Stock Android (almost)
That's very cool news.
Retailer own-brand tablets are unholy piles of rubbish, right? Usually, yes. But last year’s Tesco Hudl rather bucked the trend. While there was nothing individually outstanding about Tesco’s first tablet, it had a good HD screen, a decent Rockchip CPU, a more-than-adequate battery life and was well glued together. For £129 …
I also have a Hudl, cost me about £50 after I doubled up some vouchers, battery life is reasonable and I've had no complaints with it at all over the last 12 months. It can be a little slow at times and the wifi can be a little flaky when the signal is weak... But aside from that it's been excellent value for money.
I'm very tempted to get the Hudl2, I noticed the original hudl had dropped to just £79 and was considering getting one for my mum this xmas. She would find it handy for reading and shopping and she doesn't need the best on the market... Then I figured I might just get the new one for myself and give her my old one instead.
If the new one is as good as the reviews suggest I'll get one, but I'm annoyed by the fact that tesco have doubled the price of a proper leather case for this one over the old one. Pushing the price of the tablet and case to £155. My vouchers are a little light this year, and if I double them I've only got about £70 towards it.
Yes and no.
Apparently, it is a good way to root _YOU_. Once you are done with it that is. At least the original Hudl1 is in that category.
If memory serves me right, the original one is one of the tablets reported as "factory wipe/erase personal data does not work". You can wipe it fully only with external software. So if it ends up in the wrong hands and if you really did some shopping with it (or access anything with more valuable passwords)...
She managed to make the cheap chinese tablet we bought her last nearly two years. We got the hudl as the chinese tablet performance was really not fair on her any more. Whereas my son broke his first tablet within 3 months (broken screen) and his second (which he bought with his own money) did slightly better at 9months.
@kmac499 - nice idea, but I'm ahead of the game already. Got the hi-fi set up in the garage, there's an old desktop mini-PC for the 'net feeds, WiFi router with a wired connection back to the house network, DAB/FM radio connected to the amp and a floating 3.5mm cable for the occasional MP3 player / whatever connection. Oh, and a dartboard. Also now have a spare DVD player at the moment, just need to persuade the commander in chief that we need to upgrade the house telly so's I can retire the current one to the garage. Not going so well on that front though.
Sometimes I even work on my motor vehicles in there...
The T button on the old one is really annoying. The number of times I accidentally touched it while playing games drove me mad.
Then I discovered the branded user interface service that was running. Disable that and the button is gone, but everything else is fine. No rooting required.
If the new button only appears in the launcher screen, I can live with that and there'll be no need to hack anything.
...does every manufacturer insist on installing bloatware that can't be uninstalled? Okay, as the article says, it's not a problem for space in this case, but it's clutter.
I wouldn't mind them installing their own junk, but why oh why can't we please be allowed to remove it? We can uninstall bloatware in Windows, we can remove garage stickers from car rear windows, why can't we remove the stuff we don't want in Android? Why does Android even have a 'make this uninstallable' option?
[Parrticulary pissed off as my aging Sony Experia Arc with 512MB is now getting VERY full, even though I have very few apps installed - but the updates keep getting bigger, and I'm not allowed to uninstall some crap games and FB to make room - and I can't be arsed to go through the faff of rooting it]
I got the first hudl last year. For the price + specs + build quality + double clubcard vouchers; in this case, a bit of crapware is forgiveable - it's what makes it cheap. You're basically getting paid ~£100 to remove the crap.
Compare it to a chinese knock-off on ebay, or crapware on a full priced tablet.
This is exactly the reason the first thing I do is dump the manufacturer's Android and stick on CyanogenMod. It means I get total consistency across devices, rather than some options on one and other options on another.
Hopefully manufacturers (+ operators) are starting to realise that their "value added" sh*t is actually costing them a huge amount of good favour and potentially money.
