TODAY MARKED UK supermarket Tesco's tablet debut as it looks to lure punters away from Amazon, Apple and Google devices with its £119 Android tablet.
While this is also a move by Tesco to promote its own services and products, that's exactly what Amazon's Kindle tablets offer - and these have seen plenty of success due to their low prices and competitive specifications.
Tesco hopes to see similar success with the Hudl tablet, of course, and having configured the device with specifications to rival Google's new Nexus 7, it might.
The Tesco Hudl, despite its £119 price, doesn't fee like a budget tablet device. It's comfortable to hold in the hand, thanks to its size and rubberised polycarbonate backing that feels soft, yet rugged and tough.
However, after just a few minutes with the device we noticed that this material attracts fingerprints, and given that Tesco is targeting this device at families it's probably going to take frequent cleaning to keep it looking so good.
While Google's Nexus 7 still retains the 'highest resolution 7in tablet' crown, the Tesco Hudl gives the flagship Android device a run for its money on the display front.
The Tesco Hudl features a 7in 1440x960 LCD display, and colours appear vibrant and text looks clear.The LCD panel can make for some annoying reflections and it likely won't be a device that you'll find yourself using outdoors, but for just £119 this is probably the best display you can buy.
Performance and operating system
The Tesco Hudl tablet has a nippy quad-core 1.5GHz processor. While performance appears generally smooth, we noticed the tablet showing signs of strain during our time with it on Monday. While we were able to start playing Wreck It Ralph in HD with no signs of stuttering, the tablet didn't fare so well when we started to customise the user interface, and it seemed to come to a halt when we attempted to multitask. However, it's worth noting that this could be a blip in the model we were testing, so check back soon for our full Tesco Hudl review.
In terms of operating system, the Tesco Hudl tablet runs a largely untouched version of Google's Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean mobile operating system.
Tesco has added its own touches to the tablet, though. There's a Tesco shortcut key on the bottom left of every screen, which when touched opens an app with access to Tesco groceries, clothing, direct and banking. While this is great for those who shop at Tesco, the button cannot be removed - which means those who like the look of the Hudl tablet but prefer to shop at Asda are left with no choice but to display the Tesco shortcut at all times.
Blinkbox Movies and Music apps come preloaded on the device too. Blinkbox Music is Tesco's subscription free alternative to Netflix, and Blinkbox Music, although lacking much of the functionality, sees the supermarket giant offering its users a free radio streaming service - a nice touch on an already cheap tablet.
Another nice touch is Tesco's built-in guide. Switch the device on, and the Hudl will teach you everything from how to use a touchscreen to how to download apps and movies.
While this won't appeal to technology buffs and can be switched off, it's an added bonus for both young and old users who might not be familar with the ins and outs of tablets.
The Tesco Hudl tablet, considering its specifications, is an steal at £119, and we'll be surprised if it doesn't fly off shelves this Christmas.
However, while its specifications are impressive we're not sure it's going to appeal to a market as large as Tesco might be hoping for, given that the firm's own customisations can't be switched off on the Android tablet.
Still, we'll reserve judgement until our full Tesco Hudl review. µ