be purchased.
Honestly, who’s going to buy this thing?
The manufacturers have gone out of their way to make this a family-friendly tablet, and it’s bound to be used to keep kids amused on long journeys, and for playing games and reading bedtime stories. As it’s intuitive and doesn’t need too much technical knowledge to get going, it’s also likely to be popular with older consumers (perhaps given to grandparents at Christmas, for example).
But while it’s obviously kid-friendly this has not diminished the general grown-up appeal. The good design, the general functionality and the price point are going to give the hudl2 extremely broad appeal, both as a personal purchase and as a gift. It’s likely to be popular with – and accessible to – students and young professionals too.
Great quality stylish mid-sized tablet, ideal for entertainment. Performs very well generally, outclasses the competition, and offers truly excellent value for money at the price point.
The hudl2 from Tesco is on sale online from the 8th of October, priced £129, and will be available in-store from the 9th of October. Clubcard Boost can be used to bring the price down.
To get an extra £20 off a hudl2, use this discount code: TDX-PKJK
To get 1/3 off official hudl2 accessories use this code: TD-HFTP
oooh – thanks for the discount code, I’ve just ordered one for my other half’s Xmas!!! I had some Clubcard vouchers too so that brought it down to under £80 – a bargain!
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