This looks great... a worthy replacement for my 7" Ainol Fire (snigger)
It's so the bloatware is always in your face when you're on the tablet. Every time someone less technical than a Reg reader sees the icon, there's a chance they'll go "Oh, what's this?" and fire it up without realising it's a hook for someone who wants your money. Or you could be trying to buy the latest Patsy Cline album and suddenly find your favourite Goongle muzak player cannot connect to servers. You really want that album today though, and look, there appears to be a ChamChung muzak app already on your phone...
Basically the bloatware is always there to maximise chances of preying on a moment of weakness.
I got the original fairly recently for my Son, to replace a battery-worn Chinese-cheapy. Tesco have a clearance store on eBay where they get rid of factory refurbished and end of line stock. I got the Hudl for £59, refurbished and with a 12-month warranty - and no vouchers required.
Nice to hear that they've moved the power connector from the bottom to the top.
Got two of the original ones at home (for my daughters), and the one thing that I don't like about them is they have the power micro-USB at the bottom (when used in landscape orientation). So if you're using it propped up in a case to watch a movie (for example), you can't easily have it plugged in at the same time as the connector is sticking out the bottom.
Indeed that micro-USB is the one thing that actually failed on the thing (ended up so the only way to charge it was to wedge the connector in and prop it in place with a pen), although to be fair one call to Tesco customer services had them pick up the faulty one and drop off a replacement within a few days (and it could have been the next day if I'd wanted, but I had to spend a little while with ADB to back-up what was on it first so I could easily transfer everything).
Have to say my old tablet (Nexus 7 2012) is starting to show its age a bit, so might ponder one of these myself perhaps.
You would think that rotating it through 180 is the answer, wouldn't you? Unfortunately the prop stand on the standard case is on the same side as the USB connector and on the other long side is the mini-HDMI connector for plugging into your telly.
In addition there are also a few Android apps that fail to detect which way is up. Amazingly a flight sim (Winds of Steel) happens to be one of them!
There is a problem with some version of android were it's not possible to view downloaded BBC iplayer videos. Does the new hudl suffer from that problem? And Amazon are blacklisting some devices from streaming and downloading Amazon instant video. Does anyone know if they've done that with this?
Amazon seem to have allowed video on every device except Android tablets (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/video/ontv/devices). They seem hell bent on getting people to buy Fires. Not happening.
As for iPlayer, seems to very few devices known to have problems.(http://iplayerhelp.external.bbc.co.uk/tv/tablet/android/Android_Downloads_device)
As Intel Android devices get more common - and they rapidly are - you'll find that 'most stuff' will quickly get closer to 'everything'.
I've just added Intel support to a natively coded game with no problem at all and it took very little effort. We only didn't bother before because we didn't have a device to test it on and the market was small.
Probably no more than google do. I put a google ID into my moto G when I got it and discovered that it had uploaded my entire address book to them. You can disable syncing, but this disables syncing across everything, including as it turns out, Firefox. No idea why, other than they want to know your contacts so they can build up their profile on you in order to spam you with ads and to use against you/sell to others.
It's a closed OS for a reason. I'd root it, but I wouldn't be able to get my work email (they log everything I do too). I'm still tempted to do so, or just go back to the Nokia thing I had before.
Why don't you buy one with a desktop OS ???
or any of these ten
I originally forked out just £9 for my daughter's Hudl due to a bit of a voucher order cock-up which gave me far more that I deserved. The charging port was pretty poor (hope they've really improved that!), and we went through two in a year.
The positives, not only were Tesco great with no-questions-asked replacements, but by the time I did the last replacement they'd dropped the price, so I got a £20 refund!
I bought a Hudl2 on launch day (I didn't know it was launch day until I got it home)! Here's my potted review...
I've not noticed any problems with the Android interface so far, responses to input are good, with occasional very minor lag when swiping between screens, but nothing that other devices dont also do.
The Hudl2 is quite heavy when hand-holding for any period of time, but it feels very well made and a cut above many of the <£150 Android tabs out there.
Performance is adequate, it plays games well. I've seen a little slow down on a single 3D racing game, but other 3D games have performed well.
