Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Hands-On with the Hudl: Has Tesco's Tiny Tablet Got Something For The Whole Family?


Since the creation of the Apple iPad,  Tablets have become increasingly popular amongst many sectors of society, but this surge in popularity has often meant that most tablet devices now come with a rather hefty price tag. 
The well-known Supermarket giant, Tesco, has recently decided to invest in the growing interest in tablets and handhelds with its creation, the Hudl, which, at its retail price of £119.00, is decidedly more affordable than most other Tablets on the market. So, what does this handy pocket-sized device hope to offer its consumers?
The Hudl comes in four colourful designs with rounded corners that makes it easy to hold, whilst the 7-inch smudge resistant screen helps to deliver crystal clear HD display to the Hudl device.
The Hudl also allows users to stream the latest movies from Blinkbox, which, unlike most monthly subscription sites (Netflix, or Lovefilm for example), charges viewers on a pay-per-view basis, with an option to either rent a title for up to thirty days, or buy a title to own.
Furthermore, the Hudl features a slot for a Micro-HDMI to HDMI-cable, which allows users to connect their Hudl up to the big screen so that the whole family can enjoy the entertainment as well, however, it must be noted that this isn't actually included with the device and must be purchased separately, which is a slight disappointment.
Moreover, the Hudl boasts an impressive quad-core memory chip, a ten point multi-touch screen and an in-built gyroscopic sensor, as well as access to thousands of the latest gaming titles from Google Play,  which is great news for all the gamers out there

Music lovers have also been catered for with the Hudl. Users will have access to thousands of music tracks through either Blinkbox  or Google Play. Furthermore, the Hudl's in-built stereo speakers mean that users can choose to share their music with their mates, or opt for a pair of Hudl headphones when travelling on the bus or playing music at night etc.
Avid readers will also have the option to download and store several books from the Google Play store, including all the latest book releases. Thus, the Hudl makes the perfect travel companion, by keeping all forms of downloadable entertainment in one easily accessible place.
The Hudl also features a camera, which has a 2 megapixel front-facing fixed focus and a 3 megapixel automatic rear-facing focus. Unfortunately these kind of megapixels are not particularly great, and are often found in some low-end mobile phones.
In fact, some of the main concerns about the new Hudl device centre around the fact that the camera does not produce clear images: "Images look washed out and grainy, and any range in lighting conditions within a single scene seems to cause the camera all kinds of problems"
[Sourced from:]
Thus, whilst the Hudl seems to work perfectly well as a media player, it will not necessarily appeal to any amateur photographers out there. Unfortunately, it appears that the video function also produces similarly blurry and unfocused results.
However, its reasonable nine hours of battery life, coupled with the fact that it has an micro SD slot which can expand the Hudl's storage capacity to an optional total of 48GB, may go some way to redeeming this little device. 

The colourful rubber backing is handy when the device is being used by young children as it provides extra grip, but does give the Hudl a rather clunky look rather than the polished and sleek look of the new Nexus 7, for example.
The Hudl comes with Chrome, the quick and simple browser from Google. It comes pre-loaded with the most popular Google apps like YouTube and Google Maps, plus  access to over one million apps and games available for immediate download on Google Play.
Furthermore, Hudl uses the Android operating system, so users can access the very latest apps on Google Play easily.
The Hudl also features Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi capabilities, which makes browsing the web, conducting video calls and sharing music and photos across other Wi-Fi devices very simple. 
Parental controls can be set quickly via the use of a simple pin number, making the Hudl a very family-orientated Tablet device. Furthermore, the Hudl allows users to conduct their Internet searches via Google Safe Search for added protection.
In conclusion, although the Hudl may not be the best-looking or most high-functioning tablet on the current market, its colourful design and easy-to-use interface is definitely appealing for first-time tablet owners. The Hudl is particularly aimed at those users who enjoy downloadable entertainment and readily provides this.
 As one of the cheaper tablet devices on the market, the Hudl really would appear to give its users value for money in terms of entertainment and Internet browsing capabilities, despite some obvious flaws, such as the camera functionality. Overall rating: 8/10.