Following on from the success of Tesco's first generation budget tablet, it was only a matter of time until its successor was released.
Tesco sold 35,000 units of the hudl in the first few days after it was launched last year and ended up shifting over 750,000, placing this endeavour firmly into the 'success' category for the supermarket giant.
The hudl2 was recently released and we were given the chance to take it for a test spin to find out if Tesco has got another bargain success story on its shelves.
This device is never going to win any design awards but, being aimed at the money-conscious consumer, that's obviously not the point. If a top-of-the-range design is a key priority, then you're better off shelling out a bit more (ok, a lot more), on an iPad.
Personally, I like the look of the hudl2. It's simple, clean-cut and much sleeker looking than its predecessor, although it does have a somewhat budget feel to it with a rubberised casing. Having said that, the rubber does make it comfortable to hold. If I'm being picky I would have preferred slightly larger bezels on the top and bottom but that's a minor complaint.
The jump up from 7 inches to 8.3 inches is a significant improvement on the hudl and at 9.3mm thick it's still thin enough to fit in with today's skinny models.
It's heavier than the first model, jumping up to 410g from 370g, which does make it a bit weighty to hold in one hand and may be tiring for younger users. But the curved edges give it a nice, rounded look and it certainly feels like a durable piece of kit.
When buying a budget tablet, one of the areas you might expect to be slightly compromised is the display quality, but Tesco has left me pleasantly surprised with the hudl2. The 8.3-inch HD display has a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200 megapixels, a substantial improvement from the hudl's 1,440 x 900 megapixels, and a pixel density of 265ppi.
Sure, the screen isn't doesn't match up to some of the higher-end tablets out there, but for the amount you're paying, the colours are bright and the images are sharp enough for all your viewing needs.
The hudl2 packs 2GB of RAM and an Intel Atom, quad-core processor with a speed of 1.8 GHz which, although not massively fast, is plenty good enough to browse the web, use apps and navigate around the home screen without any problems.
Some slight issues start to occur when multiple programs are running at once, resulting in some lag when switching between apps and moving graphical effects can get a bit jerky. In general, it runs well and will comfortably play basic 2D games as well as more complicated 3D ones.
Another problem that came up during our review was the battery life. The advertised 8-hour battery life is average and the hudl2 also seems to lose its charge very quickly when on stand-by mode, which can be very frustrating.
Unfortunately, this is an area where the hudl2 doesn't exactly cover itself in glory. With just a 5-megapixel rear camera and 1.2-megapixel front camera, you're never going to get great photos, but the rear camera is improved from the 3-megapixel snapper on the original hudl. Most of the images come out quite grainy, especially if you're not in the best lighting, but for casual family usage it's probably good enough to do the job.
This is where the hudl2 is really impressive. Dolby-optimised stereo speakers give the sound quality a real punch which wouldn't be out of place on a more expensive tablet and a microSD slot gives you the option of upgrading the storage from 16GB to 48GB.
One of the main features that Tesco is pushing with this device is personalisation and the hudl2 has achieved this extremely well. It comes in a range of bright colours, including blue, orange, black and red and the Android 4.4.2 KitKat operating system puts over a million apps at your fingertips.
Finally, there is a micro-HDMI slot to connect the tablet to your TV and the pre-loaded "pioneering parental control app," which allows parents to set up profiles that can be tailored according to age and suitability. A time limit can be set to restrict the amount of time children spend on the tablet and certain apps and websites can be blocked.
When talking about the hudl2, its important to remember who it's aimed at. If it's a high-end tablet you're after then look elsewhere, but if you're on a budget or are looking for a second tablet for the family, then this really is the one for you. It's solid enough to be able to deal with rowdy children, has a good display to watch videos or play games and the parental control features mean usage can be kept under control.
The only things that slightly let it down are the camera and the battery life but if you're willing to compromise on those areas, this is a tablet that will keep both kids and parents entertained whilst offering fantastic value for money.
|Manufacturer and model||Tesco hudl2|
|Processor||1.83 GHz Intel Atom quad-core|
|Operating system||Android 4.4.2 KitKat|
|Memory expansion||MicroSD up to 48GB|
|Display||8.3in, 1,920 x 1,200 full HD|
|Connectors||Micro HDMI, micro USB, 3.5mm headphone jack|
|Dimensions||224 x 128 x 9mm|