The screen is great. It's bright and sharp, but I haven't tried using it outside in bright sunshine so can't comment on that.
The sound is OK via the speakers, they are rear facing so not ideal. Sound via the headphones seems very good.
Web browsing is very good, pages update quickly, with very little page tearing when scrolling down. The excellent display allows you to resize the page with quite small text, so many web pages can be viewed in portrait mode.
If you buy one of the tesco flip cover cases, then it has all the cut-outs for the ports except the micro SD card slot. I assume this is designed to protect the slot from crud and debris. Unfortunately the Tesco flip case does not auto-lock the Hudl when closed like some other Android devices do. A minor point, but irritating.
The iplayer episode I tested with streamed fine to the Hudl, but I've not tried downloading one for later playback. I've also tested it with the channel 4 app and demand 5 (which streamed last nights episode of Gotham flawlessly).
In summary, this is head and shoulders above any other Android tabs that were at this pricepoint. I actually walked into the Tesco store expecting to buy an iPad mini, but after spending 5 minutes with the Hudl2 I couldn't justify the price difference. The added benefit is that I don't have to use iTunes.
My opinion as an owner since launch day:
It's unbelievably good value. The screen is great (miles better than Hudl 1) and the performance is great too. I actually find zipping through Facebook to be smoother than on my iPad Air. Not everything is faster than an iPad Air but that even 1 app appears to be is remarkable. The 2GB really seems to make a difference and for apps that are forgiving of the non-ARM processor you'd be hard-pressed to notice this isn't a premium device.
The battery life is average really. Probably my own fault in part as I think the screen looks great turned up to full brightness.
The app for managing children's profiles is a godsend. Took me 5 minutes to set profiles up for my 6 year old and 3 year old and then select which apps they are allowed to use. Play store is turned off for kids. Much more convenient than the process I used on the Hudl 1 of re-enabling the Play store, installing the game (repeat per profile) and then uninstalling the store again. Added bonus is that it claims the browser is kid-safe in that mode too. Probably won't be once they get to 10 and become tech geniuses but it's one less thing for the wife to nag me about until then.
Will get around to using a third-party launcher to hide the Tesco branding a bit better at some point but it's no biggie.
The fact you can possibly get this for nowt if you have £65 of vouchers makes it a no-brainer unless you already have enough tablets in the house to prevent squabbles over access.
Posting anon as I work for a large rival of Tesco :(
Just a general comment for anyone who needs to restrict access to applications for youngsters - I can recomment "applock" as a good way to prevent kids accessing any apps you don't want them to (including the Play store). Attempting to run a locked app will prompt for a parental PIN before being allowed to launch. I've used it on my kids Tab 3 with no problems.
Mrs Aurelius also bought one of these devices. After using a large frying pan and pliers to assist in removing her firm grip from the device, I can also attest that it is stunning value for money.
It feels lighter than the original Hudl, which is solid enough to use as a club in an emergency.
In short, if you need a tablet and especially if you have some Tescos vouchers, run as fast as you can to get one of these devices.
My original Nexus 7 is beginning to get a little bit long in the tooth. I was waiting patiently for the Nexus 8/9 but rumours of the price makes me thing that I may opt for the Hudl. With a couple of Tesco vouchers knocking around, I can get it for under £100, which would possibly be under a third of a price for the new Nexus.
However, I do like the no nonsense quick updates that a Nexus device can give you, so I may wait until the Nexus appears and make a decision then...
I assume someone will do a teardown soon but I wonder just how much Intel is bankrolling this (and presumably similar devices via similar channels in other countries) just so they wave some tablet sales numbers at the next earnings reports even if the section still continues to lose money.
The performance numbers are interesting. I would expect a quadcore x86 to cream ARM, that it isn't is testimony to how much emulation is going on. Still very respectable battery life an 8" - 9" is the soft spot for tablets in my opinion, though video should run on the GPU so in this case, you might want to compare games performance. My guess is that won't be that good but might get pretty be hot!
