Tesco pulled back the curtain on the Hudl 2 recently, the follow-up to what was one of the best budget slate PCs of last year. But things have moved on in the tablet market since 2013, so who else is the Hudl 2 up against? Let’s find out.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 8GB
With a seven-inch screen, this tablet is small enough to fit in a handbag or a very big pocket. It runs Google’s Android operating system, which gives you access to more than a million apps, although because it runs Android Jelly Bean rather than the latest version, KitKat, some newer features are missing. 8GB memory comes as standard, but you can bulk that up with a microSD card up to 32GB. The 1.2GHz dual-core processor keeps things running smoothly, and it’s backed up by 1GB of RAM. An absolute steal at this price.
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7-inch 8GB
Amazon’s tablets run a ‘skinned’ version of Android, which means Amazon has put its own user interface over the top. It’s slightly more restrictive than standard Android, but still very easy to use. Plus it gives you direct access to the e-tail giant’s selection of e-books, films, music and TV shows. The screen resolution of 1280x800 pixels is impressive for this price, as is the 1GB of RAM and 1.5GHz processing power. It also guesses which films you might like and cues them up ready to play when you start up the device.
This tablet is actually a mobile phone as well. You can make and take calls, send text messages, browse the web without a Wi-Fi hotspot, and do anything else you can with a phone.
You might look a bit like Dom Joly in Trigger Happy TV holding the seven-inch device to your ear to make calls, but it will save you lugging a phone and a tablet around. The screen is HD too, so films and photos will look stunning. And there’s a front-facing camera that’s ideal for making video calls.
Barnes & Noble Nook HD
US bookseller Barnes & Noble might not be as well-known on these shores, but it makes some pretty decent tablet PCs. This one features a seven-inch screen with a resolution of 1440x900 pixels, and 8GB of storage (though you can add to that with a microSD card up to 32GB). If you start watching a film or TV episode on one device, you can carry on on another.
Plus it comes with access to a library of over 3 million books, newspapers and magazines, 1 million of which are completely free. Should keep you entertained for a while.
Most of these tablets only have 8GB storage, but this has 16GB. That means you can fit on more films, TV shows, e-books, photos and songs to take with you. It runs Android 4.4 KitKat – the latest version – which gives you new natty features. Such as advanced voice control. So you can just say “OK Google” and then the command (“Where is the nearest Marks & Spencer”, for example) with no need to press a button. It’s like living in the future, and currently for £75.
Since the Hudl 2 launched, the price of the original Tesco Hudl has dropped to just £79. That’s fantastic value for what is still a very good budget tablet. The quad-core processor is clocked at 1.5GHz, giving you whizzy performance, and the 16GB of storage is plenty of room for films, TV shows, photos and songs.
It comes with a cable that lets you plug it into your telly too, so you can watch YouTube clips – or anything you’ve downloaded – on the big screen without having to faff around with adapters. Plus it’s hardwearing enough to leave with the kids. Priceless.