Okay, so I’m not in the habit of reviewing actual, physical objects, but I’m going to give it a bash. My intentions are to use this blog post to tell you a little bit about the Hudl.
WHAT IS A HUDL?
The Hudl is Tesco’s attempt at paving it’s way into the gadget market by focussing on the tech of the moment – the tablet. Not, like, an actual medical tablet, but an electronic one. Like an iPad, but instead of being made by Apple it was made by Tesco.
HUDL…THAT’S AN ACRONYM RIGHT?
I’m afraid it’s not. Having worked in Tesco for what seems like forever, I can inform you that Tesconians (as they shall henceforth be known) don’t have a particularly coherent grasp of the English language. So yes, it is called a Hudl and not a H.U.D.L.. Pronounced Huddle, not Hoodle.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
The Hudl has hit the market at a respectable £119. Obviously that’s significantly less expensive than the likes of the Apple iPad or the Samsung Galaxy Tab, but I don’t think that they are the Hudl’s main competitors. Not yet anyway. I think that Tesco’s ambition just now is to take a share of the sales from Amazon’s Kindle Fire, a similar machine with a similar price. Perhaps once they are established in the market they’ll start taking on the big dogs. Generally the accessories seem to be reasonably priced too – £4 for 2 screen protectors, a variety of cases for less than £15. Clubcard vouchers can be used, and even doubled in the Exchange, to cover part or all of the cost…hence how I afforded one!
HOW DOES IT LOOK?
The Hudl is a 7 inch tablet, so it slots quite nicely into the variety of smaller tablets on the market. All Hudls have a black front, and my one is just black all over. I have heard rumours that the coloured Hudls which I desired so badly are now available, whereas they weren’t at the launch a few weeks ago. From what I have seen the colours aren’t all that spectacular, nor is there really much choice, but if red, blue or purple tickles your fancy then that option is out there at no extra cost. Personally I think I’m better off with my black one and my bright pink, flowery cover. Seriously, some of the covers are really funky.
The Hudl is pretty much 100% touch screen, with the exception of power and volume.
It doesn’t look completely cheap and nasty, but if you’re a major aesthetics snob then it in no way looks as good as its rivals. It’s a little bit chunkier and a lot less shiny.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
It runs on Android, a system with which the Samsung users amongst us are familiar. A less familiar system for the Apple Addicts, but if anything I’ve actually had more success with Android than iOS, and Google Play (where you download all of your bits and bobs for the Hudl) is easier to work than iTunes..and I’m quite fond of iTunes.
WHAT DOES IT DO?
Nearly anything that you want to do. Once you get it all set up you can pop yourself onto Google Play and download ‘applications’, exactly as with iTunes. There are games, social networks, shops, creative programmes…everything. A lot of them are free too, and who doesn’t love a freebie! Mine is now equipped with all of the necessities-Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Tumblr, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Kik, AskFm, Candy Crush, Dumb Ways and Solitaire- and I haven’t paid for any of them! I also have some more serious apps, like BBC News and the Met Office, so it doesn’t have to be all fun and games if you don’t want it to be.
You can also subscribe to various magazines and newspapers and download digital editions to read. You can watch movies, TV shows, listen to music, read books ( did I say it comes pre-loaded with Alice Through The Looking Glass?!)…so it can actually be a tool for anything.
Except washing the dishes, I don’t think it does that yet.
IS THERE ANYTHING THAT IT CAN’T DO?
Yes, it can’t wash the dishes. I also wouldn’t expect any photographic masterpiece from it, the camera’s are actually abysmal. Perhaps it’s just because I’m used to working with semi-decent cameras, and not dodgy camera phones. The Hudl has two built in cameras, one facing and one at the back, but both are pretty shocking. This is the first place where it becomes noticable that you are spending significantly less than some other tablets. That said, I’m lead to believe that the Galaxy Tabs have a similar quality of camera and they are, quite literally, twice the price. So I wouldn’t rely on it for that family snap to send out for Christmas, but for a cheeky selfie on a sunny day it does the trick.
WHERE ARE THEY?
Remember when the Kindle was first released, and it was only available from Amazon? Well the Hudl is only available from Tesco, funnily enough. It is available from both Tesco Direct (ie the catalogue and internetty version of Tesco) and in-store. Well, if you can find a store with any in stock it is… (To quote the lovely checkout guy in Inverurie “There wasn’t people queuing like Apple, but when they were released yesterday the stand was crazy, there was just mobs of people around it.”)
WHERE AM I?
Okay, so I think that I’ve said all that I want to about this (I’ve probably forgotten something really important, but just ask. Or look it up, you’re on the internet after all.) So I’ll just take this opportunity to shamelessly self-promote my array of social network profiles (all of which I can now control from the Hudl. Relevance.)
Follow me, speak to me, let’s be friends 🙂