Tesco Hudl 2 full review
Apple has recently unveiled its new iPad mini, the iPad mini 3, which is essentially the same as the iPad mini 2 but with a new colour option and a Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Earlier this year, Tesco also unveiled a new tablet -the Hudl 2 - which is amazingly cheap for what you get. So do you need to cough up a premium for a good 7in tablet or is the Hudl 2 enough for you? We help you decide in our Tesco Hudl 2 vs iPad mini 3 comparison. See: Best tablets 2014
Hudl 2 vs iPad mini 3 comparison: UK price & availability
As mentioned above, the Tesco Hudl 2 is one of the best budget tablets you can buy, at just £129 for what is a good quality tablet.
Tesco offers the tablet with ClubCard Boost, so every £5 worth of vouchers is £10 towards the tablet. That means, save enough Tesco vouchers and you could get your hands on the Tesco Hudl 2 for £65. In addition, the Hudl 2 comes with £60 of vouchers in the box. Some require a minimum spend of £65 but £25 of Blinkbox credit is a nice touch.
Then there's the iPad mini 3, which, as can be expected from Apple, significantly more expensive. It starts at £319 for the 16GB WiFi-only model (the Tesco Hudl 2 comes as a 16GB WiFi-only model, too), so is £190 more expensive to buy. That's why it's well worth considering whether the Tesco Hudl 2 is a good enough tablet for you – you could buy two of them and have money to spare for the price of the iPad mini 3.
There are 64GB and 128GB models of the iPad mini 3 available, too at £399 and £479 respectively, and if you're after an iPad mini 3 with WiFi + Cellular (3G/4G connectivity) you're looking at £100 extra for each model. There's no 3G version of the Hudl 2 available, though.
Both the iPad mini 3 and Hudl 2 are available to buy now, and should arrive within a few days of purchase if you order them online.
Hudl 2 vs iPad mini 3 comparison: Design & build
The Hudl 2's chassis has a matt plastic casing, which is easy to grip and feels nice to hold. It's available in a variety of colours, too, including Zesty Orange, Dreamy White, Perky Purple, Bubblegum Pink, Tropical Turquoise, Rocket Red, Slate Black, and Jazzy Blue.
The iPad mini 3, on the other hand, is made with anodised aluminium for an (arguably) more premium look and feel. It's available in three metallic hues: Silver, Gold and Slate Grey.
Overall, despite being plastic and cheap, the Hudl 2 manages to look sleek and stylish, with rounded corners and clean lines. Where the design falls down slightly is the misalignment of the rear speakers and the seam that runs around the edge of the device.
You won't find any of that on the iPad mini 3, which is sleeker and more sophisticated than the Hudl 2 with a rounded, unibody design and edge-to-edge glass on the front. The iPad mini 3 also has slightly smaller bezels than the Hudl 2 and a stunning bevelled edge.
When it comes to the size and weight, the Hudl 2 is slightly bigger overall with an 8.3in display housed in a 128 by 224mm body. It's 9mm thick and weighs around 410 grams.
The iPad mini 3's display is 7.9in, and is 134.7 by 200mm so not hugely smaller than the Hudl 2 despite the smaller screen size. It's noticeably thinner, though, at just 7.5mm. The iPad mini 3 is also lighter at 341g so is a breeze to hold with one hand for prolonged periods of time.
Hudl 2 vs iPad mini 3 comparison: Display
Taking a closer look at the displays of these two rival tablets, you'll notice a few differences.
First is the aforementioned size difference – the iPad mini 3's display is a bit smaller at 7.9in compared with the Hudl 2's 8.3in.
The iPad mini 3's display has a higher resolution than the Hudl 2, though, at 2048x1536 and 326ppi, labelled as Retina by Apple. It's a stunning screen perfect for watching movies, viewing photo slideshows and playing games.
The Hudl 2, on the other hand, sports a full HD (1920 x 1200) display at 272ppi. However, that screen is by no means terrible, offering bright, crisp images, good viewing angles and nice colours, so if you can cope with a slightly less impressive display than the iPad mini 3 you've just saved yourself £190.
Hudl 2 vs iPad mini 3 comparison: Specs and performance
Inside the Hudl 2 is an Intel Atom quad-core processor clocked at 1.83GHz, paired with 2GB RAM. We found the tablet to be nippy and smooth, coping with both web browsing and gaming well. We did experience some occasional large while switching between user profiles and moving between home screens, but that's nothing major.
