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Tesco Hudl 2 review: The best value tablet for your family

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The Good The Tesco Hudl 2 has a sturdy, fun design, a decent screen and loads of info on how to keep your kids safe when they venture online. Oh, it's also incredibly cheap.

The Bad The interface can be a little sluggish and the vast amount of Tesco software may dissuade buyers who frequent other supermarkets.

The Bottom Line Although it won't appeal to those of you looking for the slickest slate around, the Tesco Hudl 2 has the power, display quality and build to keep the whole family happy. The wealth of child safety features are a nice addition too.

8.3 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 9
  • Performance 8

Review Sections

Apple's iPad Air is a super piece of technology with a brilliant high-resolution display and a wealth of power stuffed into a sleek, skinny metal body. Naturally then, it comes with a massive price tag attached, meaning it's likely to be out of budget for the average family.

Tesco's first Hudl tablet was designed to appeal to families who want a good all-round tablet to share that comes at a price that won't mean disaster when little Timmy accidentally sends it plummeting to the ground. Its successor, the Hudl 2, continues that philosophy, but makes some key upgrades.

It has a larger, higher definition display along with a more powerful processor, yet only costs £129 from Tesco -- considerably less than the £399 asking price for the entry-level iPad Air. Although it bears the Tesco name and comes with Tesco's shopping apps on board, it's still every bit as useful to those of you whose supermarket allegiances lie elsewhere.

Design and display

The Hudl 2 maintains the various design features of its predecessor. It's a chunky thing, with a rubberised body with dual stereo speakers stuck to the back. It's available in a range of eight bright colours too -- orange, red, pink, purple, white, dark blue, light blue and black.

tesco-hudl-colours.jpg
The Hudl 2 comes in eight different colours. Take your pick! Andrew Hoyle/CNET

There are a bunch of changes to the new model. Its larger screen means the body is wider (when holding it in landscape mode) although it hasn't ballooned out to an awkwardly large size. Tesco managed this by reducing the size of the bezel around the display, therefore maximising the size of the screen.

The speakers on the back have been changed from thin slits to grids of large circles, which is an effect that I think looks pretty cool. The speakers bear the Dolby Audio name. You won't feel totally immersed in sound when watching a movie, but they're loud enough to at least hear who's angry at who on "Eastenders" while you're chopping up veg for your dinner.

The thick rubberised body is easy to hold and feels capable of putting up with a decent amount of knocks and bumps. It certainly doesn't feel like it'll shatter the first time it falls from the sofa onto the carpet, but if you plan on handing it over to your over-excited five-year-old then you may want to invest in one of the various rubber cases Tesco also sells for £10.

tesco-hudl-2-9.jpg
Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Around the edges of the tablet you'll find a micro-USB port for charging and data transfer, a mini HDMI port for hooking the slate up to a big TV and a microSD card slot for expanding the 16GB of built-in storage. While 16GB is fairly generous for a budget tablet, if you want to load up a music and video to keep the kids entertained on a car journey or long flight, you'll want to pop in a card.

The display is physically bigger than before -- it's now 8.3 inches, rather than 7 inches -- and it's had a resolution bump too. It has a full HD (1,920x1,200-pixel) resolution, which is a noticeable bump up from the 1,440x900-pixels of its predecessor. Icons and text look sharper and the display itself is both brighter and has much better colours.

Sure, if you're looking for the absolute best image quality on a tablet screen then look towards the bigger, brighter screens on the iPad Air or Samsung Galaxy Tab S , but for the money, the Hudl 2 is more than adequate. For casual sofa surfing, watching Netflix in bed or tweeting about who deserved to win "Great British Bake Off", the Hudl 2 will suit you well and your kids certainly won't be complaining about less-than-outstanding screen quality.

Tesco software

The Hudl 2 runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat, and Tesco hasn't done much to the actual interface -- it's basically stock Android, so if you've ever used an Android device before, you won't struggle to make your way around. Even if you're new to Android, it's pretty easy to get to grips with.

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