Tesco today launched the successor to the one of 2013's standout budget consumer tech products. The hudl2 tablet has arrived, and it's well worth taking notice of.
Featuring a decent 8.3in, 1,920 x 1,200 pixel resolution screen, a 1.83GHz Intel Atom quad-core processor and 16GB of internal storage (which can be boosted to 48GB), its specifications don't exactly make the mind boggle.
Read more: Tesco launches the hudl2 tablet
Eight hours of battery life and a pretty meagre pair of cameras (a 5-megapixel snapper on the back and a 1.2-megapixel one on the front) don't exactly make for much better reading. Tesco clearly hasn't taken notice of the meteoric rise of the selfie, and this made me feel a little bit sad. However, the hudl2 is clearly not built for hipsters or posers.
It's a pretty simple-looking slate that isn't exactly going to pip the iPad to any design awards. Jony Ive, your job's safe for now. The rubberised casing feels good in the hand but unfortunately brings a distinctly budget look and feel to the device. The fact that it's available in eight different colours (blue, orange, black, red, turquoise, white, purple and pink) will certainly add to its market appeal though.
A customised version of Android 4.4.2 KitKat is the operating system of choice, which means that apps will not be difficult to come by. A 'T' icon sits on the top left corner of the home screen, and links to a variety of Tesco's own apps and services, encouraging shoppers to part with their precious cash.
One of the most frequently used words at the launch was 'accessibility'. Tesco isn't beating around the bush – this is a family-friendly device. One of the features Tesco is most proud of with the hudl2 is the parental filter software. With this, users will be able to create up to seven different profiles on a single hudl2 tablet, complete with various age and suitability restrictions. Developed in conjunction with TheParentZone, online safety is clearly high on Tesco's agenda, which will - at the very least - reassure plenty.
As a device, it's unremarkable. The safety features will certainly attract protective parents but, as Tesco admitted during this morning's show, "We don't think we have it right." Not yet, anyway. There's a handful of nifty entertainment features too, such as Dolby-optimised audio and a range of special offers on blinkbox credit, which can be used on films, books and music.
Read more: Tesco hudl review
Where the hudl2 comes into its own is in the value stakes. Hitting the shelves on 9 October for £129, this is a gadget you can realistically purchase along with your weekly shopping (definitely a "big shop" though). Tantalisingly, if you play your Clubcard points game right, you could even pick up this little baby for as little as £65, which is frankly bonkers.
If you fancy a decent, cheap as chips Android tablet that you can happily share with the family, go for it. Be warned though, its predecessor wasn't exactly renowned for being long-lasting. Whether it reaches the same heights of popularity of the original hudl remains to be seen.