Meanwhile, the iPad mini 3 is equipped with Apple's 64-bit A7 processor and M7 co-processor, which make for a super-speedy tablet. That's paired with 1GB of RAM, which is (obviously) less than the Hudl 2's 2GB but software plays a big part in speed and iOS is particularly fast on the iPad mini 3.
When it comes to processor tests, the iPad mini 3 trumps the Hudl 2, scoring 2484 for multi-core in Geekbench 3.0. The Hudl 2 scored lower at 2165, but that's no means sluggish.
On the graphics side of things, the iPad mini 3 again beats the Hudl 2, scoring 22.7fps in GFX Bench's T-Rex test compared with the Hudl 2's score of 17fps.
So yes, the iPad mini 3 performs better than the Hudl 2, but that's to be expected from a device that costs £190 more. You'll still find that you can play games and run multiple apps on the Hudl 2 without experiencing too much lag, but it's not going to be as smooth as the Apple alternative. See also: Hudl 2 vs Nexus 7 comparison.
Hudl 2 vs iPad mini 3 comparison: Storage
The Tesco Hudl 2 is only available as a 16GB tablet, but it does have a microSD slot that allows up to 32GB additional storage for a total of 48GB.
The iPad mini 3, on the other hand, has three options: 16GB, 64GB and 128GB. None of those options has a microSD card so consider carefully how much storage space you'll need before buying.
Hudl 2 vs iPad mini 3 comparison: Connectivity & battery life
The Hudl 2 sports a miniHDMI port for connecting to your TV, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11 WiFi and GPS, so is similar to the iPad mini 3, which sports all of the above apart from miniHDMI.
The Hudl 2 misses out on a 3G/4G compatible model, though.
The Hudl 2 also lacks a fingerprint scanner. The iPad mini 3 sports the Touch ID, which is a fingerprint scanner that can be used to unlock the device, unlock certain apps and pay for items in some stores.
The iPad mini 3 should last for up to 10 hours, while the Hudl 2's battery life is slightly less at 8 hours. The Hudl 2 charges via microUSB, while the iPad mini 3 uses Apple's Lightning port to charge.
Hudl 2 vs iPad mini 3 comparison: Cameras
The cameras on the Hudl 2 are good for the small price tag. There's a 5Mp rear-facing camera, and a 1.2Mp front-facing camera. That's the same as the iPad mini 3, and both lack an LED flash.
Unfortunately, though, we found using the camera on the Hudl 2 less than ideal, particularly due to slow focusing.
The iPad mini 3 faired better, managing to snap web-worthy photos with ease, but we're still not fans of using tablets for photography anyway. Unless you think you'll be using it to capture lots of images, we think the Hudl 2's camera will suffice.
Both tablets can capture 1080p video using the rear camera and 720p using the front camera, too.
Hudl 2 vs iPad mini 3 comparison: Software
As you probably already know, the iPad mini 3 runs Apple's iOS mobile operating system, and ships with the latest version: iOS 8.
The Tesco Hudl 2 gets Android 4.4 KitKat (no Android 5.0 Lollipop update yet), which is mostly vanilla (the stock Android as Google made it, with very few of Tesco's own tweaks).
It's really a case of personal preference between the two operating systems, but if you're still undecided you can find out more about both in our iOS 8 review, Android 4.4 KitKat review and Android 5.0 vs iOS 8 comparison.
Hudl 2 vs iPad mini 3 comparison: Verdict
Considering the enormous price difference, it's hard not to recommend the Hudl 2 here. Save £190 and buy the budget tablet. You'll get a good screen, good performance, good design and decent cameras, and you'll have all that money to spend on something else. Of course, if your budget can stretch to £319 or more (for more storage or cellular connectivity) then the iPad mini 3 gets you a great screen, great performance and stunning design, as well as the Touch ID fingerprint sensor.
If you're set on an iPad mini, we'd actually advise you to take a look at the iPad mini 2 instead, which is £80 less than the iPad mini 3 at £239, with the same internal specs but no gold option or Touch ID fingerprint sensor. See iPad mini 2 vs iPad mini 3.
Tesco Hudl 2: Specs
- Android 4.4 KitKat
- 8.3in Full HD (1920x1200)
- Intel Atom quad-core processor
- 16GB storage
- microSD (up to 32GB)
- 5Mp rear camera
- 1.2Mp front camera
- Dual-band Wi-Fi
- Stereo speakers
- 8 hour battery life