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The Tesco Hudl is a surprisingly affordable quad-core Android tablet (hands-on)

When you think Tesco, you probably think of big supermarkets, Clubcard points and Jane Horrocks, but certainly not an own brand tablet. Step forward the Tesco Hudl, a newly announced 7-inch Android slate that the company is looking to push to its 20 million strong customer base.

Tesco has been developing the Hudl over the last year intent on capitalizing on its customers’ increasing awareness of mobile technology and it’s own growing online and mobile services.

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The Hudl is a balance of affordability set against some surprisingly solid specs. The Tesco’s tablet interface is based on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, with a few tweaks to better suit the company’s needs, mainly in the form of widgets and apps that deliver quick access to Tesco’s many services.

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The Tesco launcher is always accessible from the UI bar at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen and links the user through to Tesco Groceries, banking and blinkbox’s collection of around 10,000 movies and TV shows, as well as nearly 12 million tracks from blinkbox music, with a books service joining the fray in the coming weeks. In addition there are a host of widgets that display helpful information such as a Clubcard points balance and grocery orders.

We were a little surprised by our first experience with the Hudl. It’s a thick bezeled 7-inch tablet with a bright, high fidelity display toting an impressive 1440 x 900 WXGA resolution. Graphics looked crisp and lag during 3D games seemed minimal, no doubt as a result of the 1.5GHz quad-core processor at the Hudl’s heart.

Users will find 16GB of onboard storage out the box and expandability via microSD up to an additional 32GBs if they need it. Its look isn’t that dissimilar from Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD, offering dual stereo speakers, as well as a 2-megapixel front and a 3.2-megapixel rear-facing snapper, though no flash. What’s more the Hudl can offer up to 9 hours of video playback on a single charge and totes additional connectivity options like microHDMI-out and Bluetooth 4.0.

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The Tesco Hudl has hit stores now with an impressively low price tag of just £119. Tesco customers will also be able make use of the supermarket’s Clubcard Boost voucher exchange program, meaning that they’ll potentially be able to pick it up for as little as £60 when paying with Tesco vouchers.

It’s clear that the company is hoping to push its digital store front and services into more homes than ever before. With a compelling tablet package being made available in over 1000 stores at launch, not to mention the offer of in-store technical support and a wealth of additional Hudl branded accessories, it could well become a UK favourite for those on the hunt for an affordable, relatively powerful tablet in the run up to Christmas.

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