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Tesco Hudl Review - Hardware

Display

The Hudl tablet has a screen with 1,440x900 pixels at 242ppi, which is ample for its 7 inch size. The pixel density of 242ppi is signicantly lower than the Nexus 7 (2013). Whilst the screen falls some way short of full HD, the screen resolution does not impede general everyday activities such as web browsing, reading emails, reading ebooks, and PDFs. Text is sharp and clear, and the screen resolution makes the Hudl particular good for web browsing.

The screen is prone to collecting fingerprints, and the glossy display can make reflections a problem, so movies are more enjoyable away from overhead lights. The positioning of the volume control and standby buttons could have been improved; we would have prefered the buttons located at the top when held in landscape orientation, but we anticipate that users will get familiar with the position of the buttons over time.

The display is a good quality IPS panel, with wide viewing angles, good clarity, but it lacks the intensity and vibrancy of the Asus Memo Pad HD7 or the Nexus 7. Blacks are rather washed out, but whites are pure and there is little evidence of graininess. The thickness of the bezel gives the impression of a smaller screen, and the Android toolbar does not help matters in this regard.

A micro-HDMI socket allows you to enjoy video on the big screen. Whilst no cable is included, it is one of the accessories that can be purchased on Tesco's website, although 15 is pricey so shop elsewhere for the cable.

Sound

The Hudl's 1w stereo speakers are situated on the left and right sides when the device is held in landscape mode. They produce reasonable sound quality, but frankly do not pump out enough volume. If you want to listen to music on the Hudl, invest in a good pair of headphones or speakers.

Tesco Hudl
(view large image)

Battery Life

Battery life is a very important factor when considering which tablet to purchase. Tablets are highly portable, so you will prefer one that will last a full day without charging.

With the screen at a comfortable brightness level (slightly above midway), we are able to watch 8 hours of full screen video using MX Player. [We prefer this movie player over the stock player partly because it has useful features like hardware acceleration, and multi-core decoding]. The 8 hours playback is a little less than Tesco's claimed 9 hours of video battery life, but lowering the screen brightness should get very close to the full 9 hours claimed.

If you like listening to music on the train using Bluetooth headphones, you will be interested to know the battery life when listening to Spotify. With wifi and the screen kept off, the Hudl provided about 24 hours of continuous music playback in these conditions.

Watching TVCatchup on medium brightness yielded more than 8 hours of streaming television with the Hudl.

Camera

The Tesco Hudl has a 3 megapixel rear-facing camera and a 2 megapixel front-facing camera. The number of megapixels here is more than adequate for the purposes envisaged for the camera. To print a photograph in A4 at 300ppi, an image needs a resolution of 3508 x 2480 (i.e. a 9 megapixel sensor). However, most photos are shared on social media services and viewed on computers, TVs, tablets and phones, rather than being printed out on paper. A 3 megapixel has a resolution of 2048 x 1536 which is more than sufficient for displays. Whilst modern smartphones sport sensors capturing up to 41 megapixels, the number of megapixels has become wrapped up in hyperbole and confusion.

The Hudl had some problems with focusing even in good light conditions. We would have really liked to have seen a flash. Without flash, taking pictures in poor light conditions should not be contemplated, all that you are left with in these conditions is a picture containing more noise or just darkness than anything else. Further, the camera interface is pretty basic. There are options to take photos, video capture at 1280 x 720 resolution, and to take panoramic shots, for capturing scenery. Photographs have an exposure time of 1/100 seconds, with a centre weighted average metering mode.

In some ways the spartan interface is an advantage, as it makes it simple to use. You can adjust brightness, picture quality, and enable capture location. Focus modes are missing together with a timer function. Needless to say, more advanced features such as face detection, night detection, best photo (where a series of pictures is taken with the best one tagged), or other modes are also omitted.

Camera
(view large image)

It must be born in mind that there will be very few people who would want to use the Hudl for serious photography. After all, images appear washed out and grainy and poorly exposed. Despite its shortcomings, the two cameras take images of reasonable quality in good light, and are perfectly serviceable for the intended market, such as sharing photos on social networking sites.

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1. Introduction
2. Hardware
3. Software
4. Performance
5. Summary


Last Updated Saturday, October 19 2013 @ 05:19 PM EDT


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