It's about 150g heavier than the similar sized Samsung 8.4 but a fuck of a lot cheaper and these things aren't supposed to be used one-handed (ooerr).
So, a winner all round? Possibly, except for Microsoft who really need to own the cheap x86 tablet space.
" I wonder just how much Intel is bankrolling this (and presumably similar devices via similar channels in other countries) "
Well, in the last six reported months Intel made a loss of $1.5bn on less than $700m of revenues for their mobile and communications segment. So whatever the sale price of the processor was, the actual cost to Intel was three times that, and that's just to break even. Looking at other groupings (say Servers & Data Centres), Intel want to make an operating margin around 50% of sales. Which would suggest that Intel are currently selling (on average) mobile products for one sixth of the price they'd need to stay in the game long term. Obviously depends how much is integrated on the chip, but If we say the processor is the meaty bit, and the going rate for a third party chip is around $35, but Intel sell for perhaps $7, but would ideally like $50 (above market through hoped-for premium and further SoC integration, then it looks like the order of the implied cash subsidy to each Hudl2 (against a third party product) would be around $28, with Intel taking a $40+ loss between what they accept now and what they'd like to be paid.
That of course is built on the flimsiest of foundations....
@Ledswinger I don't remember ARM chip being priced anything like that high. And devices around the £100 mark they certainly can't be so the implied loss will presumably be even higher. There's an Intel inside notice on the device which means there's also a marketing subsidy.
Let's hope for Intel's sake there are no deal-breaking apps that won't run on the device.
Intel do not sell "Bay Trail" below cost ... and that cost is about $5 for the die and $2 to package it. Add 50% margin and you get $15 - which is the likely cost to Pegatron. (vs a $32 list price)
Intel's $1.5B hit comes from paying for the design plus some components that are needed for their part where the ARM parts might have those integrated - but that is much reduced with this "cost reduced" version of "Bay Trail". They also pay "start-up" costs and they are also a LOT more helpful (and thus "generous") with accepting manufacturing fallout and offering support - which is expensive.
Intel knows that there is no way in hell that cheap Tablet SOCs will EVER cost $50 while Mediatek can churn out ARM Big.Little octacores for $5.
Bottom line is this ... In 2009 paying Dell to use "Intel Only" chips was deemed illegal so THIS time they are achieving the same result using the "Manufacturing support" budget.
"Intel's $1.5B hit comes from paying for the design ...."
I'll happily defer to your and Charlie Clark's views on the cost of alternative SoCs. But you're wrong that they aren't selling below cost, because R&D is a cost that needs to be recovered through sales like many other overheads.
To assert that Intel are not selling below cost you'd have to be looking at gross margin, and perhaps believing that the accounting term "cost of sales" refers to economic costs. "Cost of sales" refers only to the marginal cost of those sales. From an economic or investor perspective the true cost of sales would be the average, which has to include all the other operating costs of the business.
Hudl2 does not work very well - if at all with the Ebay/cheap versions of a Stylus, the ones I have work absolutely fine on the H1, on the H2 the black rubber tipped ones just fail to work unless you really push down on the screen, the micromesh ones very similar, and I have one mini blacktip rubber type one that fails totally.
I went back to Tesco's and checked on their demo machines and got the same results.
Needless to say the Tesco one (£5 !) works fine. So beware of buying cheap stylus as it may just not work.
Fingers work fine.
At the moment nothing works to root the unit, also I had a usb to network adapter that worked fine in the H1 - did not even need drivers, but fails to be recognised on the H2.
Also you cannot (as at this moment) move Apps to SD card, and writing to SD card appears impossible. (I think this is the KitKat spec problem)
I could not get the Dolphin browser to work on some sites - yet is fine on the same sites on the H1.
Currently typing this on a tablet costing similar, but:
Ampe A78 3G 7.0" Tablet PC Capacitive Retina Touch Screen 1920x1200 Android 4.2.2 Egiht Core MTK6592 1.7GHz 3G Phablet with Built-in 3G/2G Calling, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS (16GB) (White):
Just needs all the preinstalled crap removed.....
