Tesco's bargain-tastic Hudl 7-inch tablet seems to be going great guns, selling 35,000 units in its first two days alone after release in the UK. It's cheap - coming in at just £120 (or £60 if purchased with specific Tesco Clubcard vouchers) - but moderately specced with it.
Any low-priced tablet will have to take on the stiff competition of the Google Nexus 7, especially since that Asus-created £199 wonder has recently been relaunched with a gutsy Qualcomm Snapdragon S4Pro, running a quad-core 1.5GHz Krait.
The Hudl's ARMv7 processor also boasts 1.5GHz quad core, but without the Snapdragon and enhanced OpenGL video outlay of the Nexus 7. So can it really compete? And at a full £80 cheaper, does it really have to?
Consulting our old friend Antutu Benchmarking, the Google Nexus 7 comes out with an average score of 20,38, with the Hudl scoring a comparatively respectable 19,040. The only area where the Hudl really falls down is in 3D graphics performance, so it's a surprisingly robust piece of kit internally. The 3.1 megapixel back camera also isn't the greatest, taking smudgy pictures under most light conditions.
Externally, the Hudl is something of an acquired taste. With the brightly-coloured, non-removable back surround (ours is a livid red) screaming ‘Fisher Price's My First Tablet', dumping a fleet of Hudls on your unsuspecting workforce could make you a source of derision.
On the other hand, the Hudl stormed through the ‘dropping a tablet four feet to the ground test', which we actually invented specially for the Tesco device, so convinced were we by its potential in this department.
So it's rugged as heck, but this comes at a cost. Apart from the Hudl looking a bit silly, it's also rather too heavy at 370g next to the Nexus 7's 290g. It becomes genuinely uncomfortable to wield in one hand after a short amount of time, and that's never a great thing with a 7in tablet.
Still, the Hudl's promised nine hours of battery for video playback more or less checked out, beating the Nexus 7 quite considerably when we got around five hours of equivalent watching out of ours.
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