British supermarket giant Tesco lifted the lid on the Hudl2 earlier this morning, the follow-up to the successful Hudl tablet that launched last year.
We managed to grab a hands-on with the device to garner some first impressions.
At 8.3-inches, the Hudl2’s screen is markedly bigger than the 7-inches of its predecessor – and that’s a good thing, considering this is being pitched as an entertainment device.
The most immediately striking facet of the tablet is the picture quality. At full HD (1920×1200), watching movies on this fella’ is impressive – crystal clear sharpness. Coupled with the increased size, the Hudl2 will almost certainly be top of both kids’ and adults’ Christmas lists this year.
The device itself ships in eight colours – Jazzy Blue, Zesty Orange, Slate Black, Rocket Red, Tropical Turquoise, Dreamy White, Perky Purple and Bubblegum Pink. Though it promises 16GB of storage out of the box, only 9.10GB of this is usable. On the test version we played around with, a mere 5.70GB of that was available, though we weren’t able to establish how much of that was due to media that had been installed by Tesco for testing purposes.
As with the original Hudl, its successor offers a HDMI slot for hooking it up directly to your big screen, and yes – it has a microSD slot, meaning you can expand its storage by an extra 32GB.
As you’d expect, the Hudl2 comes bundled with a load of pre-installed Tesco-focused services, but for the price you’re paying here it’s not really a big deal and doesn’t feel overly intrusive.
Perhaps the biggest development from a software perspective is the in-built parental control tools, which provide granular control over what your kids can access and when. There’s room for up to seven separate users, and for each one, you can manage what kinds of websites they’re able to access (e.g. ‘no gaming sites’) and what apps they can/can’t use.
The time limits element is particularly notable, as you can stipulate that little Johnny can only use the tablet from 6pm to 8pm in the evening on weekends, during which time he can only use the Wikipedia app and Google Maps. Conversely, on little Jimmy’s profile, he’s allowed to access some gaming apps and Facebook from 8pm to 10pm.
With a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera and 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera, Tesco has detracted things for selfie-lovers, given the original incarnation sported a 2-megapixel front-facing lens. But for normal photos, the rear-facing snapper has been given a 2-megapixel boost.
We haven’t had a chance to test the camera out yet, or the Dolby-optimized speakers, but we’ll be giving this a full review once we get our hands on a unit for a longer spell. So stay tuned for that over the weekend.
At any rate, our first impressions of the Hudl2 are pretty much on-par with that of the original Hudl. The first time around, expectations from a supermarket entering the tablet game weren’t particularly high, but Tesco surprised a lot of people with the quality and price-point. Second time around, Tesco perhaps had a higher benchmark to meet, and with the immense screen, parental control features and affordable price tag, we reckon the grocery giant has another hit on its hands.
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