A major issue (IMHO) with the current HUDL is that you can't get the parts to replace a broken screen. My nephew dropped his, and the screen cracked. He was gutted as it left a sharp edge, meaning it was dangerous to use. Uncle Dave has further disappointed him because he can't find replacement parts anywhere. My latest idea is to buy another HUDL on ebay with a decent screen but with other issues (eg the "usb port bust so won't charge any more" one that also blights these units) and to create one working unit out of the two broken ones. I'm not looking forward to it though as the screen appears to be very strongly bonded into the case and it would probably be very easy to break the good screen while trying to remove it.
I won't be recommending that new model to anyone until I hear that you can replace a cracked screen with ease. Saving the planet requires that. A cracked screen should not result in having to throw the tablet away!
although I totally agree with the general re-use sentiment, you can get a Hudl from Tesco via eBay for £69. These are marked as refurbished but considering the numbers they are selling I guess that's just a claim to reduce the warranty period while really they are brand-new.
I have a hunch you'll do yourself a favour by responsibly disposing of the broken unit via your local recycling centre and you'll be saving yourself time by purchasing the Hudl from eBay.
If you really really really do want to make one good device out of two broken ones and are not confident you can do it yourself, have you considered going to your local dodgy mobile repair shop to ask them for a quote?
The new HUDL2 from TESCO states it comes with 16GB of storage. Tesco should state the FACTS and let potential customers know that it has a total overall storage of 16GB but only 9.25 GB is only really available from NEW on the HUDL2. This is because the Pre-Installed Apps put onto the Tablet in manufacture and via Tesco Averts take up about 6GB and thus you DO NOT get the 16GB of storage from new as I would expect.
This 16GB storage Issue seems to of been missed by a lot of the so-called PC Reviewer Experts for some very strange reason?
Secondly the Burning out of the previous HUDL1 charging points is still of great concern and now the new HUDL2 .Will it still suffer as its HUDL1 did or has as this issue been FIXED?
I purchased the HUDL2 yesterday and I took it back to TESCO today. At just under £130.00 plus a lot of useless paper vouchers I think its far to EXPENSIVE and the 16GB storage issue SUCKS.
Losing a chunk of storage space to the OS is par for the course for all smartphones, tablets and PCs, irrelevant of what that OS is. If you seriously think £130 is too much for a device with this sort of specification you clearly know bugger all about consumer electronics.
A 16GB STORAGE CLAIM IS A STORAGE CLAIM . IF THE CLAIM IS NOT VALID OR SEEMS TO MISLEAD IN SOME WAY THEN POTENTIAL BUYERS OF THESE PRODUCTS RE-GARDLESS OF PRICE/ ? YES PRICE CAN NOT MAKE AN ACCURATE JUDGEMENT WHEN DECIDING TO PURCHASE OR NOT.
IF STATED CLAIMS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM THEN WHAT IS THE CUSTOMER TO REALLY BELIEVE.?
I KNOW THERE IS PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO WOULD BELIEVE ANYTHING THEY ARE TOLD BY CUSUMER ELECTRONICS COMPANIES AND SOME REVIEWERS OF THEIR PRODUCTS BUT I FOR ONE ARE ONLY INTERESTED IN THE FACTS NOT FICTION OR EXCUSES THAT SOME HOW HIDE THE TRUTH...... TWIT.
Caps Lock still doesn't mean you are right.
ALL device sellers report storage in this way. It has been like that ever since devices have been sold with internal storage. Walk into ANY shop selling technology and you will see this is just the way things are. I agree it is misleading as it implies you've got 16GB to store media ... but the Hudl is no different to any other PC, laptop, tablet or phone.
What device are you using to type your messages?
I paid £55 for mine. So far every app I've tried worked. With NavFree and the off line Open Street Map data it works well as a SatNav. Sometimes the instructions are bonkers but this could often be poor map data. Crowd sourced OSM data seems to contain a moderate proportion of incorrectly described road junctions.
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